Sunday, 12 August 2012

Crossing Over by Anna Kendall

Crossing Over. Anna Kendall

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Gollancz (first published October 14th 2010)
0575094273 (ISBN13: 9780575094277)
edition language
original title
Crossing Over
"A debut that is ingenious, exciting, enthralling, and impossible to put down A true original "*
Roger Kilbourne has the ability to "cross over" into the land of the dead and speak with its residents. It is a startling gift, and not a pleasant one. Roger manages to escape his brutal uncle, and thinks his new job at the palace laundry will keep him safe; instead, there are worse dangers. First, Roger is infatuated with bewitching, willful Lady Cecilia; next, he is pulled into the midst of dangerous court intrigue. Soon Roger is using his gift as a way to get the life he dreams of - even if it involves deeds so unthinkable that both the living and the dead shrink from them.
"An imaginative dark fantasy . . . The premise is fascinating, and the depiction of the afterlife and its oblivious denizens both creepy and eerily serene." - "Kirkus Reviews"
"Splendidly developed." - "BCCB"
* Connie Willis, New York Times bestselling author
My Review
This was a rather interesting and unique book that seemed to hold my attention form the very first word to the last one. the novel itself is based within a time period that I am not myself use to, its set in the olden times when kings and queens were actually very influential people and being on there good side was the most important thing. This though I felt was a wonderful element to the book itself because it meant that the imagination was widened out to consider all the differences that there are between that time period and the time period that we are in now. The area that the book was set within was well developed, a sort of layer upon layer matter, which meant that you could really build the whole scenario within your mind and see everything that you needed to see./ The characters personnas fitted well with the scenario and the scene that it was all set in and that of course meant that the story had a much stronger effect than perhaps your everyday basic tale that you would expect to come across. Rodger is a character of differences though as he clearly hsa a talent that is different and strange amongst the others, a talent that back in the days perhaps would have meant that you were hung and burnt in front of a large audience because what you were showing and representing was just not normal human behaviour. There are flaws though to the character and these are bits that I will touch on as I get through my review of the novel. In the beginning we get to see the story of his past, and we learn that he has the ability to cross over to the country of the dead as they call it. This was a wonderful concept to imagine as it meant that you started to really consider what it must be like to do such a thing and what it would be like as a place in person. However its his ability that allows him to pass there which is a little more or less untruly and for me not fitting to the description of his talent.

In order to pass over to the country of the dead he must cause himself a great deal of harm. At first we see his uncle taking advantage of this ability, he is using it as a method to gain money from others, by making rodger pass over to the dead, to get all the details of the relatives that have been lost by those who seek him out. However in order for him to pass over he is very badly beaten and this was a cringe worthy moment of the book. Although deep down you know that neglect and abuse was more common in these times and that a punishment was not given, it still feels very wrong to us, as we are taught that this is the wrong behaviour to reflect on a child. However, like they say, Karma strikes when it sees the time is best fit and that is very much so within the novel. Although the ending for his aunt who eventually does try to save him is brutal and wrong, his uncle also gets a well suited ending and we know that he will no longer have to put up with him. Instead he merely has to face the complications of the queen and the soilders. The thing about this book I found, is that there is anger and drama and mystery the whole way throughout it. its not a book that stops or pauses, its the sort of book that carries on going, that continues to tell you what has happened or is happening. Yes in some respects it makes the book a little to overdone ebcause your too busy trying to remember whats happening where and who it is happening to and what is going to occur next. So although the book is active, you can see this as being a negative complexity that would make the book somewhat, if not very confusing.

There was a hint of romance within the novel but it was merely that for me, a hint of that and nothing more. I don't know if it is just that I was confused by the amount that was happening within the novel or that I simply grew tiresome of it after a while. I suppose I would have liked to have sen the book a little more spread out, after all it has already been confirmed that this is not the first in the series so why so much in one novel? Also I found it a little odd that the book was called crossing over and yet the ways that he seemed to cause pain to himself over and over again would be enough to either cause many disabilities or special needs, or just kill him altogether. this meant that the book became a little unrealistic in that you could see this was not possible. I know that its a fantasy based novel, but when you can start to work out that things would not actually be possible you can not help but see that its not so much as an exciting fantasy but a hit home hard fantasy. I do feel though that the book was well crafted. not the best crafted novel but good enough to entertain me for a read for an hour or two.

I do like my historical based books but I do feel that this was perhaps a little over rushed when it didnt need to be. It would have been nice to have seen the author take there time with it, to make it so much more than just texts on a word. This is why I have awarded the novel a three star rating. it was a good book but it was not brilliant and there were many things I would have changed had it been up to me.
rating didn't like it it was ok liked it (my current rating) really liked it it was amazing   

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