Publish Date: 2011 Number of Pages: 382
So let’s just get right into it. The plot is about a boy (Jacob), who grew up listening to his grandfather’s tales of peculiar children with strange talents. He grew up with these peculiar children in an orphanage in Wales before WWII. He left said orphanage to fight in the war & never returned. Suddenly one night, his grandfather is attacked & killed by a tentacled monster. While dying he tells Jacob to “… find the bird in the loop on the other side of the old man’s grave on September 1940, and tell them what happened.” Of course when he tells his parents this & said he saw the monster they send him to a psychiatrist, Dr. Golan. This doctor encourages him to go to Wales & see what has become of this orphanage for closure. I fear for saying more as not to give away the entire story.
As much hype as this novel got I was not dazzled as most were, it seems. I think the writing was good enough. I feel where it lacked was in the storyline itself. When you put a bunch of magical people together & have them fend off dark creatures (of course) I expect something big to happen. Perhaps even just a good old fashioned magical showdown. But no, the biggest threat was a wight with a gun.
This may be blasphemous to say, but I’m thinking the movie may indeed be better than the book in this case. Of course it helps that it is directed by Tim Burton (& all of his bleak & melancholy éclat). I still suggest it as a read for no other reason than it’s easy & enjoyable enough. Hey, if you end up loving it there are two sequels! I still intend to go see the movie soon because…..it’s Tim freaking Burton!