Yeah, one star. I feel a little bad, because this book did not actively anger me. However, I didn't like anything about it.
My book club selected this, because: Golden Compass! Sally Lockhart! Yeah!
We haven't had our meeting yet, so I don't know what everyone else thought of it, but I was quite disappointed.
The plot is very slight, and hackneyed in a Dickens-lite kinda way. Three siblings must escape from a horrible orphanage, and find themselves in need of help from a mysterious benefactor.
Don't get me wrong, cliche or not, I like orphan stories! But these orphans just seemed wussy and kind of annoying (but only kind-of. They didn't have enough personality to be particularly annoying). The story didn't have any original twists to set it apart. Even for a middle-grades book, it seemed rather shallow.
The 'humorous' bits seemed aimed at older readers than the book's target audience, but weren't particularly funny.
I did not find the illustrations aesthetically appealing. (All the people, as drawn, resemble unattractive, doughy peanuts.)
And, worst of all, Spring-Heeled Jack - a quite fascinating Victorian urban legend - here is not portrayed as an enigmatic villain, but seems more like just some random adult do-gooder who fortuitously shows up to save some kids who weren't spunky enough to save themselves.
Plodding and predictable.