Strange Luck was a book that started out strongly, set in the Darling family’s shop, Strange Luck, specializing in the strange and the occult – with that kind of backdrop, almost anything could be possible. The first few chapters, while clearly targeted at the young adult audience, offered suspense, a brush of danger with very odd stranger trying to claim a relic from the shop, and characters that were familiar but relatable.
However, as the story progressed, it felt as if the reading level dropped. Some of this was due to the Dr. Seuss-like rhyming elements that were introduced, making me feel more as if I were reading a children’s fairy tale than a young adult fantasy, but the characters introduced later in the book also read as if less effort had been put into their development, leaving them with less depth and credibility than those introduced in the early chapters, and more in line with the fairy tale reading level.
While the author offered some interesting thoughts around memory and consciousness towards the end of the novel, by that point it seemed rather incongruous in the setting, and didn’t engage me the way it might have otherwise. While the drop in reading level may have been a deliberate attempt to reflect the situation the characters found themselves in, I personally found that it negatively impacted the read, leaving me with the sensation that the strong start of the book had petered out by the end.
Reviewed for Knockin’ Books.