Review: The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster by Scott Wilbanks



Publisher: Sourcebooks

Publishing Date: August 2015

ISBN: 9781492612469

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.2/5

Publisher Description: Annabelle Aster doesn’t bow to convention—not even that of space and time—which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more exciting is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds.

Review: Annie Aster stumbles upon a magic door and buys it (she knows not why). From there the turn of events pull you into a variegated colorful novel that imbues time travel and murder with a cast of well developed characters. 

As you know (or give a shjt), I can be one of the harshest critics so I am going to take a time out here and defend this novel against a reviewer that obviously skimmed relevant portions or cannot read English very well.  This GR reviewer, let’s call her Jeanette or Duckface, itemizes the reasons the novel fails in her educated estimation. So lets take a look at her review!

1) “There was just so much going on in this book….as a result I kept forgetting characters and storylines……”. Well when you have the attention span of a gnat, you’re apt to lose focus now and then. No, really, how was this hard to follow? There are 5 or 6 characters that should be easy to track by counting your fingers on one hand and the story line is cogent and logical if YOU follow the novel to its conclusion. All of the characters are developed as to their past and individuality so it shouldn’t be that hard to pick them out of a crowd. Fug. 

2) “I am just like Jane Austen-character-cliché.. write your own character lazy writers” The author makes it a point that he loves that era of writing and he imbues his character (Annie) with that same sense of awareness.  Writing about a character that carries a bit of the late 19th century with her does not make her a Jane Austen character (early 19th century).

“I think literature is creating all the wrong ideals for little girls…” WTF? Oh, so now you know what is best for young girls to read. So in Bulgaria the Jack Boots are hitting the streets to some insane interpretation of free speech? Maybe we should edit and censure anything you post since ascribing and labeling you as less than sincere in your efforts???

3) “It is highly insulting that entire cultures where wiped-out and everyone who writes about the past acts like the continent of North America came to exist after it was colonized.”  Who is this “everyone” of which you speak? Events transpire. Its called HISTORY, and people write about events in HISTORY. They also write about Native American cultures and those cultures still exist, albeit in different form. Insulting to who? You? Why would you be insulted? You live in fugging Bulgaria. Duckface contradicts herself by initially stating that “there were too many characters”, one of which was the Cherokee culture. Later in her vacuous rant she states, “….go a step back to the times of the Native Americans next time you write about time travel or simply about the past.” I thought that the author did, unless you read something of which I am not familiar.  I will tell you one thing, Native Americans could give a shjt what a duckfaced Bulgarian thinks about their culture. 

“After reading just two books set in the 18th and 19th century America, it has become quite the burden for me. I find their lack of culture and abundance of foul language, poverty and cold demeanor almost repulsive. I don’t think I’ll be returning to any American literature from or set in the times before the 20th century. ” Oh poor baby! Do you need someone to lift the literary burden of HISTORY from your wittle shoulders? It almost sounds like you don’t like anything that may have a factual baseline. Ewwww, yucky poverty and foul language,.. just ewww.

4) “Mr Culler, he was a really bad antagonist. He failed completely to live up to his name.. I was expecting the real enemy to show up.” Huh? The dude cut off the pinkies of his victims while traipsing around with a split personality. He killed at the drop of a hat. In the opening scene he kills a street urchin. I guess just  torturing people, first, with a subsequent intent to kill makes for a not good villain?

I am turning off my rant now in order to adequately address this work. It was multi-layered, had great character development and wonderful movement. What made it most enjoyable was the really good writing.


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