The previous one, Howl's Moving Castle, was fantastic. My daughter and I just loved it and I was looking forward to this one. I was disappointed. It is supposedly pitched to a more "adult" audience, but the author seems to think that means throw in a little sex, esp. Also, the plot just didn't seem well put together. One big chunk was totally out of sequence for no apparent reason. I've heard the excuse "it didn't fit the narrative flow earlier" but I've seen other authors deal with this problem beautifully. The characters seemed shallow and not very likable.
I got tired of the fat references. I mean, really, it needed to be said that the fatter characters got up earlier to eat breakfast? Sadly disappointed and will not continue with this series. The narrator for Rupert sounded a little young to me, but otherwise Deep Secret worked really well as an audiobook. This is not happening right now. I loved Howl's Moving Castle so I was expecting to find something else to love from Diana Wynne Jones, but this one is just not for me.
DeepSecrets and Unkindness of Magicians, how dare you deceive me with your pretty covers. Deep Secret begins with a cryptic message that the following was secretly deposited in the archive at Iforion. I'd pretty much forgotten that by the time reference was made to it late in the book. There's a number of things from early on that circle back into prominence towards the end. To a certain extent, it is a standard contemporary fantasy novel: Earth is one of a large number of alternate worlds, which have varying amounts of magic, and there is an organization of high-power mages that keep Deep Secret begins with a cryptic message that the following was secretly deposited in the archive at Iforion.
To a certain extent, it is a standard contemporary fantasy novel: Earth is one of a large number of alternate worlds, which have varying amounts of magic, and there is an organization of high-power mages that keep an eye on the multi-verse. The part that is a delight for someone like me, is that the bulk of the middle of the story takes place at a SF convention. It's obvious that Jones was thoroughly familiar with them. I don't know any of the people she describes, but they'd all fit in at any con; I know a lot of people who are very like them.
The hotel with the mirrors at every corner? Been there. Thankfully, I have yet to encounter more than four right turns in a row, though there are hotels where it feels possible. The story itself has a slow start, with the main character switching between two disconnected plotlines. However, this smooths out, and in the end, everything is shown to have a place in the overall structure.
It's not a stellar book, but it is a fun one, and there's a lot of extra fun to be had if you're used to the con circuit. Jul 05, EAL rated it really liked it Shelves: summer , action-adventure , fantasy , science-fiction , realistic , best-books , protagonist-club. I read The Merlin Conspiracy several years back and didn't realize it was part of a series until recently. Having liked TMC a lot the second time I read it , I went in with high expectations that were completely, utterly, exceeded.
The combination of fantasy with scifi and contemporary setting was wonderfully executed. Rupert, with all his flaws, was a striking main character - but I confess that once Maree was introduced from her own viewpoint my allegiances switched to her.
Diana Wynne Jones I read The Merlin Conspiracy several years back and didn't realize it was part of a series until recently. Diana Wynne Jones has such a way of conveying the most uncomfortable, awkward, unpleasant interpersonal relationships - every indignation that Maree suffered, at the hands of Janine and others, evoked massive empathy. Awkward unattractive idealistic girl seen by others as a loser, never catching a break The only thing that irked me about her was her reactionary flight from her uncle's pragmatism. I happen to like machines and formulae Nick was a little annoying, which lined up with how he was portrayed in TMC, so that was all right.
In all - splendid. I'm going to have to read every other book of hers I can get my hands on.
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This was an awesome, fun, magical, interesting, creative, like-no-other, trope-inverting book. Fantastic character development, as well- went from hating the primary main character to adoring him by the end of the book. Looking forward to eventually reading more of Jones' work, for sure. There's a really unique quality that all of DWJ's books share - no other author makes me grin quite so much!
