Saturday, February 28, 2009

Skin Hunger by Kathleen Duey

Skin Hunger (A Resurrection of Magic, Book 1) Skin Hunger
by Kathleen Duey

September 30th 2008by Simon Pulse
Paperback, 368 pages
0689840942 (isbn13: 9780689840944)
rating: 3 of 5 stars

DO NOT READ THIS BOOK.

YET.

For those of you who don't know, I have a rule that I neither buy, check out, borrow or otherwise read books whose sequels have not been published. I just get too darn impatient for the continuation of the series.

Well, I did not realize that Skin Hunger is a trilogy. Yes, it says so right on the book. Yes, I really can read. But I didn't. Big mistake.

Skin Hunger tells two stories, alternating chapter to chapter between the two. The first is the 3rd-person narrative of Sadima, a young woman with the ability to talk to animals in a place and time in which such magic is strictly forbidden. The second story is the 1st person account of Hahp, a second son sent to wizarding school, centuries after Sadima.

Skin Hunger is not like The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which has a sequel but is a perfectly complete story in its own right. It's not even like Paolini's Inheritance Cycle, in which each book does a respectable job of tying up a few plot lines before moving on to the next volume.

Instead, Skin Hunger introduces the two storylines, as well as the four main characters: Sadima, Franklin, Sommiss, and Hahp. These are difficult enough to learn, with the back-and-forth points of view. Indeed, it takes at least a third of the book, if not more, to even understand why there are alternating points of view. For a 350 page book, it's too confusing; it may be more appropriate for the 1000 page novel that the trilogy will become.

Then, just as you settle into the flip flopping and characters and their possible motivations, the book ends. The story doesn't end; in fact, I thought I'd maybe purchased a misprinted copy. The reader is left with more questions than answers and with severe annoyance at the abruptness.

Still, Duey's book won Newbery honors, probably because of her original concept and well-paced writing. I am definitely looking forward to the second volume Sacred Scars, but I strongly encourage you to wait until the third book (as yet unwritten) is released before diving into the trilogy.

6 comments:

  1. Amen on not starting series books unless every one is out already, or every novel has its own complete storyline (e.g. the Diskworld books, the Harry Potter books, the Harry Dresden books.)

    I was so mad I could spit when I got to the end Hyperion by Dan Simmons and found the story just...stopped. This was mostly because it had been a darned good book up to that point.

    All was forgiven when The Fall of Hyperion came out, because that finished the story, and the two books together comprised one of the best science fiction stories I've ever read in my life.

    But oh, how I cheated I felt at the end of Hyperion!

    Currently, the Song of Ice and Fire books are the ones that are driving me buggy. C'mon, George R. R. Martin...finish dat booooook.

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  2. I have Skin Hunger on my shelf and yes, I am waiting to read it until Sacred Scars comes out. Maybe even until the end of the trilogy...

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  3. We should do some book-swapping, Aerin my dear! Skin Hunger is one of the books I've been trying to acquire. :)

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  4. I usually don't read series books for the same reason. A few review books I got I didn't realize were parts of a series and now I'm dying to know what happens next!

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  5. I apologize, sort of, and just want to say that once all three books are out (Sacred Scars is finished and will release August 09) the endings will pull teens into the next book--which is the desired effect...and each book is longer than the last.

    I am experimenting with something artistically very interesting--A twitter novel. Twitter allows 140 characters--so it's character channeling,really, short little entries, four or five a day, archived and up to date here:
    http://www.myspace.com/229674238

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