Jul 3, 2008

Legacy's Gift is a Big Steaming Pile of Turds

This is your lucky day, you guys. Two for the price of one. After reading Calamity Jinx I decided I just hadn't had enough of Allie, so I read Legacy's Gift.

So here we have a truly, truly awful cover to mix perfectly with this truly, truly awful book. Allie is wearing what looks like a men's suit jacket that she stole from the 1980s, which she has fashionably paired with a pair of oversized jeans tucked into hideous cowboy boots and a helmet with a bow whilst she is riding an old plow horse over a jump. No wonder Ugly Paul Rudd is yelling at her, though I'm not sure if it's about her horrendous outfit or the fact that she's WAY too huge for that horse and in the most incorrect version of jump position ever. Way to hold the reins, fool face. Also, she's somehow managed to find a saddle blanket with stirrups attached. Neat. And don't get me started on that scary martingale attached to Legacy's halter? I bet Ugly Paul Rudd is afraid he's going to get sued when Allie falls off that horse and breaks her head/its legs when she gets tangled under them.
Allie, now sixteen years old, is just one win away from becoming a full-fledged jockey. Everyone gathers at Tall Oaks to celebrate her achievement. At the festivities the jockeys and trainers reminisce about their favorite horses past and future. Inspired more than ever by their tales, Allie and her horse Wonder's Legacy set out for Whisperwood to perfect their jumping skills and to look after a broodmare named Sterling Dream that is due to foal soon.

But a failed attempt at cross-country jumping forces Allie and Legacy to slow down. It's only when Sterling disappears that they get back on track. Will they be able to save the missing mare and her unborn foal in time? Be sure toe celebrate the rich history of the Thoroughbred series with all you favorite characters in this spectacular concluding volume.
Okay guys. We all know the story by now: HarperCollins decided this was to be the last book of the Thoroughbred series and Mary Anderson, who did always work really hard for us, had to drastically alter the book to make it a concluding volume. I admire her valiant efforts, or at least appreciate them, but if anything this book simply made me loathe Allie even more. How truly awful that the last TB book we got was starring this boring, offensive, shit-for-brains Mary Sue who came out of nowhere and added absolutely nothing to the series when she wasn't degrading the last shreds of worth that it had left.

Prior to this reread, I'd only read through all my Allie books once, so I thought maybe my memory was biased and she really wasn't that bad. I was wrong. Calamity Jinx was just barely tolerable, but this book and Allie's character are painfully unbearable. More than once I made noises of disgust and felt myself glossing over as I was reading because my brain simply could not absorb the rampant suck that is this black hole of awfulness.

There's not really anything worth detailing here extensively, as most of this book is simply characters reminiscing about the ghosts of TBverse past, as if all the backstory missing from the other 27 other New Generation books was crammed into a mere 162 pages. Yes, I know all about Glory, etc., I don't fucking care. I wanted you to tell me about them, you know, 20 fucking books ago. Then, shitty shit face TB series, you actually made me sort of care about Melanie and Christina and all their assorted human and horse-related friends (i.e. Kevin, etc.) and they are barely fucking in this book. After investing 20 or so books in them. And now they're just not even here and I am stuck reading about Miss Fucking Perfect Prissy Pants Loser Face. Dear God. Can I make it clear how much I hate this book and this character? We don't even get one scene at Whitebrook. Instead everything takes place at Whisperwood and Tall Oaks, two New Generation inventions that I couldn't give a shit about. If asked, I would withhold. Seriously, how blasphemous is this entire concept? I mean, really.

For the sake of...something, I will provide a synopsis. Allie wins a race and therefore loses her bug according to whatever TBverse logic applies that day. Allie has a party. Samantha bred Sterling to Legacy. Parker is finally on the Olympic team. Christina is going to become a vet. Melanie is taking some college courses and still jockeys. Allie rides and is the best jockey ever and only loses one race, and that's only because her horse was bumped. Allie changes her last name to al-Rihani and starts calling Cindy and Ben Mom and Dad, which is REALLY fucking creepy. Allie starts training Legacy to jump. Image has her foal. While jumping on the cross country course Legacy falls in a stream and is totally freaked out. Leah and Lucas turn two. Tor goes to Arizona because his dad is sick. Allie stays at Whisperwood to help out. Mrs. Battleship has her foal. Sterling escapes from her paddock and has a foal in the woods, which somehow means both of them almost die. Allie and Legacy jump a stream and save the day. Everyone thinks Sterling's foal is going to die. Ashleigh comes over and talks to Allie. The foal lives. Ashleigh cries. The foal is named Allie's Wonder. The end.

