June 18, 2012

The Arm of the Starfish by Madeline L'Engle

Madeline L'Engle is a brilliant writer. That being said, this is one of her works that I just don't particularly care for. It's still good, but when you compare it to some of her others, it just isn't as good as those, and that is why I only rate it three stars.

Adam Eddington is a smart guy. He's going to be studying marine biology and is offered the chance to go to the island of Gaea to study with Dr. O'Keefe who has been doing research on regeneration in starfish. But Adam's not the only one who's interested in O'Keefe's work. He finds himself in the middle of a lot of intrigue and mystery and can't really be certain who the good guy is and who the bad guy is. And a beautiful girl just clouds his mind even more.

Adam is a decent character. A little naive but he is unfairly thrown into a whole bunch of turmoil that he just isn't capable of dealing with. I did think it was a little beyond the realm of possibility what his character was asked to do, but this is fiction after all. The O'Keefe's didn't really get to be a big part of this story, at least not to me. Poly did, but she was about the only one we really get a good glimpse at. And at least she was entertaining. For all he is mentioned in the book, I still don't think I know much about Dr. O'Keefe. The bad guys are appropriately menacing and sneaky, and I did appreciate their underhanded ways.

The plot went too quick and too slow in this book for me. All the interesting aspects of the plot seemed to be glossed over and hurried while the stuff I didn't really care about, such as Adam's time spent with Kali seemed to take up a huge amount of the book and was less interesting. It is a young adult book, which could account for the pace, but her other ones just seemed to be so much better. This is part of a series though and I do think it is important to read this book before reading some of the others. You'll lose out on interesting tidbits that could be useful in the coming stories. And as said before, L'Engle is a good writer so this book is much better than some of the other books out in the young adult market right now. It has the building of characters and coming of age themes that seem to be quite popular.

A decent read, and a definite part of the series. I recommend reading if you want to read the rest of the series.

The Arm of the Starfish
Copyright 1965
240 pages

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