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100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson
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Dandelion Fire: 04/30/12

cover art

Dandelion Fire by ND Wilson is the sequel to The 100 Cupboards. Although this book shares the same world and same characters and seems to start where there the previous one ended, it bears little else in common with the original.

At the start of the book Henry's told his parents have been released, are getting divorced and that he will be flying home to his mother in a very short time. Not wanting to go back to his humdrum life, knowing what he's learned about himself and his family in his recent adventures, he turns towards the now off limits cupboards as a means of escape.

Before he can even put his plan into action, he is given second site and a temporary blinding. The blinding, though, lasts long enough to make Henry basically a useless protagonist. He's put in bed where he's left to mope and stuff happens around him.

Those events include Henrietta being the one to go through the cupboards to one world and getting captured, the house being half put into a world of its own and finally Henry's aunt, uncle and the rest of the family also going through the cupboard for reasons not every satisfactorily explained.

In and amongst all this commotion, Henry also ends up in the cupboard, in one of the alternate worlds, where he sets about learning about his past and his new found powers. The only problem is Henry had spent so much of the time not acting that I'd lost all interest in him as the hero of the book.

If there's a hero of the book, it's Henrietta this time. Except, she's robbed of her chance to shine because she's competing with her family's nonsensical adventures and her cousin's flailing around with the after affects of the dandelion fire.

For all of these jumps between worlds and points of view, there's not enough plot to justify the confusion. Lord of the Rings, this book is not.

It could have been an excellent book had it just focused on Henrietta. Instead, it ends up being a mess.

Two stars

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