View all 3 comments. Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with anything and everything having to do with Diana Wynne Jones, so this review might be a tiny bit totally biased. Despite its five stars, this story had a lot of problems and holes in it that were never quite filled in. While DWJ is wonderful at world-building and character development, she has a hard time explaining what's going on; and at any given time a LOT of things are going on poor Rupert! The good news is that this story is just so heckin Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with anything and everything having to do with Diana Wynne Jones, so this review might be a tiny bit totally biased.
The good news is that this story is just so hecking good you will forget within two paragraphs what you were confused about in the first place. One of the things I actually really like about this book was that she didn't spend whole pages trying to explain things that were already established in that world.
Yeah, okay, centaur fathers care more about their sister's offspring than their own. Fuck if I know, let's move on. The real driving force behind the glowing light of those five stars from me is the fact that I love Diana Wynne Jones with a fiery passion and she doesn't even need to build up any sort of connection between her characters for one to able to love them completely to death.
This is one of those books that caused me to sit and stare out the window for a bit after I finished because it was hard to let the story go. Feb 13, Sara rated it liked it Shelves: re-read , , fantasy , I loved this book when I read it as a teenager, but there was just too much going on plot-wise for me to easily enjoy it now. I was kinda bored. I'm usually restless when I re-read, but I thought I wouldn't be for this since I didn't remember anything.
There's fatphobia in it which of course I didn't like, but it was kinda covert and micro-aggressiony. I was more offended by my boredom tbh. Rupert was just too blah as a narrat I loved this book when I read it as a teenager, but there was just too much going on plot-wise for me to easily enjoy it now. Rupert was just too blah as a narrator and it's too bad he had most of the story. So the characters are all a bunch of fallible idiots, but you don't really notice until the POV switches. At first you think Rupert is a reasonable person and you can relate to him and whatever, but you get Maree's idea of him and you get the another perspective and realize he's kind of an idiot.
Same thing happens with Maree. I liked how they both grew too. Wish we coulda gotten another Maree chapter at the end tho. But yeah, we're all just idiots trying to make things work!! May 09, Janna Craig rated it it was amazing. Of her books that I have read, Deep Secret is one of my favorites. This was brilliant! Read on a suggestion from a friend and am delighted. Magic and technology is a great combination! Really enjoyed the characters and their voice acting!
I must have only read this once before as I really didn't remember any of it. A nice fat book with loads going on across the multiverse. Feb 11, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: fiction. I have a sneaking suspicion I've read this before, but if so it was before I started recording books on Goodreads. The book is a gentle, slow fantasy that nonetheless kept me well hooked I docked a star for the pacing issue, but the book is still very much worth a read.
I'm still making my way through the full backlist of Diana Wynne Jones. I've owned this book for a while but hadn't gotten to it yet. It was an excellent book. Not surprising. Rupert Venables is a young Magid. As a young Magid, it is his job to look after the Empire of Koryfos.
It always goes to the youngest Ma 4. It always goes to the youngest Magid because no one else wants it. Upon returning from a trip there that fills him with as much disgust as possible, Rupert is faed with the death of his mentor. Since Magids must be replaced as quickly as possible, Rupert who is again the default Magid responsible for this begins his search with names Stan left him. After meeting the person he thought was his most likely candidate, Maree Mallory, and immediately taking a dislike to her, he begins a working to draw all his final candidates to one place and time so he can evaluate them all at once.
The place is the Hotel Babylon and the time is a sci-fi fantasy convention taking place there over a weekend. Much to Rupert's exasperation none of the other candidates are up to snuff. Maree turns up at the convention as well and turns out to be not as bad as Rupert feared. And because everything has to happen at once, the Empire of Koryfos is falling apart after a mass assassination. No one knows who the next ruler is supposed to be, and they need Rupert's help. Now Rupert has more than one magical working in the process and may have be in way over his head.
Diana Wynne Jones excelled at writing a certain type of hero. That type of hero happens to be the type I love to read about which always makes her books fun for me. Rupert fits nicely with the others I love but he also has his own individual personality. He is arrogant and a little to sure of himself. He spirals into panic so fast when everything starts coming down around him, and it's quite delightful. I did like that he knew when he needed to get help, and that he had a supportive community willing to help him when he needed it.
