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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Planet of the …? …Centaurs?

Centaurs, I thought. Great! The last book I read using horse mythologies was Robin McKinley’s Pegasus. (Read my review) But I must say that with Daughter of the Centaurs (Centauriad #1) by Kate Klimo, I felt like I’d stumbled into the centaur equivalent of planet of the Apes. (I noticed later that other reviewers referenced this as well)
Many, many times I wondered if Malora’s sympathy for centaurs is misplaced. I definitely don’t like them very much. Why, I kept thinking have you given up your horses, your independence for this lot?
I see in the Centaurs' attitudes, overtones of the nobility prior to the French Revolution. Yet it's Malora's very aloneness (is she the last human alive?) that forces her to seek companionship and approval even with those outside her ken, yet somehow close enough to draw strength from, although she is treated as some sort of exotic exhibit. The ability to communicate opens possibilities and lessens the solitude. At times this is an interesting read with promise, even if annoying.
I give it 2 ½ stars. I didn’t hate it but it just squeaks into ok by a mere thread.
I hope the Centauriad series develops its potential with an enlivened thrust and crosses that squeaky line, hanging by more than a mere thread, if I may mix my metaphors.

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