Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Kathleen Duey, SKIN HUNGER
This National Book Award finalist is the first in the "Resurrection of Magic" series. Moving back and forth between two POVs and two time periods--linked by the character Franklin, who is young in one and old in the other--the novel describes a fierce and frightening "academy" where apprentices are starved until they figure out how to work true magic, which has been debauched and degraded by charlatans. Some of the language is quite beautiful: "It was silver-gray this morning, the flat color of a parlor mirror before the lamps are lit." But most of the fine metaphors are in the early chapters; the plot takes over the second half of the book and the writing becomes more ordinary. But it's a page-turner, and while not quite as dark or suspenseful as HUNGER GAMES, it's a good read.