Eyes Like Stars - Lisa Mantchev

For a magical fantasy book about fairies, Shakespearian characters and a heroine with blue hair, this is quite a dull lacklustre novel.

It could have been great.

Eyes Like Stars is about a theatre where characters from all the plays are trapped by a mystical "Book of the Stage", doomed to repeatedly perform their roles on a continuous loop forever... unless Bertie - aided by the fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream - can discover the secrets of the Theatre Illuminata and what traps them there and just what, if anything, will set them free. It all sounds full of fabulousness and magical excitement. It isn't really.

The characters: a heroine with blue hair, Ariel from The Tempest, the fairies, a pirate, and an assortment of other seemingly wonderful creatures... they should be fascinating, they should vibrantly dance off the page, but they are boring. I cared nothing for Ariel's ridiculous hissy fits, I cared nothing for the blossoming romance between Nate (the pirate) and Bertie, I honestly couldn't give a damn whether they stayed playing their parts forever. And that's the problem, I should care.

I also found the characters dialogue very strange, they didn't seem to know what time they belonged in. They would start off in archaic language that made me think the novel was actually supposed to be set in Shakespeare's time, and then they would throw a completely modern phrase into their speech. Plus, occasionally the novel would switch to script format to tell a little story and I can't for the life of me imagine why. It was random, weird, it added nothing... oh yes, I get it, the novel is set in a theatre and in theatres you have scripts... great.

I think this book stemmed from an exciting idea that had nowhere to go and I find it very surprising that this is the first in a series (trilogy?). Characters trapped inside a theatre? Cool. Fairies, pirates, magic?! Awesome. Now what??? Errrr.

This was disappointing.