Sunday, July 19, 2009
Anatopsis, by Chris Abouzeid
I have passed this book on the library shelf several times the last few months, but finally grabbed it when I knew there was going to be some time in between holds I've requested. I guess the name Anatopsis grabbed me.
Anatopsis is a young girl, a princess and a witch, heir to a mighty witch of a CEO (her mother). Her mother makes Donald Trump look like a nice guy. Ana finds herself locked up with the son of her mother's fiercest competitor, enduring brutally long lessons under their new tutor Mr. Pound. Her only friend is a serving girl named Clarissa, a mortal with a gift for trouble that can only be matched by Ana's magical gifts.
In the course of their lessons, Anatopsis becomes concerned about who Mr. Pound really is and what could fuel his relentless schedule and odd behavior. As she gets closer to the answer, her world gradually rips apart piece by piece.
I won't go any further about the plot than that, because it is a good story and shouldn't be spoiled. I like the author's references to Greek mythology. He has definitely added to the myths, and why shouldn't he, tales about the Greek gods always improve with some new element. The villains are truly flawed people with, to their minds, only the best of intentions and the worst plans for achieving their ends. Both Ana and her fellow student grow a little in the process, but not too much because they are still just kids. I'm finding the "don't ruin the environment" message has become prevalent in kids' shows, books, music, and even curriculum, and sometimes it bugs me. I try to teach my kids to leave things better than they find them, not to litter, not to waste, but frankly, the whole "green movement" is starting to tick me off. I KNOW! Be good to the earth and all that, but I digress. That's a soap box for another time.
I think one of my favorite characters is the dog, Uno. He talks and he is terribly sensible and pragmatic and a real friend that will be brutally honest when necessary.
My 12 year old also read this book but I didn't get a "Mom, have you read this one? You should read this next," so I'm assuming it was just a "like" for her, not a "love it".