Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: City of Flowers - Mary Hoffman

Synopsis: Everything changes for Sky Meadows when he finds a magical perfume bottle on his doorstep and is whisked away to Giglia, the Talian version of Florence. But in the deceptive City of Flowers, much that seems beautiful may be dangerous indeed, and Sky finds himself caught up in a deadly feud between Giglia's two ruling families: the di Chimici and the Nucci. Politics, intrigue, and espionage unfold as the Stravaganti try to prevent hatred and revenge from leading to tragedy.

Review: This was the hardest Stravaganza book to get through - and not because of its length. There was just something about Sky - perhaps it was mainly in the name - that I just did not like, and out of the three family situations so far presented, I found his to be the least interesting and the most irritating because it is a family situation which authors and day-to-day people seem to beat to a pulp. This, combined with the fact that compared to Lucien and Georgia, Sky was a little on the cardboard side, presented a main character whose traits bogged the story down to a point where I would unconsciously search for a reason not to read it.

It was also extremely difficult to keep all of the di Chimici and Nucci people straight. The Author's rather bouncy manner of switching between various scenes contributed a lot to the confusion. I never really did like the way scenes traded so suddenly and almost without connection, but it never really affected the flow of the story and the various plotlines until now. In this one, the jumping-in-between was aggravatingly noticeable, and I'll admit that all of the scenes were important; I wouldn't edit a single one out. But I would have changed their order into a smoother one, so that things felt more connected. Because the many plotlines the Author has going are intriguing and they are good, but the almost random way in which their order of appearance is assembled leaves the Reader feeling confused and really lost.

Crack through these shortcomings, and the Reader is certainly left with a plot about as good as the last two, but it takes a lot of cracking in order to see the book's potential. City of Flowers was not my favorite; I hope the other two are better.
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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