Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Speaking From Among the Bones

by Alan Bradley

I have heard and read many good things about the Flavia de Luce series.  Enough so that I bought the first three books but, alas, they set on my bookshelf unread.

That is one of the problems with accepting galleys to read ~ I always feel pressed to read the next in line so I don't pick up and read the lovely books languishing on my shelves.  I suppose if I was a faster reader I could do both.  Or if I didn't get so wrapped up in quilting, genealogy, or gardening then I would be able to read more.  The only plausible solution is to sleep less but then I would be miserable as would be those who had to live with me.

When Netgalley offered book four in this series I requested it.  Not the ideal situation ~ to read book 4 first but I thought it would provide the push I need to fall head over heels in love with this series so that I could not wait to go back and indulge in the earlier three.  Unfortunately, that didn't happen.

I was not prepared for a 12-yr-old heroine or the fact that these read like Young Adult fare.  I was not captivated enough to want to read when I could be working on my beautiful quilt.  I probably would have quit after 20 or 40 or 60 pages if it wasn't for the good reviews I had read on the earlier books.  Somewhere along the line I became intrigued but still didn't carve out time to read very often.  By the end I decided it was an okay book and I had grown quite fond of Favia.  And there was an interesting bombshell right at the end that makes me want to read book five in the future but I'm really not crazy about this series.  Since I own the other books I suspect I will get around to reading them someday but I don't feel compelled to get to them sooner than later.

I highlighted a few good passages.  This one from our young Heroine who is precocious and a budding chemist.
I had found by experience that putting things down on paper helped to clear the mind in precisely the same way, as Mrs. Mullet had taught me, that an eggshell clarifies the consomme or coffee, which, of course, is a simple matter of chemistry.  The albumin contained in the eggshell has the property of collecting and binding the rubbish that floats in the dark liquid, which can then be removed and discarded in a single reeking clot: a perfect description of the writing process.
Wouldn't those be fun sentences to diagram?!  Another quote from Flavia.
Antigone smiled at me like a Madonna who had just had a foot massage.
I do love the covers and they look quite nice stacked on top of each other just across the room from where I sit at my computer.  The first, The sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, is green.  The next yellow and the third is a pretty purple.  And the last is blue.  I may take them to the quilt store and see if I can find those pretty colors in fabric.

This book will be available in bookstores on Jan 29.


Zibilee said...

I know that there have been some people that have not really gelled with this series, despite what is supposed to be a very precocious narrator. I do't tend to like precocious children, so I have been doubtful of these books as well. I'm sorry that you didn't love this one all that much. It's always disappointing to discover something that everyone else loves is just not for you. Very nice review today!

Les said...

I read the first in this series three years ago and I loved it. (Click here for my review.) I tried the second (on audio this time), but couldn't get interested. I'm not sure if I'll try the print version or not. I think I prefer thrillers to these quaint type of mysteries. Not really a cozy, but not edge-of-your-seat thriller, either.

Kailana said...

I really need to get back to this series. I really liked book 1, but I just haven't got around to it..