Blue Window by Adina Gewirtz
Published by Candlewick Press on March 6th 2018
Genres: Children's, Fantasy, Fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult
Length: 576 pages Source: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
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Five siblings fall through time and space into a strange, unkind world -- their arrival mysteriously foretold -- and land in the center of an epic civil struggle in a country where many citizens have given themselves over to their primal fears and animal passions at the urging of a power-hungry demagogue.
When siblings Susan, Max, Nell, Kate, and Jean tumble one by one through a glowing cobalt window, they find themselves outside their cozy home -- and in a completely unfamiliar world where everything looks wrong and nothing makes sense. Soon, an ancient prophecy leads them into battle with mysterious forces that threaten to break the siblings apart even as they try desperately to remain united and find their way home. Thirteen-year-old twins Max and Susan and their younger siblings take turns narrating the events of their story in unique perspectives as each of the children tries to comprehend their stunning predicament -- and their extraordinary new powers -- in his or her own way. From acclaimed author Adina Rishe Gewirtz comes a riveting novel in the vein of C. S. Lewis and E. Nesbit, full of nuanced questions about morality, family, and the meaning of home.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Hmm. Mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, Blue Window was a really neat idea about five siblings who fall through a window and end up in a strange world where they have to find their way home and also not get destroyed by the strange looking humanoid inhabitants of that world. It was a fun ride with nuances of The Chronicles of Narnia and A Wrinkle in Time.
On the other hand, this book was almost 600 pages long, and told the story in each of the childrens’ POVs. I actually love multiple POVs, but with this book, the formatting was odd. I like multiple POVs when they switch comfortably between characters. This means we would fall into the most interesting perspective. Yes please! In Blue Window, 1/5 of the book is told by each of the children, starting with the oldest and working to the youngest. This was a bummer at times because by the time Max (for example) was doing interesting things, we’ve already left his perspective and oh well that ship has sailed.
I had a really hard time getting through this one. Not because of the characters – they were good. And the world building was good. But, my goodness, the pacing was really, really slow. Gewirtz took great pains not to skip by the mundane parts like learning and traveling. The problem with this is that all the real action happens in the last 60 pages because we’ve spent so long watching each child – one at a time – learn how to do the magic of this world. After 480 pages of this, the ending felt very anti-climatic. In some books, I like that vibe. In Blue Window, I was bored.
Overall, it’s an interesting book. I think it would have been lovely as a more Narnia-esque drawn out story with fewer mundane scenes and several smaller novels. This will appeal to folks who like sibling stories, magical worlds, and finding strength in yourself. There’s also a bit of a dystopia vibe, as this world has fallen to ruin.
Blue Window will be donated.
This is an interesting book, but it’s not one I think I’d pick up and revisit again. The pacing and method of multi-POV really bothered me. It was one of those books that once I got into it, I liked it well enough, but I had a difficult time making myself sit down and read it.
This one will be moving on into the world to be read by someone else, and hopefully loved and appreciated.