This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.
I thought I’d like this book a lot more than I did.
Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for it. I went in expecting a rather fluffy read about kids, puzzles, alchemy, and adventure. And while all of those components were definitely in the book, they somehow didn’t come together in a very light way. Instead I got a grim read, with lots of blood and death and corpses. Christopher comes across more as being foolhardy and immature than anything else, and his best friend Tom’s blind loyalty seems honestly pretty misplaced at times.
I don’t know. Maybe Christopher does pull through, shows that he’s made of better stuff than I originally thought, but no matter what happens in the end of the book I just can’t bring myself to be as invested as I should be in what happens to him. Perhaps it’s because the book begins with Christopher doing something truly idiotic (building a cannon inside . . . and then testing it), and then immediately starts putting Christopher into situations that might be unpleasant for him but which I don’t care about much because I don’t know him or his world very well.
There’s honestly not much more I have to say. If you’ve read this book and loved it, then good for you; I don’t think it’s bad or anything, it just really didn’t strike any chords in me. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood.