The Crystal Bird By Helen Drayton

My copy was obtained for free through a GoodReads First Reads Giveaway.

I found this book very hard to get into. For the most part, the language got in the way- things were given too much of a spin to poetic to make sense at first for me, but the story itself was still interesting enough that I wanted to see how it would end.

The middle was no better, you get to see what’s going on, but there’s some distance that kept me from really getting into the story, too much back and forth where I had to stop and think ‘they weren’t part of the last scene right?’ and regain my bearings in the land and story overall to figure out what was going on.

Sometimes just the use of a first or last name threw me off what character was being referred to, the same thing happened with job-titles, in place of one uniform way to say what character the paragraph was about. This was compacted with the problem of too quick a flip to another section of what was happening in the story elsewhere, too large a gap in time in some places for a smooth flow of unrestricted story. It was too easy to set the book aside and read others I had picked up at the library at points.

The end of the story was brilliant though, very emotional, I actually cried a bit at the more tender moments. The end of the story was absolutely amazing compared to the beginning and the middle of the book in that the flow was perfect, easy to understand the flips on who’s side of things the reader was being exposed to and why, and I could scarcely put the book down at that point. I just wish the rest of the book had been this way. The end is worth struggling through the rest to read though, at least I think so.

This seemed to be part one of a larger story, and though I found flaws with this part of the larger story, I do hope that part two continues close to where part one left off, or at least we’re given a small peak at what happened in the between time of where this part ends, and part two begins.

Overall I think this book could have used some smoothing, but that just might be part of it’s charm. I’m definitely going to re-read this one again and see if I notice anything differently once some time has passed and the story not so fresh in my memory, though I think I’ll leave a second review to my blog instead.


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Filed under Africa, Historical Fiction

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