Adult · Book review · Fantasy

Review: Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeannette Ng

34643773Under the Pendulum Sun is a standalone historical fantasy book.

This was weird and twisted.
I mean, it’s about Victorian missionaries in fairyland, and everything goes wrong. I want my fae to be creepy and monstrous, and this totally delivered. The cover is just as beautiful and unusual as the content – it’s probably one of my favorite covers of all time (this was a cover buy).
Unfortunately, this was all the book had going for it.

I mean, the writing was good, but it never surprised me. And a twisted plot isn’t that interesting when you see most if not all the twists coming and the characters are bland.
The pacing didn’t help – it’s slow, uneven at times, and it took me almost a week to complete the book.

I don’t think Under the Pendulum Sun is a bad book. I believe it’s worth the read just for how weird and intricate it is – it won’t be forgettable, at least. It just didn’t work that much for me.

This book could be for you if:
•You love theology. There is a lot of it. I didn’t care that much about that aspect of the story. I liked how the book didn’t portray missionaries as good, pure people, and the parts about the exploration of sin were interesting; however, one of the twists was very predictable because of them.
•You like weird. I do! The sun of Arcadia is literally a pendulum, the moon is a fish, and there are Sea Whales who swim in the earth and are called Sea Whales because they have the sea inside. The worldbuilding was my favorite part. I also really liked the masquerade scenes, the descriptions were… unsettling.
•You have no problems with changeling plotlines that do not deal with the fact that changelings were invented as an explanation for autistic/mentally ill children. (I have some mixed feelings about this, but it’s another discussion. It has less to do with this book and more with the trend – I haven’t found a changeling narrative that addressed it yet)
•Non-romanticized incest isn’t too gross or triggering for you.
•Unlikable-but-forgettable main characters and slow pacing do not bother you. This was probably the main reason the book didn’t work for me, but if it isn’t a problem for you, you’ll probably love this.

My rating: ★★★½

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