My connection to the author: Last year, I had a conversation with Ms Peterson whilst I was composing my thoughts on my review but it did not influence my reaction and/or change my honest opinion of the novel; something I disclosed at the top of my review for ‘Ian Quicksilver: The Warrior’s Return’. Since then, I’ve only touched based with the author off and on a few times in the interim, as we’re connected through Twitter. It’s always nice to keep in touch with an author you appreciate reading but also a renewed joy if you make a personal connection too. I am thankful my path crossed with Ms Peterson on the tour last year, and for the private conversations we’ve exchanged.
I am disclosing this, to assure you that I can formulate an honest opinion, even though I have interacted with Ms Peterson through our respective love & passion of reading inside the twitterverse as well as privately; I treat each book as a ‘new experience’, whether I personally know the author OR whether I am reading a book by them for the first time. Similarly this applies to all future novels I read by an author I appreciate reading due to the compelling story-lines and characters they continuously bring to their novels and/or novellas.
On returning to the world of Quicksilver:
I must admit, my return to the world of Quicksilver did not quite go as I had anticipated as I personally found myself unable to finish reading the story once I reached Chapter 15 and a few pages forward when the ‘cursed dagger’ is revealled. There is an invisible boundary for all of us as readers – I happen to delve into most of what concerns me as a reader on my Review Policy whilst remaining open to stories as a reader who does consistently push herself out of her comfort zones to entertain new authors and new styles of the writer’s craft – where story-telling can become uniquely original and individual.
Having said that, for me, I have been a sensitive reader since I was a young girl – this hasn’t changed as I’ve transitioned into an adult reader. There will always be those stories that I have such an itch and thirst to read that are going to disappoint me – either by tone or by inclusion of elements that I personally consider outside the boundaries of where I want to be taken visually, metaphorically and fictionally. We all have those key triggers where sometimes literature is just taken too far for us to personally enjoy what is left behind for us to find. This sadly was the case for me when I read The Cursed Dagger, as outlined on my review.
I respect the author reaching out to me after I posted my review, including being open with me about what inspired Ian Quicksilver as a character and as a series for Young Adults, but even after knowing the back-story which is not disclosed in the books themselves, I cannot return where I left the book itself. You see, for me, it was physically nauseating to read those passages – I honestly was so struck by shock, that I physically reacted and emotionally I honestly felt crushed. These were characters I had loved in the first novel and were grieved by what was happening in the sequel. Visually, I simply did not have the stomach to see what was coming next because there is this particular moment where Ian is attacked and it is that that point where I had to turn away from the book! I was so shaken by that scene and everything else I had mentioned on my review, that for me, it was too much to process.
I approach Young Adult Lit from a unique perspective – I originally started to read Young Adult and Middle Grade novels to inspire stories for my nieces and nephews to read themselves. Somewhere in the pursuit of that goal, I ended up falling back in love with these beautifully lovely sections of literature myself. So much so, I fully recaptured my own bookish joy and readerly innocence that I had as an 10, 11, 12 and 13 year old. I love internalising a story written for children as an adult whose childhood is very much still a part of her heart and spirit. I love to see the stories I will one day be recommending for my own future children whilst picking up where I left off with my own readings as well.
The exit I am having with the Quicksilver series was something that blindsided me – it truly was a series I loved reading last year, but this year, I had to let it go. It will find flight to other readers who may not be as sensitive to certain inclusions of scenes and incidents as I am. That’s okay. We all like different stories from one another. We’d be very boring as readers to love all the stories that reach our hands, hearts and imaginations. There will be a piece of Ari and Ian that remain with me – I fondly remember what it was like to meet them originally and I have 14 chapters of the sequel where I was walking beside them, rallying behind them and hoping they would overcome their new adversities.
Prior to reaching Chapter 15, I composed this interview. I yielded to the author if she still wanted me to run it as part of the tour as I know authors react differently to different reviews, especially if a prior reader who cherished their book(s) had to discontinue reading successive editions. Ms Peterson accepted my honesty and the ruminations I’ve left behind to explain what happened in the midst of my readings whilst giving me this conversation to share with you. For those of you on the Quicksilver blog tour, I know you will especially enjoy it as she hints towards what is coming up next in books three and four! For those of you arriving outside of the tour, may this be a book you will enjoy as it’s now one of the books I’ve met that is seeking love from other readers!
One note: for me I felt this as a despotic world due to how heavy the darker lines were drawn around Puckerbush; for me this is what Dystopia would feel and look like where most of the light and hope of the world is blinked out of sight. There are a few streaks of it left, but for the most part it’s a harsher environment and the conditions of the towne just felt Dystopic to me.