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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Book Review: The Girl with No Name by Iscah


 

Book: The Girl with No Name  

Author: Iscah

No. of Pages: 125

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Publisher: Amoeba Ink  

 

The author had posted about this novella on the linked-in forum and I volunteered. This one turned out to be a very interesting one indeed ...

The story is about a girl whose parents were unable to name her (both died before naming her) and hence she remains without a name. She lives with an old man who takes care of her and protects her from the 'normal' world.
She is after all a shape-shifter by birth and can transform into any living or non-living thing … that is to say she can take the shape and form of any person .. or simply convert into a pot or a pan. That makes her different and a subject of ridicule by the other 'normal' people.  
The novella is about her journey - in search for her father, her roots and herself.

Through the story, Iscah gives a worldly view to the young readers. The plot and story are pretty ordinary and not very remarkable; but the journey is indeed something I would ask the young ones to read.

Iscah shows the value of knowledge and earning your living. Even a magician or sorceress needs to earn her living while she could easily do magic and live off comfortably.

Iscah also explains, through a character in the story, the 'role' and 'job' of the king ... almost making it sound like the role of a Manager ... to ensure that the right person is allocated the right job.

Iscah also shows the readers that different cultures value different things and we humans have to adapt to changing times and places and people!!

Another very interesting moment for the reader is when you suddenly realize that the shape-shifters in their ever changing form may actually forget their original form all-together. Every time they change into another person, they might retain something of that person which they like. Over a period of time, they may not be able to take their original form. Irony !

The story has a pretty anti-climactic end which takes some time to sink in. You realize that there is some sense to it and get yet another perspective to the life of people with special powers.

It was nice to see an author 'educating' the reader in the process of entertaining … and doing that in a very subtle manner. Few authors are able to do that.

Definitely something I would recommend people to read. And i also look forward to reading the others stories by Iscah as well as her novel .I am sure I am very much going to enjoy her writing.

Last but not the least; the cover design does seem sort of strange; almost as if it was hand-drawn by a not-so-good artist. But as you absorb the story and think about it, you smile at the irony of the shape-shifters and feel that the hand-drawn cover indeed reflects them.

 

Ratings on Book Review Parameters:

Cover Design: 3.0 / 5

Writing Style: 4.0 / 5

Characters:     3.5 / 5

Story / Plot:    3.5 / 5

Climax:             3.5 / 5

Overall:            3.5 / 5 

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