Thursday, August 8, 2013

Book Review - The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

This is officially the first book review I am posting on my blog. How I would love to say 'This book was awesome' and 'GO AND BUY IT NOW!!!' but sadly my opinion is quite the opposite.

But before I present my official verdict let me tell you, I bought this book a few years ago when I was still in school. The title page caught my eye and the first chapter was even more fun. I am reading it now, after my college is finished. So my opinion as a 22 year old would definitely differ from a general school reader. I am a person who is more generous with compliments than a critic cares to be. I express admiration where admiration is due. Sadly for this book, admiration is not even a consideration infact interest is a luxury. Thankfully though It wasn't so bad that I was unable to finish it, unlike certain absolutely horrible books that have put me to sleep on more than one occasion. (All respect to Virginia Woolf but sorry Ma'am, 'Mrs. Dalloway' put me to sleep better than any bed-time story ever written).

So you might say, I got through it. If however your fresh outta college and looking for a good book to read - this book is not for you. If your in school and looking for adventure and a fun experience - this book is still not for you. If however your a first time author and your looking for how NOT to write a book - THIS IS A MUST READ. Here's the problem with Mr. Bosch - The man or woman (since his identity is kept a 'secret' - wise choice for people would've killed him by now for writing this shit), has spent half the novel narrating how you should not read further or how he's already said too much or how the 'secret' is an unbearable burden which no reader should bare. After creating all this suspense, one would expect the culmination of the novel to if not leave you completely satisfied atleast attempt too. Sadly this does not happen. In a lackadaisical turn of events the author quite frankly suggests you to make your own ending.

The protagonist Cassandra is an eleven year old girl who is a 'survivalist' collaborating with another boy - 'Max Earnest' whose non-stop talking is rarely appreciated and both our 'heroes' find a magician's diary that creates much mystery. The mystery is not fully revealed, yet it seems the man has discovered a secret which is the fundamental basis of all life and a certain cult of Alchemists want to get their hands on it. The novel revolves around how these two children throw water on the plans of these two genius, semi-immortal, strange bad guys and getting themselves out of a sticky situation.

Here's the truth - Just when you think the book's about to get good - the plot loses its direction and the fuzzy drink which you open expecting the bubbles to over flow turns out to be flat. Its a proper let-down.

The action sequences have little action, the characters have little depth barring maybe Cassandra and Max-earnest. The profiles of the bad guys is incomplete, the profile of the dead magician (who apparently still lives) remains unclear. After a point you ask yourself 'What are these kids trying to solve anyway?' and sadly you get no concrete answer. There are bits of the book that give you bits of creativity, knowledge and ideas - eg. the concept of Synesthesia, Alchemy, the construction and setting of 'The Midnight Spa', etc. The question of what exactly is 'The Secret' is unanswered and our good guys are reprimanded for their heroic deeds by their school principal rather than be awarded for basically getting in trouble and being saved by a secret agent who conveniently appears when required and just as easily disappears.

Structure wise Ring composition is used heavily and adds flavor to the writing but the dis interesting nature of the content fails to add value to the narrative. The inconsistent formal-informal tone the author strikes with the reader initially attractive later just makes one realize what a waste of time it has all been. In an attempt to salvage the debacle, the twist ending gives you hope; a light at the end of the tunnel but by this time you seem to ask yourself if you really care about any character at all.

So all in all I'd rate this book a miser 2/5 stars.

If this is your first book Mr. Bosch, you sir have a long way to go. But this much I do agree that you have great potential. I suggest you use it for your next project.

If there's one lesson I learnt from this book is that if the author tells you 'Don't read further' You might wanna take his word for it.

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