I don't take good care of my books by the way. Dust covers are immediately sent to the garbage as soon as a book crosses the threshold and I'm a brutal dog-earer. Dog-earing is actually my way of coding the book so I can go back and review it later. A dog-ear at the top of the page indicates I really liked something, and a dog-ear at the bottom means I really did not. If, when it's time to review it, I can't find the awesome or offensive passage, it clearly was just a passing fancy and not worth a mention anyway.
This is the first time ever that I turned down no corners. And there were a LOT turned up.
Let's begin with the forced history lessons:
"Why Greeks?" Ned asked.
First thing he'd said over lunch. He wasn't even sure why he'd asked.
Oliver Lee smiled at him through pipe smoke. "It was the Greeks who founded Marseille, about 600 B.C. Called it Massilia..."
Bleah, blah, blah. Even Dan Brown worked in a history lesson smoother than this.
Then there's the problem with the whole "He wasn't even sure why he'd asked" thing. Ned, a Canadian teenager visiting France, has found himself part of some weird repeating history love-battle thing, oh and also that he has some weird supernatural powers. If it sounds like I don't have much of a grasp on the story, well neither did Kay. Ned gets intuitions that he just can't explain on every other page.
And the characters? Looks like Ned's going to have a love interest in a fellow tourist, a girl named Kate from New York, but soon after she's just tagging along, completely unnecessary to the plot, yet still there.
The plot! Good God, how could I forget that? If you know, please tell me. So freakin' silly. So annoyingly dumb! A member of Ned's father's work crew (he's there as a professional photographer) goes missing. Ned explains that she has been transformed into some ancient Celtic lady named Ysabel, and of course no one goes to the police. Of course, Ned's Doctors Without Borders mother comes back from Sudan only to have no real importance to the story either. And poor Kate, she's with this crazy family for a few days and her family doesn't seem to give a rat's...
Aggggh! This is so ridiculously bad. I had to force myself to finish. One of the worst books I've reviewed in 5 years of running this blog.
(There, feels good to finally get that off my chest.)