**spoiler alert** Imagine the Hunger Games, now imagine that the first book only covered the events before leading up into the arena. And instead of f**spoiler alert** Imagine the Hunger Games, now imagine that the first book only covered the events before leading up into the arena. And instead of focusing on Katniss, it follows three different people, all of whom never really interact throughout the book. Does such a thing feel sluggish and uninteresting to you? It did to me, when presented in this book.
The sad thing is it didn't have to be. There were a lot of interesting undertones; the sisters were all unique and interesting in their own ways. But none of it was fleshed out enough to really draw you in. What has the serious political fracturing of the people caused? What exactly are the crazy rules of this year long life and death battle that is always talked about and never witnessed? All the while drawing out stuff that is not as interesting but and bogging the story down.
It especially left me with a lot of questions. It mentioned a Blue Queen, but not what it was? (I can only presume that a Blue Queen is how the book will end, though). Why is Joseph such a stupid idiot? Why is someone as defiant as Arsinoe so passive about the fact she thinks she has zero chances? Why was Billy shoehorned in there, in such a way it isn't satisfactorily justified in the storyline?
And that final twist of Arisnoe being a poisoner? Called it! Called it since I heard that she was powerless. One Queen without power is an interesting character, with her and Kat both not gifted, it made for (to me, anyway), an obvious plot point down the line. I therefore predict that Kat is either switched with Arsinoe, and is a naturalist, or less likely she is a Warrior. But one of the two I do not doubt.
I think the reason this book took the course it did, is that it was trying to show why these three girls would be ready to tear each other apart in the next book. Yet besides Kat, who is always painted a bit ruthless and has helped in killings her whole life, I still don't buy the sudden turn in the other two sisters by the end.
Ultimately, this is a very passive book. Characters do very little except follow the events as they go. Two failed escape attempts don't really count as much, and even the grand plot resolution happened because of a slip up on someone's part.
I wish this book had taken a different path. I wish it would have focused solely on Jules as a powerful girl stuck in a week Queen's shadow. I wish I could have seen her struggles as that person. I wish the Joseph romance wasn't so rushed and forced and there was a period after he came back where they fell in love, and his falling for the elemental Queen wasn't so forced but fleshed out. I quite honestly wish that Arsinoe had been allowed to escape, and Jules would have stepped up and pretended to be her (I even thought this would happen, with the dress being made for her). But none of this happened, and because of her secondary status she was never really developed to the point it could.
Alas, the book just didn't do it for me. Maybe the second will be more action filled and interesting....more
First let me say that I usually don't read books so seeped in psychics and mystical happenings. So when I say that I was uncomfortable with all the fuFirst let me say that I usually don't read books so seeped in psychics and mystical happenings. So when I say that I was uncomfortable with all the future telling and ley lines and souls and witchcraft, that's probably more me than the book. Also, when I say I thought the book was highly original, that might be my ignorance of the genre. Regardless of either of those contingencies, I found myself completely sucked into the story, the characters, and the writing. The hunt for a dead king, the mysteries swirling around everyone, the characters that were enjoyable and lovable and relatable. Blue is spunky and fun, Gansey is oblivious yet wise, Adam is so lovable and worthy of all the sympathy I gave him, and even moody, mysterious Ronan never ceased to warm my heart even with his spiky exterior. There were twists that kept me on the edge of my seat (though some were so unexpected they threw me out of the story a bit and I had to take a moment to shift my perception of the story. (view spoiler)[talking trees? Uh, okay. Give it a page or two and it fits right in (hide spoiler)]. All of this was created through delightful rhythm of words. It had been a while since I was so drawn into a YA novel. Yet the dark themes of witchcraft still give me a pause....more
I'm not sure where to start with this book. I kinda feel guilty giving it a whole 3 stars, as really it was a weakly constructed narrative. Yet it stiI'm not sure where to start with this book. I kinda feel guilty giving it a whole 3 stars, as really it was a weakly constructed narrative. Yet it still drew me in, whether I was just craving a cliche YA or whether by its own merit, so three it will get. And dang it has a pretty cover.
Mare's world is divided into two sets - Red Bloods and Silver Bloods. While their blood really is different colors, the major difference is the fact that Silvers are born with different abilities, such as being able to read minds or control fire or any other of those typical abilities that get thrown into stories like this. They have used these powers to oppress the Reds. Mare is a Red blood, and as such should not have any special powers. Yet, one day she finds herself controlling electricity, and her world will never be the same.
