Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Searching For Arthur (The Return To Camelot #1)) by Donna Hosie

The fiction around the Arthurian legends was one of my favorite reading themes while growing up.
Let's be honest, everything is more interesting than... analytical geometry and trigonometry! 

Themes as loyalty, companionship, and above all, honour, were always able to catch my interest. Due to that, I read quite a few books regarding Arthur and his Knights. Some told from his companions POV (for instance, Patrick McCormack's Albion duology, or Bernard Cornwell's The Arthur Books), others from Guinevere's pov (like Rosalind Miles' trilogy).

Ironically neither of them was as teen (or better yet, new adult) oriented as this one, now that my teen years are long gone...
...Thank God! (I mean, the teen years...)

I don't know if this is the author's first work, but she does know how to captivate her readers.
The story started out really strong.
A little dark, it promised to be such an incredible story!
It definitely kept me guessing where it was going.

Normally, books that involve time travel, are hits or misses for me.
The junction of the contemporary elements with mythology can either be done seamlessly, or in such an abhorrent way that one doesn't even know where to turn, much like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard...
Donna Hosie did it perfectly.

Our main character, who is a seventeen year old girl named Natasha, begins her journey into the unknown, when her brother Arthur (one year older) goes missing.
Like I said: This had such a strong beginning.

Natasha started out as an interesting character, but I'm afraid that in the author's attempt to develop her by opposition to another character (we will get to that in a minute), she ended up falling in the role of other stereotyped characters.

I liked that the author tried to pass the message that friendship comes before boys.
Unfortunately, it was short lived, and as such doesn't count!
Because______ _________  _______dragon!!

And, what was with that public declaration: MY LOVE!! (They knew each other for what... three, four days?)
O_O The thing could have been taken from a soap opera!

So friendship before boys...
Unfortunately it also got trampled by insta-love, bouts of jealousy that involved screaming out aloud about: Pigs!
And boys *knights* clutching their family... jewels...
It was strange, and too much!! And all of a sudden an interesting story disappeared beneath all that mush... and crazy hormones.

When I read the synopsis of this story, I thought that two characters that hated each other would be forced to bond, in order to discover Arthur's whereabouts. Girl power! Friendship!

My imagination got the better of me...

So we have Natasha and Samantha, respectively Arthur's sister and his girlfriend...
For me this was one of the story's weakest points.

It's impossible to see Natasha as a grown up when she's constantly referring to Sammy as Slurpy!
Yes, she and Samantha never got along... because *Arthur Jealousy*, but it was stupid!
I also didn't like how Samantha ended being called and written as whorish, because she was pretty, with curves, and took advantage of her cleavage...

Two modern day girls find themselves in another time period, and instead of sticking together, Samantha goes of into the unknown, because *stereotypes* and because someone has to be the ~evil dude/dudette?~

A "bad guy/girl" needs so much more in terms of characterization than what this girl got...
Sticking her tongue in Arthur's mouth, and apparently using his face as an ice cream, doesn't turn a person into evil material...

The sex...
Oh boy...
As if insta-love wasn't enough!
She's in another time period!! With a guy she met a couple of days ago, and she's having sex, because it's obvious they're soul mates!!! O_o WTF?
And she judges Samantha/aka M.? (yes, I'm being obscure on propose!) 

Of course there's no contemplation of what may happen... ~diseases~ pregnancy~ no health care~
How can I see this girl as intelligent and mature?
Also, there was a tragic event in the siblings' past. However, the way the author decided to "explain" how she dealt with it, was not good...

By this time, the story was a complete wreck of bouncing hormones...

Bottom Line:
A promising story that could have been so much more, if it wasn't for the full throttle romance.
Younger readers will probably devour it.

Oh, and I'm not even going to start on the fact of Natasha being able to pick up a sword... and using it!!
Unless it was a prop, _and unless she had the Hulk's strength _ c'mon....

Even so, I'm curious about the next volumes o_O

Buy "Searching For Arthur"
@ The Book Depository (With Free Worldwide Delivery!)

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