i don’t think that’s going to happen with ROSALLEA.
ROSALLEA is a fantasy novel that dwells in the world of witch doctors and shamans, or in filipino term: mangkukulam. the story centers on the title character, rosallea, who discovers that she is of magical descent–and that she is being hailed as the salvation of the good witch doctors.
the main plot of the story is for good to triumph over evil. and with the title character being the “chosen one” that was the story i was expecting to read. instead, the book reads as a very long beginnings story.
i’ve never read miss gilda olvidado’s work before this. i have seen some of her works that had been turned into television soap series (because of work), but none of the scripts were actually written by her. those obviously do not count.
but if ROSALLEA is like her other works, then i don’t think i’ll be picking up another one of her books.
i’m sure there are people who would like ROSALLEA. it’s a book aimed at making you feel good about being good; it’s a black-and-white story of good versus evil; and it’s quite easy to read. but i’m just not one of those people.
my main problem with the book is how it’s written in tagalog–but it’s peppered with pop culture references and english jargons that clash horribly with the chosen setting: a province ruled by shamans. with NAERMYTH, i was able to accept that all the characters were speaking in english, because the whole book was in english. ROSALLEA can’t say the same thing. the business was written completely in tagalog (some of which are rarely used in real life), and the dialogue was a mix of deep tagalog and cannibalized english.
but the reason i can’t get behind the book is simple: i can’t relate to the main character. at all. she’s the perfect daughter, the most amazing student, and the best friend you can never have. she’s perfect. so while reading the book, you don’t feel anything for her. you know she’s going to get out of the whole thing alive, and barely hurt.
working for television, i know that most filipinos have an obsession for that perfect protagonist whose life could break the strongest man. but i don’t think that’s what you need in a book hero. especially one that’s targeted to the young adults, or the children. readers need a hero to emulate, to relate to and look up to. we don’t want a perfect hero. we want one that’s believable.
would i recommend ROSALLEA? at around 400 pesos, i would suggest that you just borrow it from someone who already has a copy. it’s not a must-buy.