Friday, 9 March 2018

Review: Goldenhand

Goldenhand Goldenhand by Garth Nix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was well on the way to being a five-star book, but I'm deducting a star because of an odd lapse of protagonism at around the two-thirds to three-quarters mark (I was listening to the audio version, so I'm estimating; this also means I may misspell a character name below):

(view spoiler)

After that inexplicable protagonistic lapse, though, we do get a good conclusion. At first, I thought we were too close to the end to fit a resolution in, and that it would go over into a second book, but that turned out not to be the case; it's a fine resolution, well paced and satisfying.

In this book, Nix has properly mastered third-person omniscient point of view, and makes full use of it. In a couple of the earlier books in the series, he mostly follows one person's point of view tightly, but occasionally pops into someone else's head for a sentence or two, which gives a "head-hopping" effect; here, this is replaced by proper omniscient, including telling us things the characters don't know and informing us that they don't know them. It's a somewhat old-fashioned point of view now, but there's nothing wrong with it, and he uses it well.

The audiobook is narrated by a woman with a pleasant British voice, but on a number of occasions she misplaces sentence emphasis and makes a phrase sound like it means something different, leading to momentary confusion for me while I worked out where the emphasis should have been placed. She also has a habit - particularly marked early on - of pausing after a line of dialog and then giving the attribution, which makes it sound as if the dialog tag is a separate sentence. I assume this was because she was getting out of the character voice.

Overall, despite the brief lapse of protagonism, this is a fine entry in a series I enjoy very much. You probably wouldn't want to start here, since it draws together threads from all the previous books, but if you're already a fan, you'll definitely want to get this one.

View all my reviews

No comments: