Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Cabinet of Wonders

By Marie Rutkoski

Petra Kronos has a simple, happy life. But it’s never been ordinary. She has a tin spider named Astrophil who likes to hide in her snarled hair. Her best friend can trap lightning inside a glass sphere. Petra also has a father in faraway Prague who is able to move metal with his mind. He has been commissioned by the prince of Bohemia to build the world’s finest astronomical clock. Petra’s life is forever changed when, one day, her father returns home—blind. The prince has stolen his eyes, enchanted them, and wears them. But why? Petra doesn’t know, but she knows this: she will go to Prague, sneak into Salamander Castle, and steal her father’s eyes back. Joining forces with Neel, whose fingers extend into invisible ghosts that pick locks and pockets, Petra finds that many people in the castle are not what they seem, and that her father’s clock has powers capable of destroying their world.

This was a book that sounded like a fun adventure along the lines of other books like Savvy by Ingrid Law, so I was fairly excited to read it. I was sad to find that I was bored with the over-complex workings of the world that the author created, while some things were simply unexplainable, others that could have sharpened the vision of the world were vague. I found the characters interesting, but didn’t care much for the protagonist Petra, but her little spider Astrophil was fantastic. I also like Neel, who was like a gypsy Aladdin. I enjoyed this book but it felt tedious at times to read and it was hard for me to finish.  It had many elements of a great book, but the delivery was at times too vague or too complex.

I give it a 2.75 out of 5- slightly below average.

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