Tags

, , , , , , ,

Author: Kristen PhamThe society for imaginary friends

You know me, I’m a harsh reviewer – I know – but I like to try and say at least something good about everything I read. This book gave me a serious run for my money though. I’ve pondered what I could possibly say to praise this book and after several days thought on the matter I’ve come up with this:

The pacing is not the worst I’ve seen.

High praise I know, but you tell me, after this review, what else could I have said?

I say tell me after this review, this book is one of those that’s really hard to review because every time I try to talk about it I start frothing at the mouth, half of it didn’t even make sense. So I’m going to start by relaying to you some of the thing’s the happen within it, with some quotes to really hammer the point home.

  • A boy who is undergoing mitosis:

“The night I got sick a Conjurer named Midnight appeared out of nowhere, and after explaining about magic and the Globe, she described what was happening to me. I’m an amoebiate… I’m splitting into two people… like an amoeba. Right now we’re sharing a body, and sometimes he takes over.”

  • A Unicorn President:

“’And now she’s sort of like, um, what you would think of as the Globe’s President.’

Valerie’s eyes widened nervously. What was the proper way to show a unicorn respect? Especially a Unicorn that was President of the magical world?”

  • A different world located in the centre of a black hole

“Technically, you’re right. But the creators of the Globe combined magic with all the energy in the black hole to create a planet inside that no-one can see from earth.”

 

All this is done with a completely straight faced lack of self-awareness. The above isn’t even the half of it, there is so much more that intersects over the top of everything else, contradictions and nonsense piled on top of more of the same.

We’re told near the beginning it’s essential Valerie get to the globe because of all the magic inside her, then we have to go to Stonehenge to test her magic because apparently being able to tell she has it isn’t enough. Then we go to Egypt so Valerie can be… ugh… catapulted into space from inside the Great Sphinx, where she can meet the Space-President-Unicorn.

As if this silliness weren’t enough the characters are an unlikable mess. Valerie is the type of Mary Sue who is so put upon, partly because she’s an orphan (because I can’t remember the last book I read in which a character can be strong and not an orphan, and of course she is oh so selfless, because endless abusive foster parents, repeated hospital stays and living on the streets will do that to a person – If there is ever a small child around Valerie must protect them at all costs, and give them all she has to offer, she makes Mother Theresa look like a member of the Yakuza), but mostly because every bit player in the plot has arbitrarily decided to commit their lives to the grand cause of ruining hers. Seriously, one of the nasty imaginary friends persuades a nurse that Valerie is keeping illegal drugs in her hospital room so the nurse, uh, grabs Valerie and locks her in a cupboard. I don’t know why; it doesn’t even create a problem since Valerie just leaves the cupboard in a few pages anyway. It’s just all so unnecessary and absurd.

I’m not sure what else I can say to impress upon you the absurdities presented in this book. But I will leave you with the note that even if none of this has put you off the writing is poor at best, dialogue is clunky and annoying, and bad English and non-existent words are littered everywhere.

No, just no.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.