It’s that time of the month again – Fiction in 50 kicks off on Monday! To participate, just create a piece of fiction or poetry in fewer than 51 words and then add your link to the comments of my post on Monday. For more information, just click on that snazzy typewriter at the top of this post. Our prompt for this month is…
Hope to see you there!
Today I’ve got a book that’s been on my TBR list for a while and was also one of the books I nominated at the start of the year as a title that I would particularly like to tick off in the Mount TBR Reading Challenge for 2017. Allow me to present to you my thoughts on The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham.
Ten Second Synopsis:
Rye lives in Drowning, a town that has been free of rampaging Bog Noblins for many a long year, thanks to the historical intervention of the Luck Uglies, a band of masked Bog Noblin slayers. The Luck Uglies have now disbanded thanks to the pompous and arrogant Earl Longchance and the village of Drowning is feeling the rumblings of the Bog Noblins once again. Why has Rye’s mother set so many house rules? What is the blue glow that eminates from the necklace that Rye has been told never to take off? And who will protect Drowning now that the Luck Uglies have gone?
Time on the TBR Shelf:
Two years? I’m not 100% certain, but roughly that long.
I picked this one up on layby a couple of years ago because it was a good price. I really wanted the edition with the cover pictured above, but decided to cut my losses and just grab it while it was on special even though the cover wasn’t the one I wanted.
Reason I haven’t read it yet:
I have a couple of books on the TBR shelf that seem similar in content and length, so could never make a decision on which one to start with.
- The world building here is as solid as all get out. Durham has created a perfectly believable world with its own monsters and guild of criminal saviours and much of it felt quite original. I liked the house rules that Rye had been given and these played a large role later on in the story, so it was good to see that all the bits of the world that Durham had set up were being intertwined more deeply as the plot developed. On reflection, this had a similar vibe to Garth Nix’s Sabriel. Although the plots and target audiences are quite different, both stories feel like the beginning of an epic, with a focus on setting things up for more complex interactions further down the track.
- The story had a cerebral feel about it and managed to avoid the usual tropes of series-opener middle grade fantasy offerings. The story itself is quite meaty and it was obvious that this book is the start of something much bigger.
- There are a few characters who turn out to be more than they seem, or are much more integral to the story than they appear early on, and it was interesting to discover that the characters that I thought would be important weren’t so much.
- Shady, Rye’s house cat, was one of my favourite bit part players, and it looks like I was right to place my loyalties there, because Shady has a larger role later on in the story.
Less Impressive Bits:
- The pace of the book was quite slow, with much of the action taking place in the last few chapters. At times I didn’t mind this at all and at other times I was wishing that something would happen to give the story a bit of a kick along. The majority of Rye’s discoveries take place covertly, on sneaky missions, and while this does allow a slow reveal of information, I did find myself wondering, “Where is this going?” more than once.
- I didn’t feel like Rye’s friends, Quinn and Folly, and some of the minor characters, were explored deeply enough. This may be rectified in later books, but it seemed like Folly and Quinn were just narrative devices to smooth Rye’s plot arc sometimes rather than characters in their own right.
On reflection, was this worth buying?
I enjoyed it, but could probably have just borrowed it from the library.
Where to now for this tome?
Not sure. I’m not entirely convinced that I’ll continue on to the next book in the series, so I may end up passing this one on to a mini-fleshling of the right age and interest set.
So that’s book number 13 in my climb up Mount Blanc. You can check out my progress toward the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017 here.
How goes your TBR pile?
Until next time,