Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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2015 books: The Catswold Portal, 2015 book: King of the Vagabonds

Two books, finished neither.

The Catswold Portal by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

(This cover is a LIE!)

While there was nothing wrong with this book, there was nothing right with it either. Picture the most generic fantasy story you can (evil queen, mysterious shapeshifting people), make that story drag on for hours and hours of reading without giving out any information or doing any character development, and you have this book. Don't forget to add in no original worldbuilding and a magic system that made no sense.

I read it for three hours, about 25% of the book, and I still knew next to nothing about the story -- I learned so so so much more by reading the blurb on the Amazon page while getting the link for this review.

The writing wasn't awful, but wasn't good either.

It seemed like it should have been a story that would work for me (shapeshifting cats!), but we didn't get a single mention of them until the 25% point, and by then it was too late; my interest in continuing to read this boring story was spent.


King of the Vagabonds by Colin Dann
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This was a darned odd book. Like Catswold Portal, I went into it knowing nothing: it had been in my To Read pile long enough that I forgot everything about it.

Based on the writing, I realized it must be a children's book (not even YA), though the subject matter seemed counter to that -- in the first chapter, it mentioned how the husband of the family usually "disposed" of litters of kittens, but that he had died, and the widow didn't want to dispose of this litter herself, so she let the mother raise them. o.O I can only guess that's supposed to go over kids' heads and they won't realize that means they killed them off? Likely put the kittens in a sack and tossed it into a river? SHEESH!

Amazon confirmed this was a book meant for kids ("Under 7"). So really, what was the author thinking!

Like Catswold, the writing in this book wasn't awful, but wasn't at all good either. The characters, while vaguely believable as cats, weren't interesting at all. I got about 20% into the book, but it never caught my interest and I quickly grew bored of it.
Tags: 2015 books, book review, book:king of the vagabonds, book:the catswold portal
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