Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: City of Masks - Mary Hoffman

Synopsis: Lucien is very sick: he struggles just to sit up in bed, plagued with exhaustion brought on by the treatment for his cancer. But a mysterious gift from his father - a beautiful red Venetian blank book - changes all that. Whenever Lucien holds the beautiful Italian journal, his mind is swept away to an enchanting Venice-like city called Bellezza while his earthly body sleeps peacefully.

During his many visits to the city, which become more and more real, Lucien leans that he is a Stravagante, capable of traveling between two worlds. But as his body begins to follow his mind to this other world, there is always the chance that Lucien may be caught on the other side of ime and not be able to return.

Review: It's taken me a long time to turn my attention to this series because it's popular, and usually when a series is popular, it is no good. I've been proven wrong in at least two other instances: A Series of Unfortunate Events and Alex Rider. I started reading Ranger's Apprentice before it hit the popular scale anywhere but Australia. The newest Stravaganza book's synopsis had me intrigued, so I was willing to start from the very beginning and see if once more I was incorrect.

I was. I would not rate the Stravaganza Series as good as Lemony Snicket's books, but it is hard to compare it against such a unique series as that one, so I won't. I've always liked parallel world stories (indeed, my own books will probably fall under that category), and I am already particularily impressed with this one. The imagery is vivid and beautiful, the characters intriguing and likable, the concept fairly original (the Author manages to make it seem so, at any rate), and the storyline itself attention-grabbing. While it takes a few moments for the villains to surface in City of Masks, it's not a boring wait. And for once, I actually enjoyed the sections that took place in our world!

I have nothing negative to say, and I hope that I never shall. I am currently waiting impatiently for City of Stars to come in at the library so that I may speed my way to the latest installment, and then I may join the other Readers yearning for the new story to be released in 2012.

Though I'm only through the first book, the Stavaganza Series comes recommended.

Overall Rating: 

Others in the Stravaganza Series:

1)City of Masks

2)City of Stars
3)City of Flowers
4)City of Secrets
5)City of Ships
6)City of Swords

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