Thursday, December 3, 2009
Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman
Take a occult-obsessed teenager who is hearing impaired with brittle bone disease. Add in a set of quirky friends, a dead friend who seems to still be around, tarot cards, magic books, weird parents, and problems with the friends of the library and you have a small idea how different this book is than anything you've ever read before.
Andromeda Klein is an odd, sometimes dense book that delves deeper in magic and occult than I ever cared to go but Andromeda herself is a fun and sympathetic character that I found myself pulling for through out the whole story. My favorite part of the book is the Andromeda-lexicon. Because Andromeda is partially deaf she often mishears what is said to her. Often her hearing errors are hilarious and charming. The miscues that she likes best she adds to her lexicon of words and uses as part of her vocabulary. For example she might mishear vacuum for bathroom and for the whole rest of the story whenever she has to go into the bathroom she refers to it as a vacuum. This would be very confusing except there is a lexicon glossary in the back of the book for easy reference.
Even though there is a glossary in the book to assist readers I still felt confused by all the occult references, and tarot-card characters. If I am really in to a subject I don't mind working hard at my reading but when I am not, I don't so reading this book often felt more like a chore than anything. I stuck with it since we are considering this book as a potential Mock Printz winner. I'll be shocked if it wins but it may because it certainly is unique and inventive and would appeal to both boys and girls.
Older teens. 3.5 stars out of 5.