The narrative switches between Rupert and Maree. Maree is an excellent foil for Rupert, and her naive and innocent, yet equally annoyed perspective on everything that is happening is a great counter-point to his frustrated, overwhelmed, harried, pessimistic one. Maree's younger cousin, Nick, is also a pivotal character and is a DWJ hero in training. He is basically a younger version of Rupert, a fact Rupert is hilariously unaware of for a good deal of the story and has to have pointed out to him by more than one person.
I loved all three of them and all the supporting characters. One thing I love about Diana Wynne Jones is that her novels defy age categorization. We need more novels that do this. Does this book work as YA? Towards the end there were happy moments too. Happiness and sadness intertwined.
Deep Secret is one of the most emotionally-charged books I have read in a long time, and I thoroughly recommend it. It was okay.
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- Deep Secret by Berlie Doherty;
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I liked the book, but when I read it I wasn't 'wow', if you know the feeling of course you know, I'm on the booklovers page. Mar 29, Elsbeth rated it it was amazing. A really amazing book! Jan 23, Emma Louise added it Shelves: bought , not-my-thing , gave-up-on , forgettable. I think this book was a big old case of 'don't judge the book by its cover'. However,I do not mean that in a good way. Let's play a game. Here is a copy of the blurb from the back of this book with the pretty, girly cover featured above.
Oliver, the handsome traveller. Colin, the steady student, and Seth, the blind man. A cast of powerful characters uncover disturbing secrets when the building of a mighty dam drowns a beautiful village. Love, death, I think this book was a big old case of 'don't judge the book by its cover'. Love, death, attempted murder, grief and happiness - and emotional journey of discovery.
Oh and there's mention of a dam bursting. That's interesting. What we actually get? Plonked in the middle of circa post WW2 little farming village, where all the girls are gossiping about who wants to marry who and who they want to marry. And trust me, you don't start to catch on until later that that's where we are. I had no idea what was going on, and it was actually really boring. I don't know I just wasn't in the mood for this.
From the cover and the blurb, I expected a somewhat 'easy' read. My brain is fried and I don't have time for old-timey village talk and women worrying about who they will marry. I wanted something else based on the blurb and the cover. Oh well. No rating. It wouldn't be fair, because if I actually knew what the book was going to be about, I guess I would have liked it better, but instead I felt lied to in a way. J'ai du faire des pauses non que l'histoire soit mauvaise mais parce qu'elle est pesante. Ok je Aug 06, Daisy rated it really liked it. Very sad, amusing and confusing at the same time!
Dec 19, Marion Aranjo rated it it was amazing. Loved the story and the characters. Roza Dimka rated it liked it Jan 15, Natalie rated it it was ok Jul 11, Apelashhd rated it it was amazing Sep 14, Valentina "TinchyB" rated it it was ok Mar 28, Tricia McCartney rated it really liked it Aug 19, Kate rated it liked it Jun 07, Charmaine Kavira rated it liked it Jan 07, Jasmine Ng rated it really liked it Oct 17, Shannon Graham rated it liked it Jul 07, Raine The Llama rated it liked it Aug 28, Isabelle rated it it was amazing Aug 01, Young Adult.
About Berlie Doherty. Berlie Doherty. She is best known for children's books, for which she has twice won the Carnegie Medal. She has also written novels for adults, plays for theatre and radio, television series and libretti for children's opera. Books by Berlie Doherty. Trivia About Deep Secret. No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.
I'd recommend this book to anyone. It's sad, but it's fantastic! I do find it hard to believe that a novel as eerie and moving as this, about the flooding of a tiny, beloved village in Derbyshire to make way for a modern dam and reservoir, and about the mature grief felt by young Madeleine after the loss of her twin sister, should be missed out on by the majority of adults simply because it is labelled as 'young adult'.
