Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier [Review]

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes4 out of 5 Robots!
   

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
by Jonathan Auxier
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Release: August 1, 2011
Hardcover: 381 Pages
Publisher: Amulet Books
My Copy: Purchased
Reviewer: Shannon
Buy the Book: Amazon

Book Summary:
“Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door—be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle—at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed; today there are few child-thieves left, blind or otherwise.

At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you’ve probably guessed, is Peter Nimble.”
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(Courtesy of the Publisher)
 
Shannon's Thoughts:
I wasn't 100% sure what to expect when I picked this book up.  Actually, what I guess I expected a Dickensian type situation with a blind boy thief.  Maybe some magic realism thrown in there.  But that's only a portion of what this book is.  Most of it actually takes place in a fantasy land with a whole lot of magic thrown in.  And it is actually more of a hero's quest type tale.  Parts of it are pretty grim and dark.  (Peter, for example, had his eyes pecked out by a raven when he was an infant.)  Other parts were very imaginative and exciting.  Peter is at once helped and hindered by his blindness.  He can sense things that others can't (such as smell), but learns to rely on others to be his eyes.  There is also a mad king and lost children and seemingly evil ravens.  I've noticed a trend recently in children's literature of employing an omniscient narration style that speaks directly to the reader, Lemony Snicket-like.  This either works or it doesn't for you.  I find that this style works for Peter Nimble personally.  My only complaint is that it feels very long and can drag a bit.  But overall, I think fans of Lemony Snicket and the like will enjoy this book.

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