So, I’m changing my Book of the Week category into Bimonthly Book Review. This is happening simply because I’ve run out of 4 and 5-star books to write about, so I need to space my writings out in order to catch up on my reading and hopefully add a few more to the list.

The fact that I’ve run out of books that I really like bothers me a bit – either I haven’t read enough, or I’m just really picky. In the meantime, I guess I’ll add books that were merely “OK” to the list of potential titles.

Oh! Quick side-note – apparently, the word, “Bimonthly” is one of those fun English words that simultaneously has almost polar opposite meanings (much like “Sanction”), so for the sake of clarity, I’m using it to mean, “Twice a month” instead of “Every other month”.

Moving on!

Robin McKinley’s Deerskin (based off of the Faerie Tale, Donkeyskin) is a decent book. The cover drew me in, and once Borders’ closing discounts reached 40%, I purchased it along with a few other titles. Given how curious I’d been about it for the months before I bought it, I decided to read it first.

What I found wasn’t stunning, but it wasn’t unenjoyable either. The creepy atmosphere surrounding the king and queen was wonderfully done, and I quite enjoyed seeing how it affected the palace and the other characters. McKinley did a great job in writing an environment that is beautiful on the surface, but has a hidden taint or decay. That aspect really intrigued me and sucked me into the story.

Sadly, the book kind of unraveled from there for me. The main character, Lissar, always seems a little too detached from her life for me to really connect with her. Now, given the environment that she lives in, I suppose it makes sense, bit that was a hurdle that I never quite overcame while reading the story.

The book has two very distinct parts – the first half deals with Lissar’s life in the palace as she grows up, and the second half deals with her life in the forests and the neighboring kingdom as she recovers from severe trauma. I found the first half to be the most interesting – very atmospheric and reminiscent of the old Faerie Tales that I enjoy so much, with a good feeling of suspense and tension. The second half was much less vivid to my imagination and moved at a pace that I found very hard to read.

Several points in the plot seemed rather contrived, and sadly, the two climactic moments in the book both slipped by me, almost unnoticed. The first one was very understated – I had to read it twice to make sure I understood what happened. Given the nature of that particular moment in the story, I’m rather grateful that it wasn’t dragged out, but the fact that I almost missed it is still a bad thing. The second Big Moment was written so confusingly and was so out of sync with the rest of the book that, even after several rereads, I still don’t have a clear picture of what happened, though I do get the general gist of things.

Anyways – Deerskin is a decent enough book. I’ll probably reread it at some point, but I feel no rush.