18 April 2011
Book Review: Knightley Academy
Author: Violet Haberdasher
Publisher/Year: Aladdin / 2010
Date Finished: 21 March 2011
Source/Format: Bought / Print
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
The Short and Sweet of It
The world is changing: the separation between the classes is the center around which various camps fight. And Henry Grim, a poor orphan, suddenly finds himself in the middle of it as he is accepted to the elite Knightley Academy. In a very Harry Potter-esque story, Haberdasher sets Grim up as the noble underdog destined to save the world.
A Bit of a Ramble
Almost a year ago, I attended the Teen Author Carnival in New York City. Violet Haberdasher sat on one of the panels I attended, and listening to her talk about Knightley Academy really whetted my appetite for the book. What really got my interest was her ready admittance that the book is very much like Harry Potter. Actually the way that conversation went down was more like this:
Questioner: What do you say to people who claim that your book is really similar to Harry Potter?
Haberdasher: I would say thank you. I love Harry Potter and I think it's cool if my story reminds you of it.
Being a giant fan of Harry Potter - and not particularly a purist when it comes to literature - I was intrigued. I liked it that she was perfectly accepting of the comparison. After reading the book, I can definitely see why. The similarities to HP abound in the novel. The characters, the events, the plot line, there is so much that is so like HP that I actually had difficulty reading the story without being continually reminded of Potter. There's even a train compartment scene where the protagonist meets the elitist git of the school. I've read books which reminded me of HP, but never one which seemed to actually emulate specific events and the specific structure in the series. It was strange to say the least.
And yet, I have to admit that I wasn't really bothered by it. I enjoyed the story, I liked the characters, and I am interested to see where things are heading. I ended up giving this an Accept rating though because while I think this is a good story, it's so reminiscent of HP that it feels disingenuous to give it a rating which I tend to reserve for books which excited me with their originality.
This Book Around the Web
If I've missed your review, let me know!
Bookalicio.us; Miss Remmers' Review; Amy Reads;
Question: How do you feel about books that draw heavily on other books?