My copy starts with an introduction, which I'm going to use for homework. This introduction goes on for 28 pages, and then a chronology of events, also for homework, and then a list of books by Hartley (i.e. advertisement). Dear readers, a moment of silence for this dead tattooed tree.
(That last is from Tumblr; anyone have a link I can credit?)
We finally start with the famous first line:
The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.I mean, wow. Never mind snarking, I love this sentence.
Then the MC, Leo, starts to describe a diary he's looking at. Lots of symbolic literary stuff. Leo is touchy about his memory. No, really. His memory. He doesn't want to look at the diary. But after a long paragraph of angst, he finally opens it; it's marked "for the year 1900".
Leo starts to think about Zodiac signs, which bear literary significance except guess what I wanted to read about? Leo's dark past, not his musings on the Zodiac, delusions he can perform magic, and a whole. paragraph. on. the. year. 1900. Seriously? What happened to shocking one-liners?
Leo then goes on to remember how he was bullied at school and used "blood magic" to vanquish them, hence gaining fame. Except he doesn't understand blood magic. But he's great at managing school, even though he was bullied and used blood magic to nearly kill the bullies. Really? Is Leo that deluded? I don't even think the magic is real.
Leo starts to converse with his past self, who reminds him of the incidents at Brandham Hall. He then looks at the combination lock of the box containing his diary: the password is LEO, his own name.
Am I the only one who thinks this is a crappy password?
Leo is invited to Brandham Hall for the summer holidays by Maudsley, a rich student whose first name he doesn't remember. (Within two pages, we're told it's Marcus. Way to go.) Marcus is impressed by Leo's magic, even though Leo is a complete jerk in using it. And we still haven't cleared up whether he's actually magical! (Spoiler alert: he isn't.)
After a few pages of rambling about "magic", we return to the invitation. And it says ... Leo is invited to Brandham Hall. Whew! Almost thought we'd get some new information there. (Okay, we found out Brandham Hall is in Norfolk. Informative.)
Leo doesn't want to go all of a sudden. Is this going under foreshadowing?
That's it for today: please do leave a comment whether you laughed to death, were shocked by my ridiculous comments, or simply awesome enough to make my day by saying hi :D And don't forget to subscribe for more random morbid insanity!