Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Review: Nieve by Terry Griggs

Nieve by Terry Griggs, illustrated by Alexander Griggs-Burr 
Publisher: Biblioasis
Publication Date: April 30, 2010
ISBN: 9781897231876
Source: copy provided by publisher 


 Nieve leads a pretty normal life, even if her parents happen to be professional weepers.  But, when a string of strange events start happening in her town that seem to signal a complete dark takeover, things are about to get very odd.  From the noxious weeds and the dark clouds, to the spooky creatures and four-toed footprints, Nieve is discovering there is a lot going on that she doesn't know about.  Now, it is up to her and some odd companions to save her town from its dark fate.

Things I Liked:
The story was brimming with unique and quirky and just plain odd characters and creatures and happenings.  It was a pretty good story, once it started going and I wanted to know how Nieve would respond to the different difficult situations she gets into.  I became invested in how the plot would turn out and I enjoyed some of the quirky-ness that was rampant in the book.  The few illustrations in the ARC were very good as well, creepy like the book.  I liked this little sentiment that Nieve expresses in the midst of the dark happenings:

"Funny things still happened even when you were surrounded by nothing but bad ones.  Like flickers of light in the dark, she thought.  Like good luck charms, only more effective." p 127 of ARC
Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit to not being too interested in the story.  I think it was a little too bogged down with hundreds of unexplained strange creatures and experiences.  Nieve would run into one after another odd thing and just kind of blow it off.  Most of these were never explained to my satisfaction, though maybe others more versed in the Old Country's customs would understand better.  I also was a bit bothered by Griggs' writing style.  There were a lot of sentences with odd structure that annoyed me, but that is hopefully fixed in the final version (ie: "In this part of the city the buildings they passed were more of a random clutter, a graveyard of old styles, crumbling and derelict, a number decorated with gargoyles - hideous, leering faces that appeared to leap out at them but were insensible, too dry-throated even to spew fetid water on them." p 162 of ARC).

Felt a lot like Neil Gaiman's books Coraline and The Graveyard Book

Spellbinder by Helen Stringer

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: ->
there were a few really disturbing scenes (quite gruesome)

Overall rating: ***

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  1. Wow - I grew up in the same area as Terry Griggs! (I know that sounds vague, but it was a small area, and there are very few writers who come from home!) I always get surprised when I see her 'out there' in the world. I'll have to keep an eye out for this.

  2. Caroline, I love my local authors too - I always feel like I "know" them. I think I'd like to try her other series - Cat's Eye I think it's called?


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