I’m not sure if I’ve just been suffering from a severe book hangover or what but other than Jurassic Park I have not read a book and loved it since Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.
Don’t get me wrong, Clariel wasn’t horrible. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. It was much darker than the other installments of the Abhorsen series. If that’s possible… I guess it was the first novel of Nix’s where he was writing about a character slowly turning into a villain versus a protagnostic under-dog finding themselves the unlikely hero.
I think I’m not one of those people who like watching the character turn bad. Or at least without reason. I felt the same way when I read The Young Elites by Marie Lu. I love the Legend series she wrote but The Young Elites is basically about a villain too and I wasn’t too impressed with it. Call me old fashioned but I like a good ole happy ending with a hero at the end of my books. However, I did love Fairest by Marissa Meyer. Hearing Levana’s side of the story versus Cinder, Cress, and Scarlet’s was awesome. But I felt like Meyer did a spectacular job at explaining why Levana is the way she is. She did a great job at making you sometimes feel bad for Levana. I never felt bad for Clariel. I just felt like she was close minded and stubborn. She should have listened to Bel and appreciated him more. He is one of her cousins in the book who is very interested in their Abhorsen lineage. But no, Clariel was “too good” for him.
Clariel seemed like she had some deep-seeded issues going on the entire book and like she actually had some weird detachment problem with all the people around her. It’s like she had a one track, cyclical way of thinking. MUST.GET.TO.FOREST. It got old after the first million times she said/thought it. She was rude and awkward to everyone around her. Even the people who cared about her and who wanted to help her. I think that’s what I really didn’t like about her. She was unwaveringly selfish.
Which I get that maybe Nix was trying to pull off the whole Sabriel concept of her growing into herself as a person and as a woman but it was too much. Or maybe just Clariel was too much for me. Maybe I just didn’t like her! because I love Garth Nix and I love all the other books. And I do have to say that the ending finally picked up but the beginning and middle were way to slow for me. It was a lot of To leave or to not leave to the Great Forest, that is the question?!
I wanted to know more about the relationships around her! Why was she so weird and had no feelings toward any other humans??? I really liked how in the end you realize she’s Chlorr of the Mask. That made it all worth reading. Not to mention that Mogget made his appearance in this one as well. He sucked in this book but he’s still my favorite character of all the books! And I really do hate thinking/saying that because I love Garth Nix! Not only as a writer but also as a person. I met him in Austin at the Teen Book Festival and he was the coolest, most down to Earth guy. Hands down, the nicest author I have ever met. I’m looking forward to getting the next book that goes back to Nick and Lirael. I liked their characters in Lirael a lot.
I’m kind of wandering if Nix will go back and write a book on Tathiel later. She is the kings missing granddaughter in the book who comes in and saves the day at the end with the Clayr. It says that she wasn’t too thrilled about having to rule. Sounds like Nix is leaving that open for maybe another book for another time, eh?