Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Deadly Game of Magic

The only reason I read A Deadly Game of Magic by Joan Lowery Nixon is because it was free. Granted, most of the books I read are free—from the library. But I was actually able to take this book on an overseas flight.

I read other Joan Lowery Nixon books as a teenager—and I enjoyed them. Either I had no taste in books at the time or Deadly Game is just a stinker. (Since Lowery Nixon is an Edgar Award winner, I hope it’s the latter.)

In the book, four high school students are trapped in a rainstorm. Although the plot—about a demented magician—is unbelievable, the real problem with the book is the dialogue.

The teenagers simply do not sound like teenagers. Teena, in particular, spouts platitudes and clichés like a middle-aged woman: “You got guilt all over your face like jam” and “Looking at you is like staring at a window with the shade pulled down” are my favorites. I have never heard anyone talk this way—especially not a teenager.

The book’s romantic” scenes are equally as uncomfortable. Lisa, the narrator, describes her crush, saying, “I watched him leave the room, his long, slender body moving easily, and I wanted to follow him, to touch him.” Is this really how teenage girls think?

Deadly Game is a fast and harmless read. But with so many other books out there, it is also a waste of time.

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