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Words are powerful and some books are so dangerous they should never be read. The Dancing Jacks’ is such a book, but so far nobody knows that. When it is put into circulation few are interested and nobody realizes how much it changes its readers: they start to manically rock back and forth while reading, express themselves in an odd way and act illogically, but those are only the most prominent symptoms. People start to believe they are characters of the book, that the reality they live in is only a dream. Not many can resist the book, and those who can are persecuted and persuaded with violence of the “truth”.
Time is getting short in order to do something against those developments, but rarely anybody sees them or takes them seriously. Young Paul is one of those who realize what is going on, but who is supposed to give credit to a child that is telling such a fantastic story?
“Dancing Jax” is a book that wants much and achieves only some of it. To name the positive things first: there are some passages important issues are addressed in, often only in a subordinate clause or a short remark – which is the good thing about it. The author is not trying to lecture you but offers thoughts that might lead to other ideas. It is up to you.
Furthermore, the book has kind of a negative presence. You will often find passages that hint towards a coming disaster; in addition, “Dancing Jax” will not give you many reasons to laugh but even starts with a scene even I found hard to stomach. The situation simply was too perfidiously planned and extremely cruel in its consequences.
The book within the book seems to be interesting at first, too, but that is all that can be said about it. Each chapter starts with a little excerpt which is very confusing at the beginning; later, when you found your way into the story, you have already forgotten all the details. This leaves us with the later excerpts and those included in the main text – those are not many, though.
A big problem of the book is that there are too many characters who get introduced but whom we do not get to know properly. There is never any depth even though the potential is there, I guess. I never felt as if those were stereotypes; however, I was never really interested in them either.
This is why there is no balance to the parts you will find rather boring because you do not care about the narrators at all.
To make matters worse, the plot never really thickens. What we get is an introduction; the main problem is established very thoroughly, unfortunately. The author does not alter his approach to that: it is always the same when people get lured into the book’s world, some show resistance but give way in the end all the same. When this pattern is repeated for the third or fourth time, you cannot even pretend to be surprised any longer. And it gets really boring, of course.
In the end, barely any interest in the future events is left, so I do not feel the need to continue reading this series. It is a pity if you think of how thrilling this book could have been if Robin Jarvis had concentrated on the progress of the story instead of the numerous characters.
It has been a good idea and an unsatisfying realization: too many characters and an uneventful story that keeps repeating itself often take all the joy of reading “Dancing Jax”. I am sorry for the good moments this books had; all in all, this is not a terrible book but it left me utterly unimpressed.