Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Alchemaster's Apprentice by Walter Moers + Contest!

Published September 3, 2009.

When Echo the Crat's mistress dies, he is compelled to sign a contract with Ghoolion the Alchemaster. This fateful document gives Ghoolion the right to kill Echo at the next full moon and render his fat, which he hopes to brew into an immortality potion. But Ghoolion has not reckoned with Echo's talent for survival and his ability to make new friends. (book back blurb)

This was another BEA grab I made. Really, I need to learn to be much more selective the next time around. Ok, so I thought the cat (which is actually a Crat) was cute. So I snagged it. Do you blame me? Could you resist? Plus it sounded like a really interesting world so I wanted to try it out.

And you know what, it was good. Actually, it was better than that despite how dense in description it was. And I mean really dense. That was why I stopped reading it. Not because I got bored or didn't enjoy what I was reading. I just didn't have the patience to get through it all. It's long. 372 pages. It's a trade paperback so it's bigger than a mass market size. The font is tiny and so are the margins. And the plot progresses excessively slowly because of all of the description.

But the thing is, it's really fun description. And I love the tone. It's quirky and darkly humorous and you can't help but pity this little Crat for the situation he's in. Right when I stopped was when the plot regarding Ghoolion was starting to get pretty interesting (not that it wasn't already) and I wanted to read on but by that point I'd already spent a week on the book and I hadn't even broached 100 pages yet. See what I mean? It's going to take some patience to get through this.

It's such a rich world. I would say enchanting but there isn't anything all that enchanting about it thanks to the alchemaster. Grotesque would be more like it. Every single character, even those in passing, are insanely well-developed from the second they're mentioned that you can't help but picture them in your head. The illustrations in the book don't hurt either! They're great and at times unnerving but you can't take your eyes away from them. They just make the words that much richer.

If I didn't have such a huge TBR pile with a bunch of time-sensitive books still left to read, I would have read this one to the end because, at the end of the day, I really wanted to. But I just don't have the patience to take 3 weeks to read one book right now. No rating for this one since I didn't finish it.

Contest Time!!!

Want my ARC? It's all yours. Just leave me a comment with your email and answer this question--

What makes you ultimately stop reading a book even though, deep down, you want to keep reading to the end?

No answer, no entry. Period.

Contest ends October 13th at midnight, EST. US residents only. Good luck!


Emily said...

My email is whatbookisthat AT gmail DOT com-

The books I end up having to postpone reading are library books for the most part. I have a tendency to go to the library and check out whatever looks interesting in lieu of going to the bookstore and doing the same thing, so I end up with a pretty big pile of books and not enough time to read them all. Good thing you can check the books out more than once!

elnice said...

Easy, something else calling my name. Maybe I just got it, or it just came in from the library or mail, but some other book always seems to be waiting. I only have 1 or 2 that need finished, but it happens.


Jessica said...

The stress in my life, sometimes I will read a book and then I just get frustrated with whatever happen to be going on and my focus wanders. I will simply not be able to get my head into it. Other times i'ts time. The books I've won I'd love to get to but the books from the library keep me from it. Usually the books from the library I tend to take back because of stress and lack of focus though.


gaby317 said...

gaby317nyc at gmail dot com

When I have a significant backlog in reading or work, I might put aside a book that I'm enjoying for another that I need to finish. I plan to go back to it, but then with all the different things to do and books to read, I sometimes don't get back to the book. I have a few half-finished novels on my bookshelf that fit that description. Usually, these are books that I own but haven't committed to review. Or sometimes they're library books that I grabbed and figure that I can borrow another time, when I'm less swamped. I'm sometimes overestimate how much I will read!

Thanks for the entry

barbrafl said...

When I read a book, it comes down to if it entertains me or not. If I'm not enjoying it, I put it down. If the character is someone I hate, I put it down. If I cannot stand the dialect, I put it down. But ultimately, I hate when authors write like "He walked down the street and met a nice old lady who said hello." COME ON. Your readers are BORED. That's truly when I give up on a book, even if I want to know the ending.

Thanks for the contest.
barbrafl737 (at) yahoo (dot) com

christine (booktumbling) said...

