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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Tourmaline - Paul Park

Read for the Once Upon a Time V Challenge.

Have you ever read a book, or series of books, because you just had to see what exactly the author was going to do next, because you never knew what would be? (Original Dune series, I’m looking at you!) This series, which began with A Princess of Roumania, is becoming one of those series.

The plot is simple enough: Miranda Popescu is the last daughter of the Brancoveanu family, the old rulers of Roumania, which in the world of the book is a greater power than it is here, though under threat by the Germans. Miranda’s father is killed before she is born, so her aunt sends her an alternate world (ours) where she grows up in a small town in Massachusetts, with her friends Peter and Andromeda. She’s brought back to her world, with her friends, in fact her protectors sent to the other world with her, in the first book of the series. In this book, they make their way over to Roumania, and Miranda comes into her birthright as a Princess of Roumania.

Now, throw in a five year time shift that is only explained as a five year time shift about five chapters later; a villain who is the alternate reality version of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu; two men that were submerged in the bodies of American teenagers, and only slowly coming back to their knowledge; and a world where Africa is the most technologically advanced continent, but you only realize this from hints in the general conversation, and you’ll start to understand why I just had to keep reading to see exactly what the author would come up with next. It also explains why it took me about two weeks to read it: you would not believe how many twists and turns this book contains. It’s certainly an interesting tale, but not in any way approaching light reading.

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