Mar. 6th, 2011

booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A girl named Zahrah is born with mysterious vined hair that tells of a dada (shaman)'s nature in her, but the society around her is fearful of the unknown. The village is surrounded by a forest that everyone fears, but Zahrah is forced to enter it one day, at the same time as struggling with her power as a dada... the power to fly.

Writing: I think I expected this to be less light-hearted and silly feeling... I read in another review that it's trying to be an "African Alice in Wonderland" and it has that feeling. The unusual ideas are really interesting but they're not explored much so often they just seem put there to sound strange... There's a lot of feeling that Zahrah is putting herself through a ritual test but it's made less powerful by the fact that the story feels light-hearted, and the story structure it is based on is a very old one meaning you get a good sense of what will happen.

From a winged person's perspective...: There really aren't any wings, just floating. At the very end, there's a description of her flying, but it may as well have not been in the story at all... the flying is very secondary to the story.

Trigger warnings: Some use of "freak" and name-calling towards the girl for being a shaman, and a general sense of prejudice towards the unknown. But this book is light and unfrightening... even if some bad things happen, the way the story is told makes it feel as if they will easily pass, which is one of its weaknesses.

More thoughts... )
booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
Short review: A girl living in a world surrounded by people who can fly discovers her own power: to become invisible. But many other people are interested in having her power too, and try to capture her. Together with a boy named Bug, who dreams of flying, they flee from criminals and discover a lot of strange secrets. The focus of this story is mostly on the mystery and the weirdness and the strange adventures that the author can put in front of the characters: it's not much on the experience of flying people, and so I think for winged people reading it for that, it might feel beside the point. I think I was also very biased, though, so others may like it more than I did.

Writing: It's a very clever and funny book, in terms of its writing. Like Zahrah the Windseeker, it likes to play with ideas, and I think it has more of a success than that book did. By all accounts, this should be a great book. I just didn't feel it though, I feel that its kind of horrifying comedy-mystery isn't my style. So, I'll say I'm not the best person to review this book. It has received a lot of good reviews, and I think that as a book on its own it's very good... it's just not my style.

From a winged person's perspective...: This is another book where the fliers don't actually have wings... what is with these books? It's a trend now? The main character is a girl who's jealous of those who fly and feels negatively about them, while the teachers seem to worship birds and flight in a way that seems you're supposed to think it's a little obnoxious. It has something of a "sour grapes feeling". A second character wants to be a flier, and there is some exploration of how it feels to fly and the first character comes to understand why you would want to, experiencing its wonder.

Trigger warnings: Some name-calling and bullying in the beginning... sadly, this book couldn't hold my attention and so I can't give details for much further :( I did read it... but not in close detail.

More thoughts... )
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