Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be composing a review for a book called ‘Tiger Trouble’ by Grant Goodman today. Just a side note, this review might mature into, a little or more, ranty and rumbling side of me so… beware? Because I really did not enjoy the process of reading this novel.
‘Tiger Trouble’ is a Middle Grade, Fantasy novel that centres around two protagonists named Steve and Darcy and they are both from different departments: one is a Ninja and the other is an Agent. Both of their lives collide together when they accidentally release an ancient evil from a vase.
So, without further ado, let us dive right into the review!
- All thoughts and opinions are on my own and…
- The book was sent to me by the author for review…
- The review for this book is spoiler-proof. So, feel free to stay until the very end of this article!
SECRET MISSIONS. SPIN KICKS. SINISTER GHOSTS.
Thirteen-year-old Agent Darcy is one of the top students at the Bureau of Sneakery, where there are three rules every agent must follow: never make friends with an outsider, never speak of the Bureau, and never reveal your real name. Lately, Darcy has hit a rough patch: her rival, Agent Serena, keeps outdoing her. If things keep going this way, Darcy is convinced that no one will ever assign her a real mission.
Ninja Steve’s city, Ninjastoria, is the home of sword fights, throwing stars, and Tae Kwon Donuts. Unlike his genius older sister, twelve-year-old Steve isn’t the best ninja student. He’d rather be swinging a sword instead of taking notes in class. Steve, however, is about to learn that being a true ninja means far more than being able to use a sword.
When Darcy is sent to Ninjastoria as an exchange student, it will turn both of their lives upside-down and raise all kinds of questions:
What do the mecha-moles want? Who is the man in the grey mask? What do ninjas eat for lunch? And why is there a menacing tiger on the cover of this book?
Time to read and find out!
My thoughts: The Beginning
Let us commence with this review by addressing the pacing of the novel. The pacing was prominently agile in this book. It was agile because it was a noticeably diminutive book, at the length of 179 pages. It took me 2 hours to finish this novel and if you are a fast reader, you would have completed this book in about an hour time because the font of the novel is quite huge. Furthermore, it was swift because the writing style is extremely easy to be read as it is written for a younger audience. Therefore, I thought the pacing was excellent if you would like to have a quick read.
Next, I would love to chat about the atmosphere of the novel and its world-building. The ambience of the novel had a sense of giddiness and care-free kind of demeanour. Well, I thought the giddiness of the novel was easily spotted as it is in no way camouflaging in the background because this is a middle-grade novel and a sense of fun should be expressed for a younger crowd to make them feel at home. The care-free ambience was arduous to recognise, at least for me, because you had to read around the sentences to detect them. For example, the way that Steve and Sam talked to each other as if nothing had drifted between them and also, the way that Sam encouraged Steve for kicking the ‘ghost’ in the butt like nothing is going to happen to Steve. Those are the ‘care-free’ moments and ambience.
In addition, the world-building of the novel was, unfortunately, lack-lustre. This intersected with the writing style of the book which I will go into detail later on but as for now, the world-building was not well built. There were instances where I went from ‘huh?’ to ‘What?’ because the places that we glimpsed through were not well described and there were not any rich history to the location of the places where the characters were at. Therefore, I detested the world-building of this novel.
Furthermore, I would like to converse on the relationship of the novel. I, for once, was pleasantly surprised with this element in the novel! The relationship that was conveyed between a brother and a sister was very accurate and it showed a kind of personal and special bonding between the siblings to understand that they will do anything to protect one another from anyone or anything. The novel also covered on the friendship aspect which I remarkably enjoyed! It showed the value of a friendship and how, when one is angry with the other, they feel great remorse and the bonding tightens around them again. Therefore, I savoured the relationship aspect of the novel!
Moreover, I would like to comment on the action sequences in the novel. The action sequences were all pushed towards the end of the novel which was vexatious. That was not the only part which was bothersome, it was also because the sequences did not feel as exciting and enticing as it should be. I found myself getting fatigued as they were attempting to restrain the ghost into the vase. Everything just felt … really monotonous. Thus, I did not appreciate the action sequences as much as I should be.
Finally, I would appreciate conversing on the romance aspect of the novel. Thank Goodness this novel does not have any romance aspect in it! I figured if this book contained romance, it would be even graver than it already is. However, there were some hints on romance on certain characters and I think that was good enough. Not more is needed.
Writing: The Middle
I did not sufficiently fancy the writing style for this book. The style of writing for this book was informal, ponderous and vague. We will break down each of the styles that were used actively to write this novel:
The writing style for this novel was vague due to how the description of the landscape was written. This feature is connected to the world-building which we had discussed in the above section. The description of the landscape and the surrounding were mere glimpses from the character’s eyes and it was only described when the characters pondered on something and presumed it was refreshing to be recognised.
