Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Extra-Ordinary Princess by Carolyn Q. Ebbitt

The Extra-Ordinary Princess is Princess Amelia, youngest of four princesses and feeling very ordinary around her sisters' beauty and grace. However, when their parents die of the plague and her sisters are cursed by her evil uncle, it's up to Princess Amelia to find the extraordinary within herself and save her family.

This touches on themes of self-confidence and feminine empowerment, but I was really disappointed overall with this book (especially with the high reviews on The plot was all over the place, jumping around the chronology of the story to the point of distraction. The world-building felt very fluffy and anachronistic: while steampunk has proven that we don't have to have the same timeline of technology in all our stories, the umbrellas and telegraphs just felt out of place. The details seemed very American-fantasy, like the children playing jacks and hide-and-seek. The fantasy land that doesn't exist has a tutor teaching English and French.

I was bothered to the point of being unable to read through the book by the disorganization and inconsistencies in both plot and tone. While younger readers might not notice that so much, and younger girls might enjoy identifying with Amelia, a new "princess with moxie," I suppose, this one wasn't for me. I ended up skimming most of it, and then reading the last few chapters, which jumped around the chronology just as much as the beginning.

Overall... meh.

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