Cliche, but it could be the base of a good story, eh? The issue is the implausibility of all that follows. Her display of power is done for the world to see, and to cover it's uniqueness and to keep her under observation, the Royal house covers up her Red heritage and claims she is the lost daughter of one of the Silver families. Now I'm pretty sure that that would be enough to keep her close and guarded, but for some reason they decide that it isn't and they betroth this complete stranger and unexplained phenomenon to the second born prince, Maven. (view spoiler)[Now why the queen decided this when her whole plan was for Maven to steal the thrown in a few months is really beyond me and a rather glaring plot hole in the book. Was she thinking the wedding would be called off at that point so it wouldn't matter? Why she would do this to her only son and arguably the one person she loves, when she has nothing but hatred for Mare? (hide spoiler)] Mare of course has no choice but to go along with the scheme, knowing her life hangs on her ability to fit into this new life.
We all expect love triangles in YA novels nowadays, but I was rather shocked to see Mare with not 2 but 3 men who she has some level of feelings for throughout the book. A love... trident? Who knows.
Of course the issues I have delve into plot points, so read further only if you wish. (view spoiler)[ Her three men: You have her childhood friend (Who she always works so so hard to protect and then gets so so mad when he decides he's a grown man and can do something with his life. How dare he!), the first in line to the crown, Cal (Handsome, brooding, teaches her to dance, has glimmers of being a kind and good king, though he disagrees with Mare's revolutionary goals), and her betrothed, Maven (So perfect. Living in brothers shadow. On board with all her goals and schemes). Maven at least gets disqualified at the end when he becomes a backstabbing traitor, so the trilogy wont progress with this love trident. For having a crazy tangle of man candy gentlemen for her, the book stayed out of the crazy drooling romanticism that it could have spiraled down into, so props for that.
Mare finds herself part of a rebellion, Reds rising to over throw the oppression by Silvers. Maven gets caught up in it as well. Together they help terrorist plots, including the assassination of several key Silvers. For being a simple country girl magically not instilled with all the hatred her class has for the Silvers, Mare somehow isn't very phased by this murder in the long run.
Now, with all these scary terrorists running around with inside knowledge, no one seems to stop and think "Hey, maybe that Red we let into our midst and totally have taught all our ways might possibly be a part of it?" Come on people! Don't be stupid.
It all culminates in an overthrow of the King. The plan is to get everyone on their side by swaying Cal into leading the guards to their side by basically throwing Mare at him and hoping his love will outweigh his loyalty to his kingdom, his father, his beliefs, his whole way of life. Somehow this plan is accepted by everyone as a legit way to try to take over an empire. Are we sure they're smart enough to run an empire? It ends terribly, with Cal not throwing his life away for a girl he hardly knows and isn't even sure loves him (Applause for not being that stupid YA trope, Cal! Now you an go brood over something) and with Maven betraying everyone and taking the throne. Now, this rankled with me a bit, though I saw it coming, because Maven flips from being this sweet, caring guy to a monster overnight. There were hints from people that he was "his crazy evil mother's son" (paraphrasing a bit there), but his actual character as written didn't at all seem like an act, which I think if you were as dementedly evil (with no lifelong practice of being so) it would show. (hide spoiler)]
In a general, non-spoiler summation: Everyone on every side is stupid. Characters were never really fleshed out or given depth of emotion, which resulted in not much caring for them in general. The plot doesn't quite make sense. Yet if you are looking for cheesy cliche YA... well you might be like me and read it in the span of a day or two and find it a not bad way to escape reality for a bit.
So, there's my take on it. I will probably pick the rest of the series up at the library if I come across it, but I don't think I'll run out and buy myself the rest of the books....more
This book was perhaps one of the most terrible books I have ever finished. The characters were terribly flat, they acted weird and unrealistically, faThis book was perhaps one of the most terrible books I have ever finished. The characters were terribly flat, they acted weird and unrealistically, falling in love so uber fast when they didn't know each other yet and generally being just so terribly unlikeable. The action was repeated over and over and over as the characters each faced with extremely similar situations. Then there was also the sex scenes and the philosophies and social ideas shoved everywhere. And nothing really happened. The only real reason i finished the book is because I am behind on the reading goals and needed to make sure this was on my read instead of my didn't finish list. And I hastily skinned most of it....more
If you were to sit down and write a list of things you expect to find in a young adult novel, this book would probably have a majority of them. It's nIf you were to sit down and write a list of things you expect to find in a young adult novel, this book would probably have a majority of them. It's not really anything new. However, I found I still really liked it. The characters were interesting, the writing was well done, and I look foreword to seeing where the story leads...more
**spoiler alert** I've been meaning to write a review of this since I've read this book a few months ago, and I haven't forgotten! I think the main rea**spoiler alert** I've been meaning to write a review of this since I've read this book a few months ago, and I haven't forgotten! I think the main reason that I have given this book a lower rating is simply that I'd heard about it for so long that I had rather high expectations of it in my head. I imagined it as on some equal footing with Narnia. While I found it a somewhat entertaining read, and one that I think children could enjoy, I thought the plot was too rushed and the characters too underdeveloped to really stand out as such a classic.
