Thursday, September 30, 2010

Review: Eyes Like Stars

GoodReads Description: Enter Stage Right

All her world's a stage.
Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater.
She is not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but has no lines of her own.
Until now.

Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every place ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

Lisa Mantchev has written a debut novel that is dramatic, romantic, and witty, with an irresistible and irreverent cast of characters who are sure to enchant the audience.

Open Curtain.

My Thoughts: All right, guys. I'm going to be honest with you. I hadn't the slightest idea what was going on for 75% of this book. It took me a few weeks to actually finish this. My eyes would glaze over sporadically and it turns out I had skimmed over several paragraphs, but none of it was absorbed. The ending is what redeemed this book, in my eyes.

What I do know is that I really enjoyed Bertie as a heroine. She owned sarcasm. I love heroines like that.

Damsel in distress? Nah.
Absence of backbone? Hardly.

She took no crap, period. You're an attractive dreamy fairy type? No thanks, she's good. Perhaps swooning on the inside, but she won't let you see it.

The constantly-present fairy companions, Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mustardseed, and Moth, offered comedic relief and I'm looking forward to their four-way banter in the next book. Even though there was an extensive list of secondary characters within Eyes Like Stars, they were all quite distinct in personality. Ms. Mantchev did a wonderful job writing each and every character into their own.

And of course, the obligatory eligible bachelors.
1. Fairy Ariel, a manipulative, mysterious seductor (seducer?)
2. Pirate Nate, with the "arrrrgh" and the "aye, matey" and the desire to defend Bertie's honor til death or evil villains do them part.

I'm really not won over by either of them, but I can see how they'd both be appealing to poor confused Bertie. Who will she choose?! Oh, the suspense.

Her descriptive, atmospheric writing was beautiful, don't get me wrong, but it was almost too complex and confusing for me at times. I often complain that authors do too much "telling" instead of "showing." I never, in a million years, thought that I would complain of the complete opposite. I don't know whose fault it was that the majority of the magic of this book was lost on me, mine or Lisa Mantchev's. But a little explanation of how the crap everything worked would've been nice. I finally began to understand towards the end, once we found out what Bertie was capable of, what her talent was. "Began" being the operative word. I am still somewhat leery as to exactly what happened. I will definitely continue on to "Perchance to Dream" to see if I can get a little more clarification. Plus, there's a devil of a cliffhanger.

Though it dragged in the middle a bit, I will read on in this series.

Rating: 3/5

Series: Theatre Illuminata will be a trilogy. Book two, Perchance to Dream, was released in 2010. The conclusion, So Silver Bright, will be released in 2011.
Source: I purchased this book.
Published: Feiwel and Friends, 352 pages (July 7, 2009)


  1. I agree with you, and I didn't even finish the book. I may have to try it out again from the beggining, I was really lost.