Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Choir Boats by Daniel A. Rabuzzi

The Choir Boats by Daniel A. Rabuzzi takes place in a small village in London during 1812. Barnabas McDoon is a humble merchant who works with his best friend, Sanford, in their trading company. One day Barnabas finds a box on his door step. Inside this box is a key, a note, and a book called Journies and Travels to Yount and the Realms Within. The note tells Barnabas that he is needed in the land of Yount-- a world where only a few people know how to get there-- and the key is needed to save Yount and our human world. This note also says that if Barnabas needs any further information, he should meet two representatives from Yount at the Piebald Swan (a local pub). If they were not interested in going to Yount, he should not go to the Piebald Swan. Barnabas and Sanford decide to meet these representatives where they are told that they must leave their home and travel to Yount to save it. The two friends are skeptical at first, but when a wizard from Yount called the Cretched Man kidnaps Barnabas' nephew, Tom, Barnabas realizes that a journey to Yount is imperative! Thus begins the voyage to Yount.

The Choir Boats by Daniel A. Rabuzzi is a very interesting, somewhat challenging read. Since the story takes place in 1812 in London, the book is a harder read due to the British slang and dialogue of this period. Additionally, many small facts are thrown at readers that makes it hard to keep the events straight in the plot. Writing in the point of view of 3rd person omniscient gives readers insight into the minds of all the characters which can be very useful for telling a story, but due to this book's British dialogue, it becomes overly confusing. However, the book was understandable overall. Mr. Rabuzzi uses wonderfully, descriptive words to help us envision his characters and the surroundings. Take one of his main characters, Barnabas McDoon, for example. Rabuzzi describes a middle-aged man who is starting too bald who has an obsession with vests. Rabuzzi does a wonderful job helping us get to know his book's main characters, but he could have used a little more work with the supporting characters. The voyage to Yount takes up most of the book and overly prolongs the arrival to Yount that readers are anticipating. Some of the conflicts that occur on this voyage do not seem to be important. They simply stretch out the plot unnecessarily. Thus, I was slightly disappointed when the story finally brought the reader to Yount. It wasn't as wonderful or as dangerous as the beginning parts of the book implied. It did not seem worth the wait. More detail about the land features and other surroundings would have made this fantasy land more real to the reader and would have made this parallel world more magical. However, Rabuzzi rallies back and ends his book in a wonderful way, making sure readers will anticipate his next book. He leaves some unanswered questions, but not too many which makes the anticipation for the sequel begin to build. The Choir Boats is a great book for anyone interested in fantasy that involves religion. I'd definitely recommend this book for anyone looking for a challenge in reading.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Paynesville, MN United States of America

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