Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: The New Policeman - Kate Thompson

The New Policeman by Kate Thompson
Series: New Policeman #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on January 11, 2007
Published by Greenwillow Books
Pages: 442
Read From: 7.10.12 - 7.14.12

Cover Blurb: I like the clock gears and the blue color. But I think it’s a little misleading because my first thought when I saw this cover was that it was a time travel story, and it isn’t.

What I Liked: All the tunes at the end of each chapter! Being a musician, how can I not like that? While I am not a fan of J.J.’s name, I liked him pretty well as a protagonist, though I’ll confess he isn’t the most memorable protagonist I’ve encountered. But I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse him of being cardboard. I was mostly too distracted by some of the story’s flaws to really pay attention to him as a character. I did love the other characters, though, especially the ones in Tir na n’Og. They were every one of them memorable, with their peculiar traits.

What I Disliked: Most of this falls under the category of writing style, so I’ll just put down some here, and that is the book’s title. It does not become apparent until the very end of the story why the book is named after Larry O’Dwyer - the new policeman in the village. He isn’t a very prominent character - quite absent, in fact. And yes, the end does explain in full why the book is named after him, and it makes sense then, but up until that point, it’s just confusing and consequently annoying. The Author ought to have put a few more hints to the importance of his role earlier on in the story so the Reader isn’t going, “O-kay, why is he important again?”

Believability: I’ll address the Author’s musical knowledge in this section, since believability is rather inapplicable to this story. Well, I’ll say this, the Author does know something about music, and clearly understands the musical abilities that come to musicians who start at a young age. And clearly she knows something about fiddling. I probably sound surprised at this discovery, and I am, because there are a number of Authors out there who write about music, but don’t have a clue about what they’re talking about. I am happily pleased (and yes, I know that is grammatically incorrect) to announce that this Author knows what she’s talking about - yay!

Writing Style: The style itself is fine. It’s the pacing of the story that I had trouble with. The first 100 pages of the story is very slow, but there is just enough of a What the heck element that it kept me reading. Once J.J. ends up in Tir na n’Og, I expected the pace to pick up a bit, and it did. Only just, though, and in all reality it only held my interest because of the few random strange things that happened while he was there. But the reality is the story doesn’t pick up much. Half of me says that this lent an air of surreal-ness to the story, and the other half of me says that it just made the story less than it could have been. I tend to agree with the latter half most days. And then there was the Author’s portrayal of Tir na n’Og. I always love reading the different variations Authors have on this, but I didn’t much care for hers. At first I kind of liked it, but as time went on, I decided that it lacked the eerie magic and the pure wildness I always imagined to be found there. The only eerie part was the fact that it looked like J.J.’s village, and that’s about it.

Content: Nothing.

Conclusion: The solution to the time leak bordered on being lame. It felt too simple, too easy. I liked how it tied into one of J.J.’s family legends, but when the time leak was fixed, my immediate reaction was, “That’s all you do? Seriously?” This story could have used a climax; it completely lacked that.

Recommended Audience: It’s both a girl and guy read, suitable for any age, and recommended to anyone who likes stories that deal with Irish legend.

Others in This Series:
1)The New Policeman
2)The Last of the High Kings
3)The White Horse Trick

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