Author: Cheryl Bentley |Twitter
Release Date: October 1st, 2012
Publisher: Sparkling Books
My Interest: Review request
Source: eBook, NetGalley
Age Group | Genre: MG/YA (?) | adventure, paranormal, chiller
I was excited to get the chance to readthis book because it was my first review request, and the print book doesn’t come out until October! However, I was not pleased with my reading.
I initially thought to myself, This is a perfect read for Halloween. I can always appreciate a good ghost story. And this is why:
Petronella lives in a little cottage on the outskirts of Fort Willow, and she often keeps to herself because she just happens to be the person no one likes. Well, except her cat Maalox who sort of brings trouble upon her when he digs up some buried skeletons. Suddenly, Petronella comes face to face with the Trogot– a tree monster– has a ghost-boy living in her house, finds herself faced with midnight visits by a headless horseman, and realizes her village is being overrun with ghosts. Is it too much for dear, old Petronella? Or will she end up saving her village of Fort Willow from the spirits that have started roaming the streets?
Part one of the book was a little slow and I had a hard time turning the pages, but for a review, I will always read the whole thing. And I am glad I did because part two dove into an area I enjoyed. Bentley pulled from Dante’s classic, The Inferno, and modeled the plot line of part two after the circles of Hell. I thought that was a very clever move and an interesting concept for this novel. It worked well and kept me entertained.
What I realized as I was reading along though is that I really didn’t know how old Petronella was. Was she a teenager, a middle aged woman, or an old lady? I ended up with the impression that she’s around middle aged which immediately shut down this story as a MG/YA read for me. If a book is going to fit into those genres, the protagonist has to be a teenager otherwise the intended reader will not connect with them. Sure, Petronella seem to be extremely ostracized by her neighbors, and I am sure kids could relate that to bullying, but it just didn’t seem believable that the townspeople would truly treat her as bad as they did in the book. Their attitudes just seemed highly overdone.
But what really got me with this novel was the language and grammar. Both drove.me.crazy. Firstly, the ghost spirits or Strincas, talked in a supposed Old English manner. Now, don’t call me nerdy, but I have actually learned how to spell and speak some Old English, and adding a ‘th’ to the end of every word is not involved. After awhile I got into a rhythm of reading the language, but anytime I took even a miniscule break, it took me forever to get back into trying to decipher the language. I also found this a hard read, physically, because the grammar was atrocious. There were several punctuation and style errors on every page, and it really distracted my reading of the novel. I think that Bentley has an interesting and fairly original concept with her storyline, but the editing hurt my enjoyment of the book tremendously.
For that reason alone, I have to give this book a (1). Petronella & the Trogot isn’t necessarily a fluff read on idea–as I said, I LOVE the symbolism of The Inferno, but if a book isn’t grammatically correct, how will I ever use it to teach my students correctly?
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ebook ISBN/ Price:978-1-907230-47-9$6.99
Print ISBN / Price: 978-1-907230-45-5 $14.95