Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review: THE UGLY TEAPOT by Fred Holmes

14-year old Hannah is grieving the death of her father. The only thing she has left was the lamp he gave her, which she was reminded of by a telepathic dog. Mmm, that’s interesting.

The lamp is just one of the “priceless relics” retrieved by her father from those dark and dangerous places he visited. He told her that this was “Aladdin’s lamp.” Ha! But, to Hannah, it was just an old, ugly teapot. But what if she could use it to resurrect her father?

At first, it would seem her wish didn’t work and Hannah was now stuck with a raggedy lamp and a somber genie. Soon, she’s thrust in a whirlwind of chaos when she realizes her father is alive and has been kidnapped by the Magician, who only wants the lamp.

As the story unfolds, it turns out that Aladdin’s lamp was not just a storybook or a myth; but “all myths have some basis in fact.” Now, the quest is on to return the lamp to the Cave of Forty Thieves to end the cycle of greed and suffering.

Story is a well-written adventure. Who wouldn’t want to have Aladdin’s lamp and have 3 wishes? I liked how the author crafted history and mythology into a well-researched tale; he didn’t “Disney” it up, making it cheesy and frivolous (even though the talking dog may have been a little cheesy.) Instead, it felt more like an Indiana Jones adventure with its incisive knowledge and intrepid spirit. What was perhaps a little confusing was the concept of time. For example, as a scene of a mosque unfolded in front of Hannah’s eyes, her mother was staring at that same picture 7K miles away. What? I didn’t quite get that. Also, at times, I felt the trek to be daunting and some details to be too complicated.   Although the historical significance was appreciated, I still would’ve much preferred a simplified version.

My rating: 3 stars

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