Friday, May 18, 2012

Daphne and The Mysterious Girls Secret Bathroom Society by Robert Shields

Following years of persecution at the hands of Vivica Vance, Daphne Downing levels the playing field wielding her No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil as she belatedly enters the world of witchcraft. Daphne becomes part of the Mysterious Girls’ Secret Bathroom Society and finds out that the politics governing witchcraft are daunting and sometimes deadly. She realizes she is aligned with the Charmers in this political battle with the Spiters led by her nemesis, Vivica. Along the way, she discovers that witches do not perform magic or witchcraft but a differentiated form of physics that only some women have mastered. The story deepens as she learns about the long history of witches’ domination and annihilation of wizards.

This was an interesting take on the idea of magic. It is a book for teens, or even pre-teens that, once it gets started, makes for an entertaining read.

The main issue I saw with the book is that it starts off too slowly. I don’t really see any teen reader sticking with it long enough to get to the real story, which is a shame. There are some lovely moments, and some quite original concepts in the story, which, when dealing with the idea of magic in the real world, is rather impressive. I’d expected to read something I’d already read before, but was pleasantly surprised.

The characters are fun, although I don’t quite understand what makes them who they are. They appear sort of fully formed, with Daphne and Vi disliking each other for no real reason. I kind of expected that to be a central point of the book and was a bit disappointed when it wasn’t.

The world building is the best thing about the story. It’s original and exciting, keeping the reader engaged. There’s just a nice atmosphere to the whole book which makes me think teens would enjoy it if they get past the first fifty pages or so.

Overall, a fun read.


TheReadingPenguin said...

I ended up really disliking this book, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. Great review!

From the Bench said...

I appreciate your review of my book and the insightful take on it. You do a great job with your site.