If you read The Vanishing Season after having read Tiger Lily, it’s inevitable that you’re going to want to talk about both of the books and make some (almost unfair) comparisons. I adored Tiger Lily, and it’s one of my favourite books of all time, but I didn’t adore The Vanishing Season. It’s very difficult for me to write a review for it, because it was simply just boring. I don’t know how else to explain it. So here, have some bullet points, because those make everything better.
The Vanishing Season wasn’t enthralling or exciting in the slightest. I was bored after thirty pages of the slow (yet still beautiful, I will give it that) writing and sluggish pace. The whimsical writing didn’t work for me here as it did with Tiger Lily. Instead of captivating me and drawing me into the world, I was left stranded.
These characters didn’t stand out to me at all. Tiger Lily (yes, I’m comparing the two again) has an amazing selection of characters that I loved reading about. From Tink (*sobs*) to Peter to Tik Tok, they were all brilliant. But Maggie and Pauline and Liam were flat. I didn’t care about their lives or their problems or their relationships. Liam succeeded in pissing me off, which meant that I spent most of the book rolling my eyes at him and yawning at the other two.
The ending still made me sad, even if I did skim most of the chapters prior to it. I didn’t feel a connection to the story or the characters, so it kind of felt like I was watching the ending on the news. I was detached, but it was still a sad story and I felt for the characters towards the end. Not enough for them to actually appeal to me or make me cry, but still.
All in all, I’m very disappointed because I was expecting another all time favourite story from Ms. Anderson. This isn’t enough to put me off reading her other books, but it has certainly lowered my expectations a little. Or a lot.