Not quite as good as the first, since the ending was rather anticlimactic. However, still an AWESOME read. I especially appreciated the author's attenNot quite as good as the first, since the ending was rather anticlimactic. However, still an AWESOME read. I especially appreciated the author's attention to detail for detail's sake (like recovering Asia Crane's vial). I'm starting Vision In Silver immediately.
If you haven't read these books, do your self a favor and do. I almost passed them up and I'm so glad I didn't....more
One line review: Nothing new or original here, but still an enjoyable read with some excellent supporting characters.
I read this book based on some fOne line review: Nothing new or original here, but still an enjoyable read with some excellent supporting characters.
I read this book based on some frankly sensational reviews I read, which billed this book as many things that it really isn't.
Don't get me wrong, this is a fun read with some interesting elements, including good supporting characters and an interesting world and system of magic. It's got a lot of things going for it, but quite frankly I feel like I've read this book before. To be honest, I feel like I've read this book a half dozen times since The Hunger Games came out.
It's not a bad story, but it contains a lot of borrowed elements. Everything, from the world, to the monarchy/elite, to the not-so-secret rebellion, and the girl thrown in the middle of it all with mysterious powers, everything was just a little too familiar. Familiar can be good, but in this story I feel like the author uses them but doesn't ever make them her own.
For example, a lot is made of the Silvers (this book's evil oppressive elite), and while the protagonist does rub elbows with them, very little court intrigue or interaction of any kind takes place. The intrigue and politics are nothing like what you'd find in some other fantasy series, like Game of Thrones. Likewise, the love triangle (or quadrangle, possibly) is weak and didn't pull at my heartstrings at all, since it seemed pretty obvious who the "chosen" one would be (i.e. no Peeta vs. Gale conundrums here). And the rebellion was rather disappointing and not nearly as clever or as interesting as it might have been.
Still, some of the supporting characters are really dynamite. Julian, Sera and even the guard are all pretty wonderful. I think they could have been even stronger, but they just don't get enough screen time to really shine. Likewise, even the villains- like the Queen and Evangeline- aren't really developed enough to make me *really* hate them, which is a shame, since Evangeline had a lot of potential as a love-to-hate-her type of character!
(view spoiler)[I also felt like the plot moved far too quickly from court politics and intrigue to the underground rebellion. I would have liked to see a second book set in the capital, which would have allowed the author to fully explore the people at court. However, I'm fairly sure that will be impossible given the events at the end of book 1. Knowing that the rest of the series will (most likely) focus on the characters working for the rebellion was a huge disappointment to me because I did not find that part of the story engaging. I will probably not finish the trilogy because I feel like I know where it's going at this point.
But the biggest issue for me was the protagonist, Mare. Although Mare starts strong with a rebellious streak and a smart mouth, she quickly loses her appeal and most of her agency. With the exception of a few quips, Mare's princess training seems to effectively silence her. She doesn't really come to her own conclusions or make her own decisions, and it seemed like most of the action she does take comes about as a direct result of a command or advice delivered by another character. On the rare occasions that she takes direct action, it seems to end poorly, with bodies on the ground. Our hero spends most of the second half of the book observing things that happen around her and to her, without really having any effect on the plot at all. And that just does not jive with me.
All in all, it's not a bad book. I had fun reading it, hence the 3 star rating. Still, I expected more and was a little let down.
So, if you've read The Selection by Kiera Cass, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutowski, or Pawn by Aimee Carter, then reading this book will feel like deja vu.