Lisa Mantchev, Author
Book 12 in A to Z challenge
I bought this book several years ago but it wasn't until this month that I was able to finish reading (I started it last month). I'm a fan of theater and have read Shakespeare plays, which is what drew me to this book. Plus the cover is pretty.
About the Book:
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.
My Review: Overall, I liked the book. It's very different, to say the least. In the world of the book there is there theatre, where everyone lives and this mysterious outside world that we don't get much about in this book, though book 2 will show more of that I assume by the description.
It also has a very interesting cast of characters. There is the main character, Beatrice, who often goes by Bertie. Then many other prominent characters from a variety of plays. Everywhere from Pirates, to chorus girls, to Ophelia, tempests and fairies. I liked Bertie. She was a fun main character with a quirky personality and isn't afraid to let herself shine even when she struggles. However, the fairies (Peasblossom, Moth, Cobweb and Mustardseed) stole the show on more than one occasion. They were hilarious. Then there is the pirate who is often there trying to help Bertie though sometimes he steps on some toes in trying to do what he thinks she needs. Then there is the distracting one, for me.
I understand the character comes from a play. While I have never actually read that particular play (I tended towards ones like Hamlet), I can understand that the character's name was that way for a reason. But I couldn't help myself. When I saw "Ariel" that often lead to me picturing:
Yeah. And the Little Mermaid is even one of the plays in the theatre, so it's not just the name but well, okay for the most part it's that his name is Ariel and the only Ariel I can imagine now thanks to Disney is from the little Mermaid. Though the mermaid is cute and nice, Ariel in this book is well a jerk. He is where the book went astray for me. While the conflict made me want to keep reading even though at times I wasn't sure what was going on or where the book would head, to be honest I did not find him a viable love interest. And the book talks about the love triangle, I'd heard about it before even buying the book. Plus the sequel, from what it says on Goodreads, is focused on the love triangle... but for most of book 1, he's got very little going for him. The end helps a tiny bit but nope, still don't like that factor.
But I still will have to read book 2. Overall, it's an interesting book that is great for people who love plays and want to see what a story might be like if there was a magic theatre where all the characters of different plays (such as Shakespeare and many others) lived. Even with the slight annoyance in love triangle, it was an entertaining read and an enjoyable book.