Thursday, February 02, 2012

11 PM Book Review: Switched

Switched is about Wendy, a troubled young woman who's mother tried to kill her when she was a child, and who has been in the care of her aunt and brother ever since. When she starts to exhibit psychic powers, a strange young man begins stalking her. Chased by kidnappers, the strange young man sprits her away to a secret city. There she finds out that she is a changeling: Trolls (or Trylle of the series title) live in secret along side human beings. They steal human babies, and put troll babies in their place. When the troll babies are reintegrated into troll society, they bring the money and influence of their adopted families back with them. She's not just any troll either. She is the daughter of the Queen.

I picked this up because I often read self pub wonders (and dream of being one) to see what "takes off". It's easy to see why people enjoy this. The voice is engaging, the prose is upbeat and active. It's an easy read, and despite the poor editing, a pretty smooth one.

That said, the editing is poor. There were a good number of malapropisms and a fair number of typos. Probably not more malapropisms than Alter of Eden, by James Rollins, or more typos than in Briarpatch, by Tim Pratt. I don't think I'll pick another one up because despite the fact that it is an engaging read, the trylle/changling society is rigid and unsympathetic: aristocratic, classist and racist. Although the Trolls get their kids back, humans are never returned to their human families and remain as a servant class. Wendy's lack of motivation to leave really kind of makes her a milksop. I know the idea of being a "princess" is a powerful narcotic to many people. However, Wendy, as written, has little interest in being a princess. And the idea that an entire separate race could prey on other people's children in a 21st century U.S. was kind of unconvincing as well.

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