Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
Lunatic/Elyon: Ted Dekker & Kaci Hill, July 27, 2016
My rating: ♦◊◊◊◊
Deep breath. I’ve run Lunatic and Elyon together into one feature-length day of misery because they are frankly awful and they need finished. If it weren’t for the fact they complete a decade-long reading journey of The Books of Histories, I would probably save myself the pain.
Even with the help of Kaci Hill in writing these last two volumes, Dekker still pulls out all the faithful tropes that have made this “young adult” interpretation so reliably dreadful. Six novels in, there’s less characterisation than you could swing a Horde at, and frankly if you haven’t given up caring what happens to the Lost Books, you deserve a medal. It’s just one infuriating contrivance after another.
Speaking of the Horde (who you kind of what to just kill everyone by now), they get completely recast in Lunatic for no reason at all. It seems like an afterthought. Perhaps Hill said to Dekker it would be interesting to add a political dynamic. Maybe she wrote this totally isolated bit of it and it got stuffed in just before it went to print. But the Horde infighting has all the dynamo of a flat sausage. With gristle. And no crusty roll.
Despite the apparently terrifying, gut-wrenching, exhilarating journey of a lifetime, absolutely none of the lead characters have changed in any discernible way. Take out the Dekker-patented melodramatic rhetoric (“her heart ached with the pain of a thousand cathear insertions after she spilled her precious, sweet, life-giving tea”… “they all wept together in love and unity when they agreed who to vote for in Forest Guard’s Got Talent, bound forever by a soul that was one”) and it’s essentially inane twaddle. The grand finale is as grand as an old Casio keyboard pretending to be a grand piano. The way Elyon ends almost makes me want to tear every page out and set each on fire individually because it’s the biggest birdie that a writer has flicked to his readers in recorded history. A five-word review could be boiled down to this: WHAT WAS THE F***ING POINT?
The four-part Circle saga was fantastic. I hope one day Dekker can find it in himself to forgive himself for what he’s done to it.