Really, there's nothing more to it. The book is incredibly saccharine and sweet when it is not full of boring crap we already know or attempting to be suspenseful by tricking us into thinking Legacy will never jump water again. The plot is forced and unbelievable, not to mention regurgitated and boring. I will say, I thought the ending, with Allie, Sam, and Ashleigh all watching a little chestnut foal nurse together, was actually kind of touching. It was a neat way to conclude things, except fucking Allie was there and had to ruin it all and there was the absolute sacrilege of naming the foal Allie's Wonder. I think if you had replaced Allie with Cindy and/or Christina and/or Melanie and/or Brad Townsend and/or a goat in this scene then I would have been fine. But fucking Allie. Stupid fucking Allie. I hate her.

Stupid Things I Noticed:
  • Allie is such an amazing jockey that she's won 45 races in her first three months of racing. Oh please. Choke me on a spoon. I bet even Cindy can't stand her.
  • Apparently Ashleigh and Cindy got their start by riding terrible, bottom of the barrel horses such as Wonder and Champion because they were women and no one would let them ride on the better horses. You know, like the ones that could fly.
  • Christina actually admits she was self-centered, and Ashleigh actually admits she was a brat for sending Star away. Say what you will about Mary, but she was always good at going back and making sure characters admitted their mistakes.
  • Allie has her own suite of rooms in the Tall Oaks mansion, but I'm sure that's still not enough space to fit her giant fucking head.
  • Ben is a fucking creepo. He is always sneaking up on Allie when she thinks she's alone in the barn. I just get this image of him standing in an empty stall all day, listening to people's conversations, waiting for people to come by so he can jump out and freak them out. He's like the anti-Batman. Or a robot. Or maybe people keep mistaking him for siding and using him to patch holes, and Allie just keeps running into him after he's finally managed to free himself.
  • Cindy gives Allie permission to train Legacy to jump because "having fun" is more important than looking out for the safety and wellbeing of your valuable stud horse and his idiot teenage rider.
  • How is having a foal in the woods perilous for a horse? Wouldn't instincts kick in or something? Maybe I'm ignorant but...Sterling taking a stroll to have her baby in a thicket doesn't really = instant death to me. It equals instinct and shitty fence combining.
  • Dr. Lanum changes from a man to a woman in mere pages. Amazing things they can do with surgery these days.
That's it. I'm done with Allie. Reading Allie's Legacy would probably make me vomit. Yuck. I know this whole business is supposed to be lighthearted and funny, and I apologize if my rage was off-putting. But now that this is out of the way, things will be better. If someone else wants to try to review this book and do a better job, be my guest. I will happily eat my shoe.


Monique said...

Oh, claire. i personally found this review one of the funniest ever. and it perfectly sums up how I feel about the book. I read Allie's Legacy a few days back and I still can't sum up the energy to review the fucking thing, so I applaud you! *applauds*

Anonymous said...

Allie's Wonder really made me want to hurl my Milky Way. Allie is a tacked on Mary Sue! And they KILLED OFF JILLY *AND* CRAIG to get another orphan! Wtf is it with orphans? Cindy's parentS died, Mel's mom died, Allie's parentS died, Star's mom died, Rainbow and Clover's mom died. God, enough with the dying!

Anonymous said...

WHAT?! Legacy JUMPS? That is the most stupid thing I've ever heard. The whole frickin POINT of Legacy was that he DIDNT jump. And how old would Legacy be? Let me think. Twelve?

Ugh. I'm so mad. I'm so glad I didn't read this. I'm so angsty.

Claire said...

monique, you are the person who keeps me going in the face of these incredibly trying times ;)

Elizabeth said...

Ben is a fucking creepo. He is always sneaking up on Allie when she thinks she's alone in the barn. I just get this image of him standing in an empty stall all day, listening to people's conversations, waiting for people to come by so he can jump out and freak them out. He's like the anti-Batman. Or a robot.

That doesn't sound like a robot. That sounds like a pedophile.