Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Strange Matter #10: Knightmare

This is an odd one for me. I just finished KNIGHTMARE and I'm left feeling, well...nothing, really. I don't remember reading this one back in the day and I barely remember reading it a few minutes ago, so this should be an interesting review.

Basically, Mitchell (the main character shares my name!) Garrison steals a seal from a coat of armor at a museum and it causes him to have a bad "knightmare" in which he battles four creatures of evil: An ogre, a giant wild boar, a griffin, and the Count Deschaul, who takes the form of an emerald suit of armor. Then the nightmare begins to manifest itself in Mitchell's real life, threatening to obliterate him unless he returns the seal to its rightful place back on the armor in the museum.

This Strange Matter was definitely forgettable, and I'm not really sure why. The story was interesting enough, and it was nicely intricate for a middle-grade book. Maybe it's my mood, or maybe it was that the writing was a little confusing at times - I don't know. I just found myself loosing interest at random points in the story, through no real fault of the author, at least as far as I could tell.

There were some redeemable qualities, like how you get to hear about a few characters from other Strange Matter books - the bully Kyle Banner (who was in the last book as well) and Morgan Taylor (who happens to live next door to Mitchell). So that's always cool. This is one of the things I always loved about the series, how characters from other books would just randomly pop up at times. Also, there was a neat little puzzle that the griffin gives to Mitchell to solve, and the author actually put the picture of it in-between the text, which I liked. Which reminds me: In the last book, DEADLY DELIVERY, something similar was done, where a hand-drawn cartoon was pasted in amongst the text, and it broke things up and added a lot to the story's appeal.

I also liked the monsters that Mitchell had to fight. The description of the ogre near the beginning was really good, with all the talk about a goo that oozed out of his belly button. And the whole puzzle sequence with the griffin was also well-done. Plus, the book centers around dreams, a subject I've always been interested in.

Overall, a solid, but strangely forgettable entry in the Strange Matter series.

I give KNIGHTMARE a 3 out of 5.

No comments: