I usually do not read books written for children or young adults - especially fantasy.
I have a hard time following fantastical creatures and plots that seem realistic, but suddenly twist and and turn into something very unreal. Fantasy catches me off-guard. It surprises me in a way that makes me feel duped. I don't understand why the cricket is talking, why the wizard turns the boy into a squirrel, how a wardrobe a wardrobe can open into a magical land. I do not speak a language from Middle Earth nor do I imagine myself coming in contact with Greek gods and goddesses. I feel utterly lost in Oz.
But all disbelief was suspended for with Doris and the Ankh. For me, the informing style of narration was a benefit. I followed the events of the story without needing to go back again and again, questioning what just occurred. I was able to become submerged in the dark and whimsical.
The imaginative story moves along at an efficient pace, leaving no room for boredom. Dialogue is well-written and creative, and although Doris is stereotypical at times, the familiarity of archetype is like traveling with a friend.
And with the formula of hero + 3 unique companions, humor and tragedy are a must. Readers will find them here.
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