The Snicketysnatcher by Ciro Correia

(5.0/10) Creative ideas, but left a lot to be desired.

There is only one person standing between the Snickitysnatcher and innocent children everywhere. An unlikely hero, a child herself, is drawn into a deadly game of trickery and deceit against an age old beast and devourer of children. An intense and numbing series of events draws strange characters around her as she sets off on a journey to end the terror hiding in the darkness. Her path leads her through territories full of magical creatures and into the heart of brooding darkness. The question is, will she win the duel or not?

The summary for this book really caught my eye since childhood monsters have always fascinated me. The Snicketysnatcher is exactly the sort of bogeyman I like: an ancient creature living in an old forest who has snacked on unwary children for generations. Only this time, he may have met his match.

However, the initial promise of the book is undermined by the pacing of the story. The plot takes a long time to get moving. I would venture to say it really starts about two-thirds of the way through the book and, once it starts to pick up, the plot is ushered to an abrupt conclusion.

The third-person narrative follows multiple people, which is why it takes such a long time to tell the story: the titular Snick, the Snick's minions, his human opponent Indigo, and also an alien-obsessed detective. While there are certainly a variety of perspectives in the text, the characters don’t have enough depth to hold the reader’s attention for very long. The Snick is a typical villain acting primarily for the sake of being evil while Indy is good and doesn't seem to have much characterization beyond that. The character with the most personality was the detective, and even his voice sounded a bit generic at times.

The writing style also detracted from what might have been a promising plot. On the scale of show vs. tell, the book lies heavily on the telling side, sounding more like a summary than a novel at certain portions of the narrative. We told exactly how the characters feel and the setting is often described in huge paragraphs. Hardly anything is left to the imagination.

Not to say that the book doesn't have any imagination, though. There are some very creative ideas in The Snicketysnatcher that I really did enjoy. Indy and her friends do end up in some interesting situations, not to spoil anything, and meet some fascinating creatures- both good and bad- along the way. Each new creature is introduced with a whimsical drawing by the author, who is a very good artist and should certainly consider illustrating his own picture book.

If you want to check out The Snicketsnatcher it is available in paperback and a variety of eBook formats at Amazon, Smashwords and Lulu. The book trailer, which features some of the author’s great artwork, can also be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g71MLTIFaM.

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