Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elfland by Freda Warrington

ElflandElfland by Freda Warrington

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m split yet again. On one hand, I found myself enthralled. How could I not given the simple way everything was presented (even when talk of the intricacies of their world came in?) On the other, I was utterly appalled at how the lot of them re/acted.

Elfland is a world along side (beneath? parallel to?) our own and it’s filled with rules about what to do and how to do things, with everyone with a place, a role then everyone following the same. There’s a Gatekeeper, a gate kept, and the world on the other side. And all of it was surprisingly easy to imagine despite all the details attached. Now, knowing how incredibly fantastic things could get it, the contrast to their problems was jarring. You see, non-human or not, Rosie and her people had to deal things that went from the mundane (pining for a boy) to the uncomfortable and shocking (as in the icky bits of abuse and incest!)So non-human or not, there was something basic to their story too.

So yes, I’m split. I did enjoy seeing both the young set and the old set work out their issues. And Rosie, Lucas, Mathew, Sam, Lawrence, and heck, even Sapphire all progressed from point A to point B, but the choices made in the meantime had me squinting to see if I’d read things right. Dysfunctional is the most apt thing to name them. And it's this dysfunction that shaped how they all interacted. Rosie for instance went from this rather unsure girl to a more confident woman; seeing her pine, then get her heart broken, then seeing her settle, then get her heart broken again, only later still to have her doing the most foolish (and selfish) of things… well, I’ll be frank, sometimes I wanted to smack some sense into her. Or take Jon… whose carelessness, led to the most screwed up places. Or Sapphire for that matter… Geez!

I’ll  put it this way: none of them were all good or all bad. And if they were leaning heavily toward one of those sides, something always came up a little while later to shed some light on why they were the way they were. And then I’d be stuck neither hating nor liking them that much again.

While I didn’t like a lot of what they were doing, I went along… because as I’d learned, there was always something that followed.


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