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Prince Of Neither Here Nor There, The Paperback – Aug 11 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (Aug. 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143171208
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143171201
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.2 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #404,726 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "Nienna" on Nov. 16 2010
Format: Paperback
I really loved this book. I'm an adult but I adored this book - it was a great story, lighthearted, and "magical".

As a person familiar with Toronto it was also fun to follow the characters through the city.

I'm looking forward to the next books in the series
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Read Oct. 18 2010
By SecretAgent - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Great story by one of Canada's funniest minds. This is another great tale full of fantasy, humour and adventure. Anyone who has read his Hamish X series will be pleased to see the comedic "footnotes" are back. It's targeted to tween readers but any adult who enjoys adventures will enjoy this book too. Highly recommended!
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Stereotyped and trite. Oct. 13 2010
By Rajesh Motie - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The Prince of Neither Here Nor There is one of those books where every five minutes you stop to say "wait, haven't I seen this somewhere before?"

Protagonist Brendan Clair is an extremely typical high school "loser", plagued by pimples, clumsiness, and bullies. He is as blunt and unintelligent as they come. He reacts to nothing like a teenager would and makes unbelievable decisions. He has no distinct personality.

Brendan finds out he's actually a Faerie whose appearance has been altered by magic. He couldn't just be any Faerie either, no sir, he must be a *prince*. Some craziness transpires and his guise begins to fail, so his location is revealed and evildoers are coming for him. The ensuing tale is full of boring action, hammy villains, a cliched cast, and at the center of it an unready Brendan who must contend with it using his dull Faerie powers.

The supporting cast isn't any better than Brendan. They're archetypal good guys and bad guys. The good guys are loyal to the Faerie Law. The Law, by the way, is a set of rules that asks completely ridiculous and unfair things of people. The heroes are convinced that the Faerie Law is a good thing, though I don't know how they could possibly be so deluded. It is required that newcomer Brendan accepts these rules, even though he is put in mortal danger because of them. Brendan's friends include a classic new transfer student and a "one of the boys" badgirl who always stands up for him. They seem to be collections of overdone tropes posing as characters.

In his narration, author Sean Cullen uses footnotes to state his opinion or give additional information. Often, the footnotes tell you things that the hero really should be learning, because he needs to know and so that we can learn through him. There are also cases where Cullen jokes about overestimating the intelligence of the audience or gives some trivia (which may or may not be accurate). It can be funny at times (and I'm Canadian, so that's a bonus), or just dumb(do we really need a joke about the word "baleful"?) but the whacky nature of these footnotes usually doesn't mesh with the tone of the story (that is, it takes itself seriously), and I don't think it needed a self-aware narrator.

Sean Cullen's interpretation of magic is believable enough in that it requires actual concentration, but other than that, the fictional world is terrible. This is a world where Humans and Faeries (and Faeries are really just prettied-up versions of Humans) used to coexist, but then the Humans started using metal, which Faeries are allergic to. The Faeries also didn't like the way metal was being used, so arguments and disagreement broke out. Apparently, the Humans won the conflict somehow, and so the Faeries went into hiding. Then the Humans just forgot about the Faeries. They just forgot. Just like that. Oh, and that's not all the Humans don't know about. There are Kobolds and Dwarves and Trolls and Selkies and what not, but Humans don't know about them these days. They haven't seen them, even though they're right there, in plain sight. I can suspend my disbelief for some things, but not for selkies swimming in the open or a troll living in a subway.

Sean Cullen loves to talk down to his readers. The Prince of Neither Here Nor There shoves an environmental message down your throat around every corner. Alright, we get it Cullen, Humans suck and Faeries are awesome. And what's with this message about how metal is bad? Cullen isn't the only one pushing it (glaring your way, Obert Skye).
Well people, you know all of that technology that provides homes for people? Get this - we wouldn't have it without metal. You know all that medicine and surgery that saves lives? Get this - we wouldn't have it without metal. This book that I'm reviewing couldn't have been made without metal. I mean, are you really going to oppose invention, architecture, engineering, science? Faeries have created things like cell phones using magic and wood, which is great. Then they go and criticize Humans for using artificial materials while continuing to keep magic a secret. Well excuse us, we can't use a technological method we don't know exists. What do they expect Humans to do? I don't understand.
3 out of 10

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