Saturday, September 10, 2011

Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes review

Description: "Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door- be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle- at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed;today there are few child-thieves left, blind or otherwise. At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you've probably guessed, is Peter Nimble."

My thoughts: 
So much was packed into these 381 pages! There was clever writing, a main character that produced sympathy from anyone who’d hear his story, and a lot of action. That’s why it’s sad to say that it wasn’t enough for me.  
Now, all in all it wasn’t bad, and I can see the appeal of it for other readers, but this story seemed to imitate other books. It made me think of The Phantom Tollbooth and The Series of Unfortunate Events (in a way I can’t quite explain). In The Phantom Tollbooth there is whimsical writing, quirky characters, and a clever world. There was a place called the Doldrums that people ended up in if they weren’t thinking, or a Sea of Knowledge among other clever places. There were also characters like the spelling bee, who was an actual bee that could spell, and a watchdog who actually had a clock attached to him. This plus the way both The Phantom Tollbooth and Peter Nimble started out created a problem for me. Although the actual adventure of the two stories were nothing alike, the quirkiness of it all didn’t always seem original. And when it was original it didn’t always work for me.
But there are some good things about this book. And if it hadn’t reminded me of my favorite book of all time I probably would have given this book a 4 out of 5. That being said I think others will enjoy this book. It had magical kingdoms, clever and funny talking animals, and delightful main characters.
And one of my favorite things about this book as I mentioned earlier is that there is so much packed into this book, which I find funny. Because this is an MG level book but the plot had many more levels than a lot of YA books I’ve read. Nowadays most of the YA stories are stretched into a trilogy. And what happens to the characters are dragged out in the first book so nothing really happens until the very end…. I mean like literally the last 2-3 chapters. And with that problem in the YA world, I was pleasantly surprised that this middle grade level book didn’t go the same route.
So I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I would have liked too. But I know a lot of other people who loved it. Therefore I’d give it a try if the description of the story sounds appealing to you.

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