Monday, June 7, 2010

Book Review: Sapphire Flute, by Karen Hoover

I just finished reading Karen Hoover's debut novel, The Sapphire Flute. It is a middlegrade/YA fanatacy that takes place in a historical-type setting in a fictional kingdom immersed in magic. The book alternates between the lives of Kayla, a girl who has been trusted to keep the sacred Sapphire Flute safe and Ember, a girl who is learning to manage her newfound magic. A smaller number of chapters is devoted to the POV of the main antagonists, C-tan. I found the storyline unique, full of magic, shape-shifting, great villians and courage. The author's creativity deserves applause. Her writing was good, but in some cases I felt overdone. It read at times like a literary novel, pouring out prose in an almost poetic fashion. Unfortuantely, I found this distracting. It was like a fancy bakery cake with too much frosting and one too many royal icing roses. I wanted to get to the tasty story, but was slowed down by having to skim off some of the fluff. I also found myself confused at times. I did not enjoy the constant switch in POVs. Every other chapter was in someone else's head. I would have liked to be in the character's head a little longer before I got shifted. I just started to immersed myself in the character, when I got ripped away. I'm sure the author was just trying to keep me hanging, but it just frustrated me. I put up with it, hoping that soon the two characters would meet up and their stories merge. That was my greatest disappointment in the book, when the two main characters did not, in fact, meet up in the book. I presume that will happen in the next book.
But still, I would recommend this book to any kid, or adult, who loves fantasy. The story is outstanding, and not everyone reads a book like me, with a red pen in hand.

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