Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Hounds of the Morrigan

Amongst my very long list of books I own but have yet to read this book may have been on the list the longest. I have owned this book since, honestly, I was 13 years old. Thirteen! I was a tiny little 8th grader who was preparing for that big step into High School! I loved all things Celtic and this type of stuff just fascinated me. Then I started High School and fourteen-year-old Erica was far too busy to be reading a (near) 700 page book. So the book was shelved and forgotten through High School and college. When I graduated and actually had time to read again, I kept returning to this book and thinking, "I've had it for so long, I really need to read it someday soon," yet I never did. Skip to 2007 when my family moved out of New York and to Pennsylvania; I donated a ton of books but for whatever reason I wanted to keep this one. I still hadn't read the book after owning it for nearly 10 years but I put it in our "keep" box and somehow found its way into my "books" box when I moved out of my parents and to the DC area. 

So here I am, 26 years old, and realizing I've had this book for an awful long time. I've been relatively good at making my way through the different books on my to-read list since my move and this, obviously, was on that list. So I picked it up, flipped it open, and began to read.

Now after all of that rambling... here's the review:

There were a few things that consistently bothered me from editing to the voices of the characters. There were a lot of editorial mistakes and while I know every publication ends up  having at least one mistake in it, this book had some very obvious spelling errors and not the typical "is it color or colour" type of issue. I also was bothered by the little sister, Brigit, who is about 5 and while many times acts like a typical child her dialogue seems extremely advanced for a child of that age. Now, I know some very wordy little kids who have shocked me with their vocabulary use but this character gets to the point where it seems somewhat unbelievable and not once is it mentioned that she is the type of child with an advanced vocabulary. 

The book itself, as previously mentioned, is nearly 700 pages long and while it reads much like a story that is appropriate for children and very filled with humor and fantasy I often felt that it dragged on and on. The child-like quality of the book can be displayed through the amusing list of characters created by different objects, people and animals. The plot was rather suited for a child as it was quite classic and simple. Children going on a journey and doing something dangerous and daring without the aid of parents can attract a child's attention. They're aided by magical beings (something that will also draw interest from a child reader) and there is your typical host of creepy villains. And yet - there was a lack of suspense. At the end of the book the hounds and the Morrigan became much more scary and a true battle formed but it took 600 pages for you to get to that point which was a disappointment in my eyes.

The children got out of sticky situations with too much ease. Every time the Morrigan seemed intent on throwing up some obstacle I didn't find myself concerned about the kids because it seemed that surely there would be a creature that would come along and be a friendly help to them. Then, to make matters worse, after all of this the children forget their adventures! I was left feeling rather like, "What's the point?" which I don't entirely like to feel when reading a book.

So I found myself disappointed with this book. After having the book for over 10 years I finally read it and was left feeling rather let down. I think I'll send this book back to my parents' home in Pennsylvania and maybe when I have children I'll read the book to them however... it's really long. So while it's a decent kids book it isn't of the Harry Potter caliber and the high page count may be a little daunting to children. 

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