Intrigues (2010)
Intrigues (2010)
3.9 of 5 Votes: 2
0756406390 (ISBN13: 9780756406394)
DAW Hardcover
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I was excited to see the Collegium series, as I adored lots of the previous Valdemar stories - most especially those focused on Vanyel. I still re-read them sometimes and still enjoy them after all these years. I have always found ML's books to be lovingly devoted to the characters and their development over time, however I'm sad to say this series is just disappointing. I'm just into the third book and really struggling to stay interested. This is foremost because there are many unfortunate parallels to Harry Potter that are somewhat jarring and disappointing to discover. The following examples aren't really giving anything away;- There's a bad guy, with whom he shares a mental connection and is seeing occasional flashes of their thoughts and emotions. Since this is foreshadowed very early on in the story, I'm not spoiling anything by saying so. Sound familiar?- The main character is a boy, who has a boy and girl as his closest friends who end up getting a bit sweet on each other. Nothing new there.- The Kirball game is reminiscent of Quidditch in more ways than one and she spends a great deal more time than necessary describing matches. It gets dull very quickly and is chaotic enough to seem unrealistic which detracts further.- His female friend has a father who is a basically an adapted Slughorn. There are others that are more subtle, but those are the main HP elements. Any one of them on their own is nothing I'd worry about, but all together it becomes more and more uncomfortable how closely it parallels the Potter series.Other observations;I feel the main character is difficult to like over time. Book one was interesting and I enjoyed the context from which his character has come from. However, nothing much changes about him. He's very solemn, honest, modest and really has very little personality - most of which seems to be translated through the most heavy and god-awful bumpkin accent you ever had the misfortune to slog through. I had nothing against it in the beginning, however, midway through the third book he sounds worse than ever before and considering that over a year has passed for him at the college, that's more than enough time for her to smooth out some of his burr and hence make it easier to understand him - you'd think it would be part of his 'fitting in' training since he's almost the only character in the books who sounds like he's gnawing on a bone as he talks. It also appears to be inconsistent in quality which makes you really notice it when he backslides into choking on said bone.Similarly, his 'friends' are very one dimensional characters whose personalities are weak and not very likeable. None of the female characters are very interesting or have much to say (aside from the Kirball Captain Gennie who talks a great deal but rarely anything worth reading), and it just seems to be a very bland social landscape overall. Certain things happen where they react in very out-of-character ways and you're left feeling outraged on Mags behalf for putting up with it all, and nothing ever seems resolved. In previous books, injustices amongst the Heralds usually got untangled and resolved in a way that made you feel good as the reader. Nothing she bothered with here, just a sort of weird jumpy plot, with apologies that make no sense and relationships you think he'd be better off giving the flick.The plot feels very flat for the most part with no real sparky characters to contrast things except for Dallen who adds some childlike cheek. Ultimately it isn't enough to keep the story from dragging. Part two was even more exciting than the first. I really liked the character growth of the three main characters especially. Only thing bugged me, I read about how this book seemed a lot like Harry Potter. Maybe it's just me, but I don't really see the connection. Only connection at all. The main character has two best, wait, no, This one has three best friends, not counting the compainion, who I think of as a best best friend. NOpe, no connection there. Oh, but the main character plays a sport...that is nothing at all like the potter sport...hmmGreat read! Give it a try!
Felt a little rushed, but I still look forward to reading the next book!
Choked up so good toward the end.
Easy read finished in a day
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