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Trickster's Girl By Hilari Bell

The Ghost Shrink Story
How did PJ get this book?

Release Date:
January 3, 2011


Book Depository


Trickster's Girl By Hilari Bell

PJVs QUICKIE POV: Trying to jump "Out The Box" in YA might not have worked well in Trickster's Girl's favor. While I did read, Trickster's Girl to the end, I seriously contemplated just hitting delete on numerous occasions. I think reading this on vacation gave me more patience than I normally have - especially for books. The book did stimulate a sense of suspense and climatic "chase" situations but overall it fell flat and irksome.

REVIEW: The setting is the year 2098 and Kelsa is your typical YA dystopian teenager. She is trying to deal with the death of her father and getting by in a very repressive and over-bearing nanny state. The current US government has been hit hard by terrorist attacks so the state borders are monitored, religion is almost cult-like and you can't even bury your father the way you want. 

In an act of daring, Kelsa "steals" her father's ashes and is determined to bury him in the way she believes he would have wanted. Alone in her grief she is startled by a boy who claims he is magic and he needs her to complete a task. She quickly dismisses him as crazy - but he is relentless and will not leave her alone.
When odd things begin to happen, including witnessing him turn into a fish - Kelsa is forced to believe that magic is real and alive, but not quite well in the world. She also might be the only human that can help save the Earth and repair the damages that humans have inflicted on the world, which is killing not only her dimension, but the other dimensions that are attached to Earth.

Frankly speaking, I'm tired of these global warming end of world type scenarios. Might be a bit played out, don't you think? More importantly, I'm tired of novels that always portray humans as the bad guys. The evil polluters and creators of nuclear energy. The ones that are choking the life out of all the magical beings that would rather see magic go down in flames than the human race to live on. That was strike one.

Strike two was the unrealistic nature of the novel. This nanny state type environment 100 years in the future that really hasn't progressed more than our current technology. The "wheel" cars were electric, the regular cars were magnetic technology - which we already employ in trains. The "coms" were basically phones, with GPS and internet. The scans: thermal imaging. I just didn't see the "future imagination" that I love with futuristic science fiction. Some of my favorites, like Henlein and Asimov mad bold futuristic predictions, their imaginations dreaming up water beds, the cell phone and electric cars fifty years before their inventions.

Put things in perspective in Trickster's Girl future world... 1910 compared to 2010 technology. Think how different 2098 technology will be. For Heinlin's sake... just the jump in technology from my high school years (which aren't that far ago) when kids carried beepers - not cell phones, to today where we all carry iPhones and Droids. If someone would have described an iPhone to 17 year old Parajunkee I wouldn't have believed it. A phone that can video chat - that was science fiction - I was just trilled that I could beep someone a certain number and it spelled out HELLO if you turned it upside down. 07734

Strike three was the incarnation of Raven.  I couldn't relate, didn't like him and thought the back and forth play between him and Kelsa seemed forced. There was a hinting of romance, but I think even the author knew there was no possible way to even incorporate a small romance between a god-like "seducer" and an innocent girl without it getting icky.

Say something nice, Parajunkee. There was a high suspense time at the end of the novel that I found intense and by the time I got to the end I was engaged. Kelsa was a strong character and I liked her.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Dystopian fans. Nothing to be scared to pass on to your 12 year old.


Anonymous said...

Niceeee review...I didnt really like this one either, I thought it was kind of bashing the USA and Americans. I agree Im sick of the global warming end of the world storys. I dont know if I could handle one of those little electric tonka cars.

Jessilyn said...

haven't read this one put the whole global warming thing turns me off to I mean were going through that now in 2098 I hope we got something figured out the author could've done better on that one.

ParaJunkee said...

@Tina - thanks. Yeah...the whole Global Warming and Nuclear power will destroy the planet gets a little old. I want to read some creative end of world scenarios. We've outplayed disease so that is out - so very early 90s. Asteroids played out - late 90s. 2012 has been done...zombies done. Maybe we can switch it around, bring the whole Ice Age thing back. That was played in the 70s but people don't have that long of memories...
BTW - Our second car is a Prius hee hee. It's got some kick!!!

@Jess - Yeah, you think they would have found another reason we are destroying the planet by 2098, right???

Nely said...

Great review. I just got an e-mail saying I was getting this one for review too. Hmmmm, now I want to read it just to see how I feel about it.

Chanelle said...

This was exactly how I felt about the book too. Here's a link to my review:

Kat said...

I thought hard about requesting this one from NetGalley... guess I probably won't now. I love dystopia, but lately everything seems like the same old song and dance. I like Carrie Ryan's version of the end of the world better... hostile zombie takeover. :) Thanks for the review!

-- Kat @

Sniffly Kitty said...

I would actually like to see a comedic dystopian piece. Something where someone accidentally destroys the world. Maybe that person's descendants try to make it all better only to fail hilariously.

Sniffly Kitty

Ladybug said...

Oh, I hope I like this one better than you did. I also have a review copy on my Kindle. Thank you for your honesty :)

Lily Child said...

Great review. Thank you for your honest opinion.

Chazz said...

I have one more book to read before getting to this one so I only read your first para.
I wasn't sure about this when I requested it, and just reading those few lines from you is sort of confirming my preconceptions of the book.
I'll give it a fair go when I get to it and possibly give it the same sort of review you have.


Natalie (I'd So Rather Be Reading) said...

We felt about the same about this book... a little flat.

ComaCalm said...

I wasn't too impressed with this book either.

Amateur Voice said...

I'm going for this book just because the girl Kelsa and I share the same name. That just has me tickled right now. LOL

Great review!


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