Saturday, December 1, 2018

Garden Princess by Kristin Kladstrup


Rating: a warty reading experience! See below:

I can't rate this entire thing because I couldn't really listen to it. I got it from the library on CDs, and when I tried to play it, the first five tracks didn't work, so that was chapter one unlistenable. Consequently I started at chapter two. The next two disks I barely heard because I was driving in pain-in-the-butt traffic and was more focused on that than on the disk. The fourth disk I had under perfect listening conditions, but it was also defective, so I decided to give up on this and maybe revisit it in print!

I couldn't see anything wrong with disk four except a minor scratch which didn't seem to account for the problems it had. I'd suspect that the lens on the player is dirty, but it played two and three without problems. It turned out that the first disk wouldn't play because there was what appeared to be a melted section of the disk - like it'd had a magnifying glass focusing sunlight on it in this one spot about a half inch in dimeter, which appeared very slightly bubbled. Just bad all around. Like I said, I may get back to this later in some other format!

The story, very briefly, is that Princess Adela who admirably wants to live a life before she settles down to marriage, and who is so interested in nature that she can't keep Botany at Bay! She notes that something seems amiss in Lady Hortensia's garden. Let's not get into how amusing the Lady's name is. It's actually not hard to see the issue: every flower is in bloom even though it's October. And no, the garden isn't in Texas! It's not that warm there in October. "Is it possible that Hortensia is a witch and the magpie an enchanted prince?" the blurb asks. Well I'm guessing the cover artist didn't read the blurb since he/she illustrated a Blackbird, not a Magpie. Ahem!

This is a peril of reading - so many formats, so little reliability! Ebooks can have formatting screwed-up (Amazon Kindle I'm looking at you), downloads can get garbled, print books can have torn and misprinted pages, disks can be damaged. Will there ever be a perfect reading medium that doesn't destroy trees, lard up the environment with plastics and other pollutants, or require boatloads of energy? I doubt it. Everything costs something. But you can mitigate effects by for example, using your phone to read ebooks instead of buying a dedicated reader such as a Nook or a Kindle, or by buying used print books - aka recycling! And recycle your own new print books to a library, a school, or to a place like Goodwill that can resell them.


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