Skellig by David Almond
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
It's odd. The first time I read anything that could be considered Magical Realism, I was super impressed by the subtlety and the grounding of the tale, as if it was mostly traditional fiction bordering on allegory, only milder.
After a certain point, each Magical Realism tale sits rather more blandly than the last.
It's Fantasy-lite. For those people who are scared of using their imaginations but like a little bit of awe, a little bit of wonder.
Imagine such a person saying, "Oh, no, I'd never read FANTASY. Give me slice of life and coming of age story, only. IF it has a bit of awe and wonder in it and it's done WELL, then I *might* bump it up as my absolute favorite novel of all time because it shows everyone just how DARING I am. You know. Because I could never LOVE Fantasy. My friends will be so impressed."
Yeah, sure, Skellig does the mystery bit pretty cool, but it's like a back-masking on an album about family drama, a premature kid sister and how it affects everyone in the family. Is it evolution? Is it an angel? We're meant to make up our own minds because the novel is meant to be timeless.
For me, it just feels a bit pretentious. And mild. Super mild.
And maybe I'm being too harsh. A lot of people love this. But to me, it's just barely dipping its toes in the interesting stuff and the rest is either just painful or fraught with a tiny bit of love thrown in.
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