The fate of the valley and the changing definitions of land ownership interests me most and makes the novel stand out. In contrast, the parts I do find it hard to believe that a novel as eerie and moving as this, about the flooding of a tiny, beloved village in Derbyshire to make way for a modern dam and reservoir, and about the mature grief felt by young Madeleine after the loss of her twin sister, should be missed out on by the majority of adults simply because it is labelled as 'young adult'.
However, possibly the saddest thing of all is how quickly the feudal way of life is forgotten after the valley is flooded; witness the unceremonious death of the past, and the murderers who got away with it, the novel seems to sigh. Jul 30, Georgina Ball rated it liked it.
Initially this book confused the hell out of me. I had no idea when or where this was set, and was expecting it to be set in modern times by the cover but it wasn't. Once I got over the intial confusion the book was quite book. It followed several different people, all from the same village in a valley, which made it interesting as you got various people's point of view. It made you feel part of the story. The things which happened were lossely based on real events and it's quite interesting rea Initially this book confused the hell out of me.
The things which happened were lossely based on real events and it's quite interesting really.
The plot was OK, a little dull and I expected a bit more from the blurb. I can't say it was evoked emotions of any kind in any part of the book which was a little disappointing. An OK book but not one that I'll probably remember reading in a couple of weeks. May 03, Dani rated it really liked it Shelves: uk. This was such an unbelievably sad book. Oh my word. Never having been a twin, I can't know how realistic their relationship was, but it certainly came across well. Doherty's 'writing voice' is the sort that I would normally write off as a Script of Things not Deep never having read any books by her before , but what she's pulled off in this book is something special.
She's got loss, love and village life all rolled into one spectacular story. So why only four stars, if I'm having trouble thinking This was such an unbelievably sad book. So why only four stars, if I'm having trouble thinking of something negative to say about it? Well, it's not really my type of thing.
It was good, I'm glad I read it, but It was a good book, set in England in about a pair of twins and one of them dies. Then the Government forces them to move out of their valley. The story was about grief, memories, and moving on. I liked it. Jul 24, Elisha rated it it was amazing.
I remember I took this book out of the library when I was in year six at primary school, and re read it about 7 times throughout the year! I can't entirely remember the plot but I do remember that it was an incredible book that moved me to tears, and that I enjoyed very much! Sep 23, Stone Rouffignac rated it it was amazing. I was completely taken aback by this book — it was not what I expected. I had anticipated a Young Adult novel featuring identical twin girls, with all the opportunities for confusion that could bring.
Instead, I found myself reading an historical novel, but set in what is, for me, the recent past, because it was around the time of my own birth. That fact alone caught my attention as I realised I could be the contemporary of the young children in the story. Nor was the book really about twins. Ins I was completely taken aback by this book — it was not what I expected. Instead it was about one twin and her interaction with all the other inhabitants of the valley, and of a way of life about to be lost forever.
And it was so sad. Towards the end there were happy moments too. Happiness and sadness intertwined. Deep Secret is one of the most emotionally-charged books I have read in a long time, and I thoroughly recommend it. It was okay. I liked the book, but when I read it I wasn't 'wow', if you know the feeling of course you know, I'm on the booklovers page. Mar 29, Elsbeth rated it it was amazing. A really amazing book!
Deep Secret® CSP | Benjamin Moore
Jan 23, Emma Louise added it Shelves: bought , not-my-thing , gave-up-on , forgettable. I think this book was a big old case of 'don't judge the book by its cover'. However,I do not mean that in a good way. Let's play a game. Here is a copy of the blurb from the back of this book with the pretty, girly cover featured above. Oliver, the handsome traveller. Colin, the steady student, and Seth, the blind man.
A cast of powerful characters uncover disturbing secrets when the building of a mighty dam drowns a beautiful village.