The Demented Adventures of Princess Pertties
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For thoughts on The Demented Adventures of Princess Pertties, The Review Board presents Nikki Vision.
Title: Humorous Fantasy Romp
This is a standard fantasy story, with lots of action and a good versus evil plot line. The main character, Pertties, is a sassy, wise cracking young heroine who is, at the start of the story, unaware of her true identity.
When she crashes her car to avoid hitting a deer, Pertties finds herself lost in unfamiliar territory. Her adventures begin when the earth under her feet gives way and she falls into another world.
Pertties discovers that she is some kind of fairy Princess, and the Protector of the light: a thing that the Troll Queen, Eris wants. The rest of the book deals with Pertties many attempts at running away from the Troll queen and trying to discover who she is and what she must do. During her ‘adventures’ she finds a friend in the shape of a young Troll, Demented, who painstakingly explains the plot to her in a series of long-winded dialogue sections.
I found the main character, Pertties, rather irritating. I wanted her to be killed by at least one of the ‘monsters’ she encounters as she travels through her true homeland Burgen. Demented, comes across as little more than a storyteller, rather than a character, as it is his job to fill in the backstory and plot line. I felt that the ‘baddies’ came across as more interesting characters than the main protagonists, simply because they had more depth to them. Seric, the bat lady was one of my favourite characters.
Most of the dialogue is used to explain the narrative, as a result the flow and pace suffered. Instead of the narrative describing the action, it is mostly explained via conversation:
“So how did you do all the rest of that?” he asked, motioning towards the men who were slumped over in an unconscious heap.
Pertties giggled, “That right there my friend, is the result of four years of kick boxing lessons.”
“Okay, but what about the ropes? How did you get them undone?”
“I’m a girl. I have small hands,” she said, holding up her hands for him to see.”
I did not warm to this style of writing. I’m sure that it may appeal to a younger audience, but I wanted more character development and perhaps, an underlying message to hold my continuous attention.That said the author does do action sequences that are, on the whole, well written and exciting.
I also enjoyed the stories within the main story line – in fact I preferred them. These fairy tales, myth and legends sub plots, had more content than the main story line. The, Peisinoe, sequence was one of my favourite moments, a reminder of the Syrens in Greek mythology luring men to their deaths with their singing. She lures Pertties with the promise of making her more beautiful, pandering to her vain side. This was great, as it gave us an insight into her character through action rather than narration. We get to see that she is a flawed heroine, and not the one-dimensional character she started out as.
I think that the light-hearted narration would appeal to the younger readers. The author uses simple language full of colloquialisms, which helps the reader to identify with the main character.
The problem I had with it is that there is just too much exposition and not enough physical action/plot development, to make the narrative interesting. The huge chunks of information about this alternative reality feel contrived and not like natural dialogue between two characters:
“Tell me about nymphs,” Pertties said as Demented sat by the fire with his food.
“What do you want to know?” he asked as he set down his food and began to stir the fire with a stick.
“I don’t care, just tell me about them. Anything.”
“Okay. Well, according to legend, when our world was first spun into creation, the land was made…”
However, there are occasions when this kind of exposition does work. I loved this bit:
“Well, it is common knowledge. Everyone knows that salt and sand are used to kill manananggals, just like everyone knows that croweders are scared of potatoes. It’s just something that everyone knows.”
I felt that the Prologue wasn’t really necessary. Chapter One is a great way to get into the narrative and the back-story mentioned in the prologue is talked about in later scenes.
I did like the idea of Pertties’s adventures being told through the use of fairy stories. There are some nice descriptions of the creatures and their lairs, but the plot line lacks coherence and a strong thread. The disjointed tales are in themselves great little fairy stories, and maybe the book could be that. A modern – day take on Grimm’s tales, only without the morals. I don’t think I will be reading any more of them though.
The Verdict: The Review Board awards this 6 out of 10 stars.
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