A mess of a book with interesting characters that I still enjoyed!
Title: Spring (Hyddenworld #1)
Author: William Horwood
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
First published: 2010
Edition: Hardcover, published by Macmillan in 2010
It has lain lost and forgotten for fifteen hundred years in the ancient heartland of England – a scrap of glass and metal melded by fierce fire. It is the lost core of a flawless Sphere made by the greatest of the Anglo-Saxon CraeftLords in memory of the one he loved. Her name was Spring and contained in the very heart of this work is a spark from the Fires of Creation. But while humans have lost their belief in such things, the Hydden – little people existing on the borders of our world – have not. Breaking the silence of centuries they send one of their own, a young boy, Jack, to live among humans in the hope that he may one day find what has been lost for so long. His journey leads him to Katherine, a girl he rescues from a tragic accident – it’s a meeting that will change everything.
I have very mixed feeling about this one. This was a re-read and unfortunately I don’t think it got any better on re-read. However, I find saying whether this is a good or a bad book a very complicated matter.
Here’s the deal: the story itself is really quite interesting, but the execution is not great. This is probably a combination of the author and the editor not doing a good enough job (in my opinion). Sometimes it feels very bitty with abrupt scene changes that are confusing. Also, some bits are drawn out and others are a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of affairs. I just found it very patchy.
However, the picture it paints of the Hyddenworld and its characters is well done. Inbetween the lines, I liked this story quite a bit. Though at the end I did not enjoy the execution that much, I am still curious to see where it is going, so I will definitely read on in the series. The idea of a world living in tandem with the real world has been done before, but I still enjoyed this idea of these peoples Horwood describes in this book. I loved how he integrated the Henges, etc, and some English folklore. I just wish everything was bit more explained.
It kind of feels that this book was written by an experienced writer, who forgot about the audience he was writing for, and a publisher that did not put enough effort in to point out this fact. To me it basically felt like a first draft that should have been fleshed out here and there, that needed the kinks ironing out still. Sometimes it felt like an adult book, sometimes like a Middle Grade. It’s like it just did not know what it wanted to be.
I guess despite my criticisms I still enjoyed it and since I am still keen to continue the series, it was good enough.
4 out of 7 stars