Melting Stones by Tamora Pierce: C

From the back cover:
Evvy, the fierce young stone mage introduced in Street Magic, has accompanied her guardian, Rosethorn, on a mission to study a mysterious plant die-off. With the help of Luvo, who is the living heart of a mountain, Evvy discovers the real source of the threat, which is far greater than anyone had imagined.

Preventing a natural disaster may cost Evvy her life. Even more frightening, doing so may require her to melt her own heart of stone… and to open herself to human contact.

Written by Tamora Pierce specifically for the voices of Full Cast Audio, Melting Stones is an unprecedented publishing event: the first time a major novel from a best-selling author has made its debut on audio a full year ahead of the print version!

I’ve enjoyed all of the other books in the Circle of Magic series, but Melting Stones nearly bored me to tears. Here are the main problems I had with it:

1. Evvy herself. She was whiny and cranky, and prone to doing risky things. When Luvo cautioned her against a rash action, she said, “If you’re going to natter and scold, don’t come with me!” As a result, she got into a dangerous situation and all I could think was, “He tried to warn you, dumbass.” Additionally, this attitude meant she had to learn (and I had to endure) a Very Important Lesson.

2. Profound monotony. 90% of the book was Evvy either rhapsodizing about, talking to, or casting her magical self underground to travel within rocks.

3. It was more juvenile than the others in the series. The “real source of the threat” that Evvy discovered turned out to be two volcano spirits, characterized like petulant kids. Evvy’s narrator also contributed to the childish feel. The character’s supposed to be fourteen, but sounded about twelve. Not only that, she sounded like a twelve-year-old putting on her best story-time voice for a group of five-year-olds. If you can successfully imagine someone going on—at length and in detail—about rocks in such a voice, you’ve begun to understand my pain.

I might have enjoyed this somewhat more in a print edition, since I would’ve interpreted Evvy’s thoughts more maturely than the narrator did, but honestly, I don’t think it would’ve made much difference.

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  1. They’re going to sit on a completed book for an extra YEAR?!

    Holy crap. That is just asinine.

  2. Yep. Now, granted, this audiobook came out in late 2007, so the print edition has just come out. I’m sort of tempted to ditch this audio copy and acquire the other, but just now, I’m not feeling too inclined to spend any additional money on this disappointing book.

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