Monday, February 17, 2014

One Realm Beyond


I recieved a free copy of this novel to review and had high hopes, but half way through I realized that I just wasn't getting into this story. Admittedly, this story is written for a young audience and I have no doubt that young readers, particularly those who enjoy charming dragons, would like this book. However, having said that, I love young adult fiction and books for young readers. Novels that have drawn me into the story by the first pages or first chapters and had me totally captivated and wanting more. One Realm Beyond is just not one of those books. Other reviews have mentioned not being able to get into this story until about half way through. I would have to say that, at the half way point, I'm still not there yet.
Now, don't get me wrong, Donita K Paul is a wonder with her prose. It's the story that isn't doing it for me. I've found nothing worth caring about on Cantor's quest. In fact, Cantor has been a major problem for me. I don't like this guy. He's whiny. I like Bridger much endearing dragon, even if he is a bit of an oaf. He's charming in my opinion. I'd much rather have had him in a story as the main character than Cantor. At half way through the book, after Bridger has more than proven his worth (IMHO) and his faithfulness (especially given the kind of treatment he's recieved in return) Cantor's is still this incessantly ungrateful whiner.
I had to give up because I so disliked the hero in this novel. I know he's going to grow into it and all...believe me I know...but if I can't enjoy reading about him by the halfway point then I'm not going to continue reading his story.
May I give a humble example? Artemis Fowl is a boy genius and a super criminal. He's not the hero we want him to be at the beginning or even by the next few novels, but he's very interesting to read about. And you can see a process, and he's so interesting as an antihero that you enjoy reading through the process. And there's a whole lot happening along the way that's thrilling to read. I found none of these characteristics in our hero: Cantor. I found nothing very thrilling to keep me plodding along. I like Bridger...give him a novel without Cantor. He's charming, endearing. Everything I'm sure Donita intended. But Cantor?...Not feeling it.

By the way I've read other stuff by Donita and enjoyed the experience, which was why I wanted to review this new series starter. Unfortunately, this one just isn't my cup of tea. :(


Donita K. Paul said...

Well, thanks for giving it the old college try. I like Bridger, too. But I also like Cantor, Dukmee, Totobee-Rodolow, and the little kids who throw water on Cantor. Perhaps you and I will meet again in another book. Thank you, for honest comments.

James Somers said...

I felt sorry for Bridger :) he seem to try to hard and get such ill treatment. I kept feeling this way and growing more angry at the hero until I just didn't want to finish his tale at all.
Bridger was cool though ;)

keananbrand said...

So far, Bridger's my favorite character.

Haven't finished the book yet -- hope to get in a couple solid hours of reading later tonight.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I think you stopped too soon, James--right when you would have found what you're looking for.

I already liked Cantor before he gave Bridger the brush, so I didn't give up on him. Plus I wanted to see him try to find a dragon better than Bridger. And of course there is Bixby, who I personally think is one of the best characters Ms. Paul has created.


Julie Bihn said...

I see where you're coming from...Cantor wasn't my favorite, either. For me this was one of those books where I liked the supporting cast more than the "main character." (I think a lot of hardcore Harry Potter fans feel that way, too, though, actually, and those books did fine.)

I am glad I kept going (I got interested as soon as Bixby showed up). I'm pretty sure Cantor will grow and turn into a good guy, but you're right that it didn't really happen here.

James Somers said...

Hard for me to continue past the halfway point in a novel when I'm already so frustrated by the one character that's supposed to carry the heart of the story. I like to be engaged first chapter. First few at the very least to have me hooked. I kept reading after Cantor more out of obligation. I knew already where the story was heading, but if I can't care about the main character then it feels like a waste to spend so long on them. the hero is obviously going to become someone's the nature of such a story. I've read so many and written them too. I still read them, but I want to be engaged. Darth Vader was a bad guy, but man you just have to see what he's going to do. Cantor wasn't in "interesting" character to me. On Bridger, I like underdog characters that are endearing like that. I was rooting for him, but, of course, he's not the main character. Just not a fit for me.

Jessica E. Thomas said...

I appreciate your candidness. Some of the things you saw as weaknesses, I saw as strengths. Variety is the spice of life, so the saying goes. Like you say, sometimes a story just isn't a good "fit".

Jennette Mbewe said...

I LOVE Artemis Fowl! I'm a little nervous to read the last book in the series, though. Hate to see it end.

Thanks for being honest. We don't always connect with every book and that is fine. That's why there is such an awesome variety out there!

brent çapener said...

We love many of D.K.P. books and read through this agreeing that it was not a "best of" but has potential as a series.
My son wants to know what happens to Daniel Harwick? I said it was clear which path he took and where it lead. He would like it speller out for him! Thanks!

James Somers said...

Brent: As for Daniel Harwick...his story isn't over yet...I've just committed myself to writing book two of the Wielder Saga...check out my latest post... "A World Within" is also setting up for an Audio Book to come in the next month or so. It's been a long time coming, but I'm clearing space to get it done, finally on Daniel's story :)

Tina Dinkins said...

looks like a good read, left a comment for you on E pm thanks