Abandon by Meg Cabot (ARC) - Last year, Pierce died - just for a moment. And when she was in the space between life and death, she met John: tall dark and terrifying, it’s his job to usher souls from one realm to the next.
There’s a fierce attraction between them, but Pierce knows that if she allows herself to fall for John she will be doomed to a life of shadows and loneliness in the underworld. But now things are getting dangerous for her, and her only hope is to do exactly what John says... From Amazon UK
I hadn't read any Meg Cabot before picking up this novel, but as it sounded right up my street, I thought I'd give a go and see why people love her novels so much. I was expecting to be wowed, I was expecting to be blown away. The truth is, I didn't get any of those things. I was hugely disappointed.
Nothing happened in this book until half way through. The first half was mostly showing Pierce feelings over now living in Isla Huesos, and all these different events that happened in the past, like what happened when she died, and various other big events. This wouldn't be so bad if we were told everything at once, but we aren't. We're given dribbles and trickles, never fully finding out what happened at each event until you reach the middle, and in my opinion, it wasted a lot of pages and time. It wasn't as exciting, because we already knew it was all in the past, so she didn't die permanently, or end up seriously injured, so there was no suspence, it was just finding out what happened, and it took so long.
Then things finally get moving... except, they don't really. It's full of things that you think will be subplots - a banned high school tradition, animosity between Pierce's cousin, Alex, and the popular kids - but they never amount to anything. They may be continued in the next book, but I don't see any point as they're so inconsequential to the main story. All that's really interesting is a conversation Pierce has with a cemetary Sexton, where you finally start finding things out, but nothing major really happens until the last 20 pages.
The whole story just dragged for me, unfortunately. It was very much the first book in a series, just setting everything up - but I've since been told by a Cabot fan that that's what all her fisrt books are pretty much like, so I guess die-hard Cabot fans will still enjoy it. But I have to say I was bored quite a lot of the way through, and in my opinion, a lot of it could be cut out, and it would be snappier and more interesting as a novella. There is potential for it to get better though, and I'm undecided on whether or not I will read the sequel, Underworld, when it's released next year. We'll see.
Thank you to Macmillan for sending me a review copy.
Published: 2nd September 2011
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Buy on Amazon US
Meg Cabot's Website