A book I have seen the film of for a change! However, I honestly don’t remember it much. It was fine, but didn’t stick with me.
I kind of feel similar about the book. Quirk publish beautiful books, and this one is no exception. The photographs are pretty special and add a lot to the book.
The story itself is fun in a Harry Potter sort of way. A light, family friendly adventure, which I think is exactly what it is supposed to be. I just can’t shake the feeling that without the photograph collection, few people would really love it.
Don’t get me wrong, I did have fun reading this book. I will read the others (I think there are three?) and the ideas for the world and the characters are interesting, if a little confusing. It just fell down in the last section.
Near the end of the book the universe suddenly gets a lot bigger, seeming like it could span all of space and time through some kind of time loop glitch. I’ll be honest I didn’t really understand what the laws were around how those work. I find a lot of series intro books suffer from this same trait, cramming a lot of lore in at the end to set up the next story.
I don’t mind the fact that the ending is really another beginning. What I didn’t like was the feeling that the mechanics of the world either changed, or weren’t clear, in order to support the story. Something that you couldn’t catch J.K.Rowling doing.
The lesson here is, if you have complex lore that won’t be in the story you’re writing, but another future story, make sure to introduce it slowly, and clearly, so you don’t have to back-load information. Often the end of stories can be busy anyway, tying up all of those loose ends.