Criticizing Alone: The Edge Chronicles

Does it ever happen that you find a criticism of a semi-popular book that puts you off in a big way, but no one else seems to notice or mind?

607437I read the first of The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart not long after it came out.  Early/mid-2000’s, probably.  I had the first book from the library and was enjoying it until I got to a section where the main character meets a girl in the woods.  She’s very normal-looking and pleasant, but she can’t help him out or take him home because she lives in a community of all women and they would eat him.  It turns out that all lovely little girls turn into horrific grotesque ogresses. . .when they come of age (roughly pre-teen age) and drink from the blood root which transforms them.

Now, I’m not generally on the look out for themes or allegories in books (at least my conscious-self isn’t), and as a teenager, I was certainly not well-versed in anything like that.  But. . .this seems pretty outrageously misogynistic.  Nice little girls hit puberty and turn into ugly violent ogresses because of blood in their body.  Ummm.

However, no one seems to have noticed this.  I can’t find any critiques of this part of the book, or anyone who also read it and went, ‘Nope.’  I haven’t picked up the books since, and I’m still hesitant of Chris Riddell’s art because that’s what I associate with this book.  I have second guessed myself, but I’m still pretty sure this is awful.  It just is flying under the radar, maybe because it was published before the internet and Web 2.0 got big.


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