For starters, the world jumping might seem interesting on the surface, but ultimately so many worlds were touched upon that none were actually visited. They all blurred together into a confusing mass and stayed nothing more than the necessary allegorical note in the story, with no effort into the details that help deceive the reader into believing for but a moment that they're real.
I also disliked the conclusion. Maybe I'm too much of an unromantic realist to enjoy the overused (and in my opinion a cheesy) cliche of Love Conquers All. You know what, no, I'm not. Because love does conquer all. But here's where I struggle with it: SACRIFICIAL love can conquer all. But shouting I Love You into the void? That's not an all cards are played, all or nothing, things are saved kind of love. Love like Aslan giving his life for Edmund. Love like Fili and Kili dying for their kin. Love like Hermione and Ron leaving everything to help Harry. Those are the loves that save the day. None of those would have done anything with just words.
And why did she have to figure it out on her own? Would it have ruined anything if she had been told to love him?
One reason the ending really got to me, however, was the contrast between the cheesy, childish ending and the one deep, heart touching moment the book actually did contain. When the children found that their father could not easily save the day, it was such a crushing truth that we've all had to deal with in little doses. It was the moment that I'll remember from this book, and I just wish that the rest of the story had been as momentous....more
I found this book to have been a flat, rather sad conclusion to a rapidly downward spiraling story. (But it's not the end! You say. There are two bookI found this book to have been a flat, rather sad conclusion to a rapidly downward spiraling story. (But it's not the end! You say. There are two books left. So you are correct. But any book that ends with "And thus ends our tale. Or does it?" (paraphrased there), or, in otherwords, a book that relies on cheep tricks to keep the reader reading, and not just in that last line, is not a book or series I'm going to continue in. Thus, it ends for me. No more wincing whenever Love over Logic is argued. No more tripping when I'm expected to make leaps of faith that events are plausible. The Lost Books started well but here they've crashed and become lost forevermore, not to rise again for me....more
This novel is a marvelously crafted story that winds and winds around your soul and keeps you on edge and makes you fall in love with every single worThis novel is a marvelously crafted story that winds and winds around your soul and keeps you on edge and makes you fall in love with every single word within it. Wow, it was good. The world building, the characters, the struggles and plot and EVERYTHING! So good. It really deserves a full review, but a synopsis can be found elsewhere and right now the words aren't coming to me to give the book it's fair due....more
I thought that The Young Elites had a lot of potential. And that is perhaps one of the saddest things one can say about a book. I really liked at at tI thought that The Young Elites had a lot of potential. And that is perhaps one of the saddest things one can say about a book. I really liked at at the first. Adelina seemed like an interesting character to follow. And yet... as the book wound on and the reader was shown the utter darkness within her, that she had to have, that fed her and sustained her, I found, not that she wasn't an interesting character any longer, for she remains so, but that I lost my motivation to cheer for her throughout the book. Enzo, also, was not a character I found much empathy with. While his cause might technically be right, he handled it and himself in such an unjust way. Most the other young elites, for the most part, were never fleshed out and meant little as characters. They felt like they were there because in such an enterprise you would need more people, so more characters were needed. Not to say that I felt at all supportive of Teren or Enzo's sister and their side of the conflic. I simply found I cared not at all which side won, which instantly removes the tension of the story.
Perhaps I will continue reading the series, perhaps not. It won't be something I search out, but if the next book falls into my lap, perhaps I shall continue....more
Ah, the joy of this book finally coming out in paperback so that I might buy it! (Can't buy hardback when you already own the two prior in paperback.)Ah, the joy of this book finally coming out in paperback so that I might buy it! (Can't buy hardback when you already own the two prior in paperback.) I was excited to lay my hands on this tale and be able to once again immerse myself in the magical world Marissa Meyer has created in the Lunar Chronicles. And Cress did not disappoint. I adored Cress and Thorne's relationship. It was used as a wonderful way to grow both the characters, and remained so different from either Cinder and Kai's or Scarlet and Wolf's. The lack of Scarlet was disappointing to me, even though it made sense in the broad scope of things. And I am so, so excited for Winter, with the short look at her we've had with this book. She seems like she'll be a fascinating character to find out about. Overall, a grand continuation of one of the best story lines going at the moment, in my most humble opinion....more