Scuff is an orphan, a runaway, and the main character of the chilling novel Ambergate. She has no name, just a number, 102, branded on her left arm. Those who know her call her Scuff, after her over-sized boots. She is convinced that a thing she did in her past, out of desperation, was a crime, and a sin. And she would do anything to atone for that so called crime.
What I really liked about this novel was that it seemed so real. The reactions of the characters to the events in the book were very well thought out, very believable. Their actions were backed up by motives, and nothing they did left you wondering “why?” at the end of the book. I also liked the suspense, the way I never knew what would happen next.
I found the places in the book highly interesting. I liked the very detailed descriptions of both the places and what was going on at the moment. While I didn’t like the dark aspect of the novel, the descriptions of mistreated orphans, the places they had to live in, it did make a point. The events, while seemingly far-fetched, could easily be real.
What I didn’t like about the book was the frequent change of perspectives. The story line hopped from each character to the next with no warning, which I believe seriously obstructed the flow of the plot and made it harder to follow. I also think that the story was overly dark. Many terrible things happened but hardly any good things happened to counter them.
Another criticism would be that a few of the characters failed my expectations, such as a young soldier by the name of Chance. His character was built up to the point that I expected a lot to happen because of him but in the end it seemed he didn’t really account for much of the book.
This book is eerie, and the mere memory comes close to sending shivers up my spine, but at the same time, it was wonderful. It drew me in from the first page, with its mystery, and the way it plunged straight into the story. No book has ever affected me the way Ambergate has.
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