“Otto in the Time of the Warrior” by Charlotte Haptie

Having truly adored the big-city fairytale of Otto and the Flying Twins, in which layers of context and association revealed a secret underworld of pacifistic magic users lurking beneath a dull and capitalistic society, I was highly disappointed by Time of the Warrior.

Firstly, and perhaps my delight at the first novel and its’ $4 remainder price tag blinded me to the first incidences, in this book Haptie seems blissfully unaware of tense or spelling. Though this is sometimes glorious, as with the chords of some blinds being pulled, creating a very musical and silly image in my mind, throughout the novel it boils down to being frustrating. Sometimes the sense of the sentence is lost through the author’s complete and utter miscomprehension of grammar and punctuation.

The story was sweet enough to engage my attention; I found I could at least press onwards. Yet it never truly satisfied. Characters got angry, they frowned, and they shivered. But there was nothing in the text to inspire any emotion. There was no suspense, only plot devices, and a pace that moved too slowly to avoid boring me at times, but too quickly during other scenes. I was left feeling underwhelmed, and as if I had just browsed Haptie’s dot-point abstract for a book, rather than 435 double-spaced pages.

I can, however, imagine being enraptured by this book as an eight-year-old, and that is presumably its’ target audience. At that age, I would have given up on Changing Things and Oddibosities, and did give up on The Magicians of Caprona, but given that I was already up to Animal Farm, the content of Time of the Warrior is perhaps slightly below the capacities of at least some of its’ readers. I myself am very sad that the sense of discovery and joy and triumph against adversity from the first book has been swapped out for common deus ex machina devices of time manipulation that are now also peppering new video games.

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