Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Mixed Reaction

Undine,by Penni Russon is the story of an Australian teenager who discovers she has some unusual, even dangerous, powers. Though it's a well-written book with some marvelous boy characters, I couldn't figure out exactly what Undine's power was about or where it came from, which I found frustrating. Though what I found as vagueness and lack of closure may have been intentional. Undine is the first in a trilogy, with Breathe being the second book. I haven't been able to find the name of the third book, but it's supposed to be coming out this year.

You know me. I like to see a storyline wrapped up in each book.

Undine includes a lot of references to The Tempest that I found a little awkward and distracting. They didn't seem to fit into the book in a very natural way. However, when I was doing a search for the title Undine, I learned that the word undine has a meaning within mythology that fits in extremely well with this book. I think it's pretty clear that Russon drew upon this element. I would have liked to have seen some kind of reference to it in the book the way Catherine Fisher makes clear reference to the Parzival story in Corbenic.

I may be showing my ignorance of The Tempest, though. At her blog, Russon has a recent post in which she discusses and links to an academic paper on Shakespearean children's texts that includes a section on her own book, Undine. (It must have been a bizarre experience reading that.) In the event that I get an opportunity to read all this material, the water nymph/Tempest/Undine connection may seem stronger to me.


Blogger Jackie said...

Gail - I had issues with the end too. What's truly interesting is that Penni commented on my blog saying that the American publisher asked her to change the ending from what had appeared in the AUS edition. I'm still curious about the different ending.

7:03 AM  

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