“Lamplighter,” book two in the Monster Blood Tattoo series, by D.M. Cornish, was not one of my favorite books because at some points the story moved very slowly, while at other points it moved along so quickly that the reader had trouble keeping up with it. The story begins when the main character, Rossamund, is on an excursion with all the other prentice lantern-lighters to light and douse the lamps along the road that went from Winstermill to Wellnigh house. He never wanted to be a lantern-lighter and had done so only to escape Madame Opera’s Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls. At first, this excursion proves to just as boring as his last one, until the clatter of horses’ hooves are heard down the road. As the carriage is sighted, one of the other prentices realizes that the horses have no coachman. The horses are running out of sheer terror. Behind the carriage comes a monstrous being with gigantic horns and wicked slits for eyes.
So begins the book with one of the more fast-paced sections. The action begins quickly, on page seven. I thought that this didn’t give the reader enough time to comprehend what was going on. Alternately, later on in the book, the pace is much slower, with so little action that the reader soon forgets what he or she has just learned. This is book two in the “Monster Blood Tattoo” series so that may explain why some things didn’t make sense to me. I could understand most things well, but there were some unexplained things that I assumed were clarified in the first book. However, I could mostly understand what was going on, and I was able to grasp a basic idea of the characters and plot.
At the beginning of each chapter, there was a “dictionary” definition of a different character, object, or action that was used or preformed in that chapter. I found this very useful, and the definitions were also very interesting.
I would not recommend “Lamplighter” to my friends because I did not think that it did a very good job making an equal balance between the parts of the book that were filled with action and the more slow-paced sections.
Categories: YOUNG READER - AGES 8 TO 12