Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cirrus Who?

The Story of Cirrus Flux by Matthew Skelton
Delacorte Press, 2010
ISBN: 9780440421696
288 pages
3 out of 5

"There is nowhere for the boy to hide."

London, 1783.  Orphan Cirrus Flux is being watched.  Merciless villains are conniving to steal the world's most divine power--the Breath of God--which they believe Cirrus has inherited.  Now he faces a perilous journey through the dirty backstreets of the city as a sinister mesmerist, a tiny man with an all-seeing eye, and a skill-collecting scoundrel pursue him.  Cirrus must escape them, but he'll need to trust some unlikely allies if he hopes to thwart his foes...and survive the grand and terrifying showdown.

 Starts slow...(this could just be me; I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately), but it did catch my curiosity  within a reasonable amount of time. One reason for the slowness was the alternating between time periods.  Parts of the book are set earlier and are visited when it becomes relevant to the present.  I had to go back and look at the part titles and dates to figure out what was going on.  Again this was resolved fairly quickly.

There is quite a bit of alternating in this book.  The first is the time periods, mentioned above, the second is alternating viewpoints.  The book is written in the third person perspective, but it shifts between Cirrus and Pandora.  I like both Cirrus and Pandora, but I felt that Pandora actually experienced her circumstances while Cirrus let things happen to him.  I'm bothered by this because Cirrus is the title character.

It was a good read, but overall it felt underdeveloped.  The fantasy elements are interesting, but take a back burner to the chase.  I'm not even really sure why the coveted object was so coveted.  That's a problem.  Finally, the ending doesn't feel fully resolved.  I'm not sure if this is supposed to  be the beginning of something or a stand alone.  If it's the beginning, yeah I'd be curious about a follow-up, but if it stands alone, I'm in the dark.

Interesting note: While the book was in my car, the glue melted and my bookmark was glued to the book.  I ripped both the book and the bookmark trying to separate the two.  I'm just glad it's a personal copy and not a library copy.  I also now know to not leave books in my car for extended periods of time during the ridiculously hot Florida summer.

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