We are introduced to Maya, her family, the mysterious cabinet of earths, and the curse that is part of her family history. Maya a Lavirottes her character is plain and quite unremarkable and whiny at the start of the book she’s comparing herself constantly to her five year old brother. Admiring his easy going nature and her inability to do the same. Moving to Paris we see her character struggling with her own unhappiness and making her sick mother happy. A lot of good elements for a great adventure there is an underline anxiety that simmers in the background through out, but the pacing is slow. So much so that even on chapter 4, I was still waiting for the pace to pick up but towards the end the story is off like a bullet.
Problem with that nothing of real relevance happens through out most of the story except for the briefest hints of the action to come. The synopsis reads of a family curse and a destiny Maya can’t escape and a choice that may cost her too much. To me with that kind of description I expected urgency—more action faster pace. Instead you feel as if you’re drifting through a long setup waiting for the real story to begin. Henri as a villain is smooth in a raise the hairs on the back of your neck way. A mixture of soft spoken charm and menace —this book has all good plot points, but even so the story unfolds at a snail’s pace. The thing with middle grade books being read by older readers is you either love or hate the story, I loved the concept . But the pay off takes too long to come and when it does it feels flat. I think speeding up the pacing would have benefited the all story elements and brought everything together and made it more compelling.
I would recommend this book for the 10-14 age group the pacing is more geared to this age group. As for myself I am into fast paced book so this wasn’t to my liking but I could appreciate the writing, the characters voice and the concept so for that reason I gave it a three and half stars.
Disclaimer : Don’t be discouraged by the negative content . All opinions stated in this post good or bad are constructive, and are mine only so please take my words with a grain of salt.
- Title: The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet
- Series: Maya and Valko #1
- Published: January 3, 2012
- Publisher: Harper Collins
- Genre: Fantasy
- Rating: 3.5 / 5
- Format: Hardcover
- Pages: 272
- Buy: Amazon | Barnes
All Maya really wants is for her mother to be well again. But when her baby brother James goes missing, 12-year-old Maya has to take on the magical underworld of Paris, in which houses have bronze salamanders for door handles, the most beautiful people are all hooked on the sweet-smelling “anbar,” and a shimmering glass Cabinet of Earths has chosen Maya to be its next keeper. With the Cabinet’s help, Maya may be able to do for her mother what doctors cannot: save her from death, once and for all. But now that the clock is ticking for James, the price the Cabinet demands may be too high.