The Book Without Words: A Fable of Medieval Magic - Avi And my Avi kick is still going strong! I have been reading quite a few novels written by Avi lately and I have been enjoying the ride. This one, though I didn't like as much as his other novels, was still a very good read. I liked the story and I liked the writing style but I do have a few minor complaints.

Avi is a fantastic writer. There are no doubts about that. However, I felt as if he rush through this novel a bit too much. The pacing for this book was way too fast. Just when you were getting back-story about the characters and a better understanding of who they are, the scene changes to something completely different. I wanted to know more about the world they lived in and how else alchemy played in this world. But we don't get that. We, as the reader, are told that alchemy is an illegal art but why? Why is it illegal? Because it's dangerous? Yes, I know, but I would like a bit more development as to why this is so. I want to know what exactly happened that made this world decide to make it illegal. I also wanted to know how this world's alchemy worked. What was the "science" behind it. But, alas, we get no such explanations.

The characters were a bit of a downer for me. I liked Sybil, even though she was pretty dumb in some parts, and I really liked Alfric, the orphan who befriends Sybil. Alfric was such a sweet boy. I really enjoyed his character. Odo, the crow, I didn't like... at first! He actually showed the most development throughout the entire story and became one of my favorites. The other characters, well, they don't develop too much. Plus, the majority of them were downright annoying. I couldn't, for the life of me, come to like any of them aside from the three mentioned above. Bashcroft was annoying, repeating the same phrase over and over; Weebly was a nosy busybody who couldn't keep her mouth shut; and Damian was a snob. I wanted to punch all of them. As I said, I liked some of the charatcers, but the majority were just... bothersome.

It's a shame that I didn't like this book as much as the others I read by Avi, but I did still like it. It's a short read so you can get through it quickly... I just don't like HOW quickly you can get through it. If Avi spent a bit more time developing the world, its lore, and the characters, I would have loved this book. But as it is, it's just okay. Give it a read if you like Avi or if you are just curious. I think you will at least find it a fun read.