Monday, June 23, 2008

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

While I was at the library the other day, I noticed that Margaret Peterson Haddix has a new book out, Found, the first book in a new series. So, of course, I grabbed it.

It's a fun read, with the Haddix's usual array of strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths include an intriguing mystery, an interesting premise, and strong protagonists. The brother-sister relationship between Katherine and Jonah is well done, one of the best portrayals of sibling relationships I've read recently. It starts with a bang and is a genuine page-turner, lean and strong.

Weaknesses include the too-familiar scenes of hysteria. Yes, I'd panic too if I were locked in a cave outside time, but at the same time, the response here very much resembles similar scenes in the Hidden series; she's moving toward an authorial tick. More seriously, there is also a certain hand-waving about the basic premise/solution to the mystery. It does, as I said above create a fascinating dilemma and I am looking forward to seeing how the story plays out. I also find, however, that I can't quite believe it, just as I could never quite believe the third-child persecution and hysteria in the Hidden books. There's a certain tension between wanting to let go and just enjoy the plot and not being able to get the disbelief to remain fully suspended; it keeps sticking its toes on the ground and demanding my attention.


  1. Great review! I've, sadly, read books like that myself. Eragon and Eldest being the two most recent that just would not let me comfortably suspend my disbelief but, in this case through sheer poor writing, kept tossing me back into the cold light of reality which I was so desperately trying to escape for a few enjoyable minutes. :)

  2. Found doesn't quite "toss" you back, overall, it is a good read--there is a reason I read the entire Hidden series and will read the sequel to this book as well--but there is a persistent little tickle, a very small voice saying "but." It's a pity, really, because she does so many things right.