The premise of Bovine sounds hilarious to me--kid gets mad cow disease, starts having hallucinations, and sets off on a Don Quixote style journey. I'd be interested to read a review of it.
As for her 2003 debut A GTB, well, I didn't really love it. But I think I'm in the minority saying that.
There's a movie in the works, and it was on the NYT bestseller list. And there are like 400 raves for it on Amazon. So I'm sure the problem was all mine. Here's the (link) to reviews and how you can buy it if you're interested.
Just fyi, here's my review:
A GTB opens in a busy marketplace in Victorian India. There's a quick series of events culminating in main character Gemma seeing her mother die in a vision to protect Gemma from "Circe," an unseen evil spirit.
Gemma's immediately sent to a boarding school in England where she continues having visions. Then she learns she's a portal to another spiritual realm where she is warned Circe could be lurking.
She's warned by this fellow Kartik, who follows her back from India. He's a member of some ancient order that isn't clearly explained, and he's constantly (inexplicably) appearing in the forest around the boarding school watching her and warning her to stop.
Problem: she brought three friends over with her, and they beg her to take them back because it's a place where all their dreams come true. Gemma's mother is also there, and Gemma longs to see her mother again.
So they keep going back until bad things start happening, and they start to lose control.
* * *
It sounds really action-packed, but the truth is, I found the book slow going. And I gotta be honest, while I cared about Gemma, her behavior was often inexplicable--and not in the "I'm a teenager, I don't always make sense" kind of way.
I didn't buy her friendship with the other three girls. Bray sets her up as fiercely independent, and then has her manipulated by them in ways that were inconsistent with her character.
But it's a beautifully written book. Bray adores luxurious description, and it's not hard to read. Still, more than once it seemed like an exciting event was lost in all the lush detail.
Perhaps I wasn't in the right mood for it.
There were a few disturbing scenes and tense moments, and there was a hint of romance, although it wasn't deeply explored. I did get a thorough knowledge of the four main girls, and I did want to know what was going to happen to them...
And I love the cover. It's absolutely gorgeous~
If you're a fan of historic paranormals or gothic novels along the lines of Jane Eyre, or if you liked that movie The Craft (remember that one?) you'll probably like it.
It's not a super-fast page-turner, but it has its moments of intrigue, which got me thinking about something completely different.
Personally, I love a good page-turner, but at the same time, I hate it when a good story ends. (Don't we all?)
JRM says J.K. Rowling is a master of the long novel. (I only read the one, so I don't know.) He said all those later Harry Potter books were long, but Rowling kept the story moving and readers engaged.
That's very much a goal of mine as a writer: To master the art of the long page-turner.
What do you guys think? Yes, long books? No to long page turners? I guess my house does get super messy when I find a good, long book I can't seem to stop reading...
I'd love to hear your thoughts. Til Thursday~ <3