I know what you’re thinking, “it’s Garth Nix’s book, and how could you rate it at 2 out of 5 stars?” Well, I must say, this book was just not for me. The story had the same pace throughout the whole book. I did not feel any connection towards the characters, and it did not help that I was not fond of the main character. I also felt like the romance was unnecessary and forced, I did not see any development between the two characters. She met him for a day or so and she seemed head over heels for him already, yet she barely knew the guy. The relationships did not properly develop, the characters did not seem to relate well as one and I felt like the romance was too forced, there were cute moments near the end but that was all. The hidden identities, the thief and the story were too predictable. I was hoping that the story would get better, seeing as everything seemed to have almost concluded halfway through but I was wrong. It prolonged when there was no need for it. I felt like the plot was missing a bit of the story line. They never even switched the story back to the father when he was the reason why Newt started this mission to begin with. The story seemed to have switched focus on Newt and Harnett instead.
The only character I was fond of was the Aunt, Badgery. The aunt was the most interesting character in this book. Her wand and cane slash sword was pretty cool. It reminded me of Lucius Malfoy’s cane-wand. She used the most sorcery throughout the whole book, I expected more seeing as it was supposed to focus on magic. I did not like how Amelia was supposedly a high sorceress yet there was not much evidence to back this fact, plus for an evil sorcerer she died too quickly. From a bow and arrow of a costume of all things, it was not even with the use of Newt’s powers. I wish we could have seen her powers develop, that she could have learned to use them and fight against Amelia seeing as she was eager to solve the case. But really, it focused more on her romance more than anything. Yes, she used it to stop the tsunami in the end, but it seemed too sudden. I just felt like everything concluded too quickly, they were to wed as soon as possible at the end of the story and the magic was not explained or expanded on, nor were there sources and skills, the plot was just too predictable which ruined it for me. I may have expected too much from this book, this is the first book of Nix that I was not fond of. I really did not want this book to be just a pretty cover with a bad story, but this may have been the first book I have read that was. I’m not saying Nix is losing his touch, because this was quite a different feel and style of his regular writing but this book was just not for me. I definitely prefer his high fantasy, filled with sorcery and great necromancers.