Stain by A.G. Howard | A YA Book Review
Stain by AG Howard 5/5
Wow. This book is unlike anything I've ever read. This is my first book by AG Howard, although I collected the Splintered books long ago. I was so attracted to this cover. It's loosely based on the Princess and the Pea (a story I haven't visited since childhood). The writing is descriptive, imaginative and highly detailed. It took me nearly two months to read it because for the longest time I could only read small chunks. It's just so dense!! In order to take it my overworked brain could only handle a chapter or two at a time. Near the end though (end of the second part and the third part as the book is divided into three sections), I was able to start reading more chapters at a time. I loved following Stain/Lyra. And while it was slow in the beginning, the parts of her youth and all of the background was very necessary to set the tone of the rest of the book. There are so many good characters. Prince Vesper is dashing. Luce is charming and funny. Crony has an intriguing backstory as well. Actually, everyone has very detailed backstories. See? Dense. Like a good cake with all the ingredients just right. This is not a book to be read quickly, it's to be savored as you linger over the descriptions. If you like movies like Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, or The Neverending Story (there was a scene that reminded me exactly of that and then Howard mentioned the movie in her acknowledgements), then this is a must read. I think this story would make an amazing movie, and hope someone picks it up someday.