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5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

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Galloglass: 05/13/19


Galloglass by Scarlett Thomas is the third in the Worldquake sequence. Effie, Wolf, Lexie, Raven, and Max have to save the world during a midwinter's festival which the Diberi hope to corrupt to bring the end to the world.

The Diberi plot, though, is one small sliver of the multiple side plots that make up this book. They are all woven together in a way that reminds me of the early Discworld books, for better or worse.

The title comes from what type of magic user Effie is. It's one that has taken on negative connotations in the mainland and has lead to the expulsion of anyone diagnosed as one. For native mainlanders, that usually means a death sentence. For Effie, not so much, as she's from the Island. But it's still frightening and something she needs to do some serious soul searching about.

The most disturbing part of the book is Lexie's narrative. Her parents are hosting a famous magic scholar who is a lech. He has taken to abusing her physically and emotionally every chance he can get and because her parents are so intent on being the best hosts, she feels like she can't say anything. If she were to, she'd either be punished or disbelieved.

While I enjoyed most of this book, I'm taking one star off for a side plot that reads like a loose homage to The Outlaw Varjak Paw if it were to include the animals from Wonder Pets.

Of the three books so far, this one seemed to be trying too much in too little time. With five human protagonists to keep track of, each having their own separate adventures, along with the one involving the school pets and the cats' home, the narrative seems muddy. There are just too many separate plot threads and it's not entirely clear which mixture of adventures ended up thwarting the Diberi.

Four stars

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