Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: Chime


Author: Franny Billingsley
Pages: 361
Publisher: Dial
Source: Library
Synopsis: Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know. 

Briony is a wicked, bad girl. She has terrible witchy feelings and is incapable of love. We're told that very early on in Chime.

First thing to notice about Chime is the incredible voice in the writing. I read many chapters out loud with a slight attempt at a British accent because the words were so much fun to read aloud. Plus every sentence was interesting. I usually don't like descriptions much but I read every word of Chime since I loved Briony's narration. There was some foreshadowing that was apparent and some may think it was overdone but I enjoyed it.

I really liked the characters in Chime. Briony, wolfgirl, clever, fierce, a bit arrogant and loyal. Briony spoke her mind about everything and there were some moments I understood how she felt so perfectly that I couldn't help but love her. There was also Rose, intelligent, artistic but special in the sense that she doesn't act like everyone else. I loved the reality of her character; her screams, her way of counting steps, of saying "I prefer to..." Lastly there was Eldric, boy-man, who was definitely arrogant but a gentleman and genuinely nice and likable. All different but awesome characters.

Next cool thing was the world building. I love the Swampsea (though I'd never ever want to live there) and the Old Ones were given very cool names like Death Hand or Dark Muse. I could detect that there was a British influence and I could easily imagine the Parsonage thanks to great descriptions. Not everything was explained but I figured it out, sooner or later.

The mythology of Chime was very interesting and vast. It was cool to read about since it seemed to cover every creature from fey to vampires but it didn't take a front seat in the story. The magic all around helped and supported the story but the story wasn't really about magic. Not to me. There was a different message being sent, and the way it was delivered happened to be with magic. I loved that! I'm not saying I don't love a story about magic but the mythology here was used in a different way which stirred things up.

I really liked Chime, which definitely was a story worth reading. It's a very unique story and I'll remember it. 4 stars,


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