With that, we are left with limited knowledge of the world that the author had thrown us in and insufficient ideas on the landscape of the school and how it works which will lead to the deficit of world-building and thus, it falters at the footstep of a crumbling world description.
Allow me to demonstrate the ponderous writing that was instilled in this novel:
Steve begged his father to reconsider his decision to ground him. Steve did the unthinkable and told him about this afternoon with Kelly. Steve had never talked to his father about stuff like that. After all, what would his dad know about dates?
and there are more…
They walked home after that. Arjun’s house was on the same street as Steve’s. They didn’t say much. They were too tired and still angry at each other.
Steve was looking at Ninja Kelly’s number. Steve was thinking about texting Ninja Kelly. Steve had been doing this for the past thirty minutes.
Steve … steve … STEVE! I thought these sentences could be condensed into a string of sentence that ripples placidly but unfortunately, it was written in this kind of mode and it pretty much irritated me. The use of full-stops and the lack of commas are astonishingly prominent in the writing! It was, as if, the author was trying to hit a word count or something.
With the mini demonstration above, you could see that the writing was both ponderous and informal. Informality in writing is sometimes a good thing but too much of it makes it worse and that is what had occurred here.
Another sentence that I would like to demonstrate:
Darcy stopped taking her laptop to classes. None of the classrooms had internet access. The entire village, it turned out, had limited internet, had almost no wifi. She had never realized that schools could be built without internet access. And she never would have dreamed that an entire society of people could exist without a constant link to Worldopedia or Metube.
The biggest turn-off that I had when I read this book was this sentence that laid above of this paragraph. Not only because a character is an ignorant person, but it is also because of this: Worldopedia or Metube.
What makes me fall-out-of-love with a book is when authors try to link their stories to the real world and names such as Whatsapp and all the other apps’ names but change the names a little bit to obtain it as their own product.
That’s exactly what happened here.
Metube = Youtube
Worldopedia = Encyclopedia
Characters: The 3/4 Section Of The Review
Steve is such a lack-lustre character! Most of the time, I questioned his intentions on certain moves and actions that he had taken that do not seem to coincide with whatever situation that they were in? Also, his character does not seem to have a single flaw which made him a little boring because he is ‘perfect’. Due to the fact that this character lacks flaws, he does not have a single string of character development. Furthermore, his character does not seem to make a mistake except for breaking the vase. Moreover, he seemed a little naive for believing that everything will be alright and we will be invincible … even though it’s totally not alright and invincibility always faltered.
Darcy is a character that felt like Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. If I have not read Harry Potter prior to reading this novel, I would not see the similarity between both of them but I spotted it and that’s that. However, unlike Hermione, Darcy was a really simple character that does not really have any other characteristic except for her excessive predilection for studying and her, being a head-strong person. If her character has more elements, she would be marked off as a good character that’s complex but unfortunately, those elements failed to show up.
Sam is Steve’s best friend and he does not play a huge role in the novel. He just played a minor role to drive the plot forward. Honestly, he was not really needed to be included in the novel if the plot changes a little bit because apparently, he was supposed to ‘fall-in-love’ with a girl he barely knew in order to lead her to a secret passage in the museum to inadvertently break a vase filled with a dangerous being. Honestly, I do not even see a flaw or a characteristic in his characterization that I could point on. He just felt a little dull to me.
Nora is a remarkably forgettable character because right after this book had ended, I had already disremembered that she played a huge role in the novel. I reckon part of the reason why she was forgettable is that her character does not have much depth to the core of her being and all we knew about her was: she’s smart and cunning. However, the portrayal of her relationship with Steve, who is her brother, was really accurate as siblings always tease one another. If, only if, her character has more flaws and depth, it will make for a better novel and a more advanced character development.
Serena is a character who I despised in the commencement of the novel but as the book proceeded, I leisurely built to appreciate her persona. What had made me detest her character in the beginning? Her shortage of skills for addressing the right thing, in other words, rudeness that would make people weep because they think that they are not worthy in the eyes of their colleagues. She was a bully, as well, because of the way that she had chosen her choice of words and employed them to exploit others who were feeling with great compunction about themselves. And those above are the flaws that she had, gradually, improved and removed as the story advanced forwards. Therefore, character development occurred and that’s what made her a memorable character, unlike Nora.
Overall: The Ending
I was notably disappointed with this novel. Although it had some elements that I enjoyed such as the value of friendship and a string of connection with a person that the characters barely knew of, I thought the rest of the elements were shallow and sometimes, misstate itself in some places in the novel and therefore, I shall furnish this novel with a 25% rating.
This is the end of my spoiler-free review for Tiger Trouble By Grant Goodman! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!