Vee is on a forced mental health hiatus until 16th June. See you then!

Review of Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge

by - April 18, 2014

Format: eCopy (for review)
Genres: Mystery, Historical, Paranormal,
Pages: 416
Pan MacMillan
Release Date: 08/05/2014
Find The Author: Website ¦ Twitter
Book Depository ¦ Amazon UK/US ¦ Goodreads

The first things to shift were the doll's eyes, the beautiful grey-green glass eyes. Slowly they swivelled, until their gaze was resting on Triss's face. Then the tiny mouth moved, opened to speak. 'What are you doing here?' It was uttered in tones of outrage and surprise, and in a voice as cold and musical as the clinking of cups. 'Who do you think you are? This is my family.'

When Triss wakes up after an accident, she knows that something is very wrong. She is insatiably hungry; her sister seems scared of her and her parents whisper behind closed doors. She looks through her diary to try to remember, but the pages have been ripped out. Soon Triss discovers that what happened to her is more strange and terrible than she could ever have imagined, and that she is quite literally not herself. In a quest find the truth she must travel into the terrifying Underbelly of the city to meet a twisted architect who has dark designs on her family - before it's too late...

The Cuckoo song is a strange tale of fantastical beings, strange occurrences, buried secrets and ultimately, family relationships of all shapes and sizes. Triss wakes up after nearly drowning on holiday and immediately feels out of place, the pages of her diary have been torn out and she can't quite remember things, such as where her bedroom is. Worse, her sister is screaming that she's not Triss and nothing she does can satisfy the hunger she has.

This is a seriously weird, creepy book. Seriously. It starts off creepily. It ends creepily. With various pieces of creepy weirdness just scattered around everywhere. This is a book where I was never quite sure what would happen next and it was always the least expected thing - dolls screaming and poking the main character with pins, giant falling scissors, the main character crying spiderweb tears.

Surprisingly, despite all the creepy weirdness, I actually found Triss's family the strangest, except for Penn. They expected Triss to look and act a certain way, kept her close and seemed most content when Triss was ill, so they could look after her. She has an odd relationship with both her mother and father as while they do keep her close, they're quite distant from her. Penn was the most interesting character in the story for me and watching her and Triss grow closer as siblings really made me invested in the story.

I did wonder how we would keep the story going as I discovered the mystery before half the book had been read and while there was still a lot more story to to read and lots of events happening, it did feel slow in places. The part of the story Triss was called by a slightly different name and it really got on my nerves for a while to be honest but I can't really explain why. It was just irritating.

This is a great fantasy read, albeit a really weird read, that I can definitely see on my shelves. I've never read anything like it, Frances really does have a very vivid imagination! There's subtle things on the cover that really make sense once you've read the book too, I really liked that. I will definitely be reading more of the author's books, I've already added one to my Goodreads shelf!

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  1. Sounds interesting. This is definitely not a book like any other I've ever heard of. You make it sound interesting as I do love creepy weird films, so why not read a creepy weird book, right?

  2. That cover alone creeps me out and you make it sound so creepy, so therefore I must read it.


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