This doesn't happen very often for me but if I find a copy of a must-read title at the second hand bookstore, I have been known to stop the current read to pick up the absolutely must read read.

Misty said...

If I really want to read a book, there's not much that's going to stop me unless the grammar and editing is HORRIBLE. And even then, if the story's good enough, I might be able to over look it.
However, I have had to set books aside for a few days, say, if I knew something was coming (like a loved character's death) and I didn't want to face it. I go back, but I need time to prepare myself. :)

~Misty (mbradenwf@gmail.com)

Misusedinnocence said...

If I have to return it to the library. lol


throuthehaze said...

If I want to read a book I dont put it down (unless of course I am sleeping, working, etc.) I even finish books I dont even like.

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Wrighty said...

I use to finish almost every book I started even if I didn't like it that much. Now if I don't like one I don't finish it. Sometimes it happens with a book I like too, but if I have too many others waiting to be read or if it's due back to the library I stop. Those are the ones I try to get back to though. Sometimes that takes a loooong time!


speckldharted22 said...


One thing that will stop me reading a book I really want to finsih would be a too busy life, or there is another book I want to read before the current one.

Courtney the Librarian said...

The primary thing that prevents me from finishing a book that I really want to finish is whether or not I can renew it at the library (i.e. if it has holds, I've got to return it, particularly if I'm not anywhere near finished). Luckily, this doesn't happen often.
p.s. I'm a HUGE Walter Moers fan and can't wait to read this one! I want to live in Zamonia someday....
email: watersc@mrrl.org

Kathy said...

Ok I can't imagine stopping reading a book that I really like...it just wouldn't happen. Now I have started a book and found that it was just too boring to continue and I actually felt guilty for stopping, like maybe I was hurting the book's feelings by rejecting it!


adin_22 said...

I just followed your blog...sooo nice....I love reading any kinds of books...so expect me to keep on visiting your blog....

The only thing that could stop me from reading a book is when I get too sleepy and if I lost the book....hehe...but then I will still get another copy if I did...unless the story is too bad from the start...

adin_22 said...


chichaihana said...

The thing that stops me from finishing or reading a book if the storyline wasn't that good to start with. I may put it down to read at a later time and just get sidetracked by something that is more interesting. BUT I have to say that I often go back to that book and it'll hook me better than when I first opened the book.

chichai_hana at hotmail dot com

Melissa said...

If I had alot of Schoolwork I would have to put the book down. I love to read and that would make me upset.


Debbie F said...

A book has to grab me right at the beginning. If I'm not into the story by chapter 2 - I move on. Too many books out there to read.
dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Chelsea S said...

I will stop reading a book if it really starts angering me or causes nightmares. Sometimes I have to stop reading a book if I am becoming too obsessed with it and it is affecting my regular life.


-- Chelsea

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

well if I can't get into the book by the first 100 pages and can't relate to it ..then I stop reading it , but I always check the back of the book to find out the ending.

aprilmom00 at gmail dot com

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Mary D
zenrei57 (at) hotmail (dot) com

One of the very few times I've ever abandoned a book that I really like (and this was just recently) was that the ongoing plot of the book resolved itself too early and left nothing to encourage further interest.

While I still intend to finish it, for right now it's been shelved in lieu of better reads :)

Anonymous said...

I have never been more disappointed with a book review in my life... It was good, but honestly? "It's long. 372 pages."
It's not long in the slightest. It took me three days to finish, and it was during one of my busiest weeks I've had. It's the shortest in the series, maybe you should try to not read the fourth book first, no? The other books were better, I may admit... But barely. The Alchemaster's Apprentice was as close to what I'd call perfect as a book if I hadn't read the others in the series.
372 pages? What do you read, the Clique series?
And complaining about the margins, too... Ech.

Donna said...

Ah yes. How inclined I am to take an anonymous comment seriously. Obviously you don't feel confident in your own opinion to post with your name to let me see who you are. Shame. Perhaps you might want to take a look around. You can see what I read, as this is a book review blog and all. And a YA one to boot. Your ability to come to informed conclusions is astounding.

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