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Splendors and Glooms

Posted on Jan 25, 2014 by in Book Reviews |

Splendors and Glooms

The master puppeteer, Gaspare Grisini, is so expert at manipulating his stringed puppets that they appear alive. Clara Wintermute, the only child of a wealthy doctor, is spellbound by Grisini’s act and invites him to entertain at her birthday party.

Seeing his chance to make a fortune, Grisini accepts and makes a splendidly gaudy entrance with caravan, puppets, and his two orphaned assistants.

Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are dazzled by the Wintermute home. Clara seems to have everything they lack — adoring parents, warmth, and plenty to eat. In fact, Clara’s life is shadowed by grief, guilt, and secrets.

When Clara vanishes that night, suspicion of kidnapping falls upon the puppeteer and, by association, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall.  As they seek to puzzle out Clara’s whereabouts, Lizzie and Parse uncover Grisini’s criminal past and wake up to his evil intentions. Fleeing London, they find themselves caught in a trap set by Grisini’s ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it’s too late.(

To me, this book was okay, but it didn’t really draw me in.

For starters, I didn’t really care about Clara. Oh, she got kidnapped? That’s great, good for her. Look, she got turned into a puppet. Wow too bad.

As for Lizzie Rose and Parsefall? They seemed like background characters. None of the characters really stood out too me. I didn’t really care for them. I felt no connection. Parsefall has his finger cut off? Oh. That’s sad.

The plot itself was okay, the general idea of the puppets and stuff.  There are different POVs in this book, and it just all goes together at the end. It was a litte ‘ what the heck is going on’ thing at the beginning but it gets better after a while.

There is no actual…real action like swords and stuff, but there is a lot of running.

Really, the background story of characters ran the show. (What was the witch’s name? Cassandra I think.) Cassandra has a real good back story. It’s simple, the way the author explained it, and I wish the author went deeper.

I think that’s the main problem with this book. The book wasn’t really ‘deep’. You would describe it as a dark book, but it’s not. Dark books should have meaning and I didn’t really get anything out of this except reading it for book club in which I will rant about how shallow this book is.

There just really isn’t a lot to talk/review about. I just didn’t really get into it. And it’s not just because there wasn’t the kind of action I liked. (The Fault in Our Stars doesn’t have swords and I loved it)

To me, if there isn’t action, there must be meaning and there wasn’t much in this book.