Friday, November 21, 2008

Book 4: Alosha

Title: Alosha by Christopher Pike

Pages: 303

How it was obtained: Christmas present from Susan (at least I think it was, or perhaps a birthday present).

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 3 years.

Days spent reading it: 6

Why I read it: I found it at a Barnes and Noble somehow. It had some decent critical praise, and I decided to check it out. Christopher Pike was well known for his cheesy teenage horror novels (i.e. Chain Letter and Chain Letter 2: Ancient Evil). I owned, but never read, a few of his books (including the aforementioned Chain Letter and Chain Letter 2). My parents either still have these books in the house or wisely tossed them.

Brief Review: Alosha is the kind of book that I read the description of and think to myself, "I would like that book." It has a heroine who needs to uncover her secret identity, trolls, elves, dwarves, dark fairies, and "many plot twists and plenty of excitement." However, Alosha falls flat for me. I actually have attempted to read it 2 other times, and never got beyond the 2nd or 3rd chapter. It just takes too long setting up.

And after reading it through, the pace never really seemed to pick up in my opinion. Sure there are things going on--girl buried alive by avalanche, girl thrown into river about to go over waterfall, world about to be invaded by evil elvish army--but for some reason the pacing and telling of this story never reached its potential for me. Additionally one pet peeve of mine is trying to tell a story with some time-travel elements. Very few storytellers do this well. Pike does it less well than others.

I think there is great potential with this story. It had some good elements. I just did not like how it was told. Alosha was a book I intended to knock off quickly, instead it was a chore for me to get through. Although the climax did pick up the pace; it was too little, too late. I would grant that some readers would enjoy this book, I just wasn't one of them this time around.

Which leaves me with the odd predicament of continuing or not continuing the trilogy. If you notice my original challenge list, there are two other books by Christopher Pike on it. They are a part of this trilogy. Right now, I'm leaning towards not reading them. However, Susan liked them pretty well, and I might be willing to give them one more chance. I'll see how I'm feeling when we hit them on the list.

Stars: 2 out of 5

Final Word: Disappointing.

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