Can't Stop Reading

Lucky for me I get a hefty discount at work, because I just can't seem to stop myself!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Woot! Endymion Spring is finally done!

Okay, here is a rundown on this book. I first heard about it when it got tons of press back in March. Apparently Penguin went ahead and paid first time author Matthew Skelton quite a large advance. Then there was a problem with the printer, and the book didn't show up until mid-June. So when it finally came, I was pretty excited. Mostly I was excited because its a fantasy novel about books! How cool is that?

Endymion Spring is about Blake. Blake is in Oxford with his little sister Duck, and his mother, an academic. While she researches, Blake and Duck hang out, mostly at the St. Jerome's library. Blake misses home, especially his dad. Why are two kids just hanging around antique books instead of attending school? Who knows?

Anyway, Blake discovers an intriguing book one day. In it, there are no words at all, just blank pages. And then suddenly a riddle appears on one of the pages, but only Blake can read it.

Interspersed with the story of Blake is the story of Endymion Spring, who was an apprentice to Johann Gutenberg while he was working on creating his first bible. Oh yeah, apparently Gutenberg's investor was a morally challenged guy named Fust. Uh huh. And the book that Blake finds in the library? Made of dragon scales that Fust stole from some Danish guy.

Okay, just to make this clear, I enjoy fantasy books. I enjoy suspending my disbelief and imagining, say, schools of wizardry, or faery hills in New Jersey, or even different worlds where princesses have to slay mountain-sized dragons. But Skelton just doesn't have the writing chops to take you there. Endymion Spring is full of cliches, and bizarre metaphors, one-dimensional characters, and too easy coincidences. And my favourite, tying up a story while the main character is unconscious.

The only thing I liked about this book was the cut throat world of academia, and antique book collecting. Everything and everyone else was boring, and made me roll my eyes.

Endymion Spring by Matthew Skelton
ISBN 0141320354
352 pages


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