Like an ABC Afterschool Special, The Girl Who Could Fly was a couple hours of harmless entertainment. For the most part, I read it during a weeks worth of 15 minute bus rides to and from work. But other than helping to pass that time, it didn’t really do much for me.
I found Piper’s dumb Okie talk distracting. Maybe it was due in part to just having read These Is My Words, and I was “Okie talked” out. Her language didn’t fit with the modern high-tech setting she was in. “Little House On The Prairie meets X-Men” just didn’t work for me. It was oil and vinegar; a strange juxtaposition of opposing ideas; a weird melding of two worlds; an impossible dichotomy of contrasting genres. At least that’s how Lil C described it to me.
There was also another uncomfortable contrast for me. The reading level and story line really seemed to be geared toward the tween crowd, but there were some rather adult themes buried in there – namely, the torture of animals, and children; going tharn; and suicide. I’m not sure a tweeny can really grab hold of the concept of Dr. Hellion’s blocked memory and the story that had replaced it in her mind, and how it drove her to torture shiny giraffe’s and singing crickets; and then her decision to plummet to her death when the reality that she had killed her little sister came crashing in on her.
Regarding X-Men and Heroes like powers – I don’t know why Piper seemed to be the key to everyone’s escape - other than her little bit of moral support. They already had super smarts, super strength, x-ray vision, weather control, telekinesis, electric bolts shooting from hands, and of course Rainbow Girl; and yet Conrad was just waiting for a girl who could fly so he could escape. Yeeaaaah. The cruelty in order to get her to realize what was going on seemed contrived as well. You don’t need super smarts to know that there is something going on when your school is underground, the directors name is Hellion, and it happens to be called I.N.S.A.N.E.
The author also left things kind of hanging in the end; there was an invisible man that we never really got the story on, who came back to tell them they were still in danger and needed to come with him; yet, I haven’t heard anything mentioned about any planned sequels. Just as well for me I guess. I rekon I won’t be readin’ any mo from this writer.