Netgalley provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
They really mean it when they tell you not to judge a book by it’s cover. TheNetgalley provided this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
They really mean it when they tell you not to judge a book by it’s cover. The cover for Coral & Bone is stunning, but the contents inside are sorely lacking. It feels like it was written by a tween to cater to a tween. The story isn’t bad, but it’s poorly executed. The author created two new worlds and added things to our current one, but the history that was made is thin, a lot of things are left open, and descriptions for the worlds are cliche and poor.
The characters are awful. The few that were interesting had roles so minor they aren’t worth even mentioning. The main character, Halen, was super annoying. I hated her name and just chose to call her Helen as I read. Her emotions were all over the place. I’ve had pregnancy hormone related mood swings that flip flopped less than she did. “No no! I can’t do it! I don’t want this! I am strong and confident! How dare they treat me like this! I can do this! I can’t do it!!!” All in the same chapter. She was a complete Mary Sue. Stronger than anyone else and her only “flaw” was that she couldn’t control her powers because of her anger from everyone lying to her, at least until she suddenly could control them after about 12 hours of training and trying. The characters were so hard to like, that you aren’t invested in what happens to them at all.
The story is poorly written, things happen because of convenience, not because they are woven into the thread of the plot properly. The story itself isn’t bad, but the writing kills it. It’s hard to get into, overly simplified to make it dull, and doesn’t have a hook to keep you in. The climax is spottily written, things happen too quickly, then slow, then pick up again in a blur of nonsense. The entire thing leaves you horribly disappointed.
I feel cruel, but perhaps honesty needs to be so from time to time. With dull, unremarkable characters and a story that tries too desperately to be epic and mysterious, this isn’t a book I really find to be all that entertaining. I can’t deny that it does get better towards the end, but just as it starts to shine, it’s tarnished by the horribly written climax. I can overlook the punctuation errors, being that I read a galley (however, other reviews make me think those weren’t repaired for the release) but I can’t overlook the fact that most of this book’s problems could’ve been repaired/avoided had there just been a story and flow editor or collection of beta readers before its actual release. This book had a chance to really shine, but it wasn’t polished nearly enough, leaving this diamond as an unrecognizable stone.
This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I originally started reading this book more than a year and a half ago. TheThis book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I originally started reading this book more than a year and a half ago. The plan was to have it read and reviewed by April 1st, 2014, which was the requested review by date for this review copy. The obviously didn’t happen. I started this book about a dozen times and it just never happened for me. Even just now, I basically had to force myself to press on and it still took me more than two weeks to actually read it. I just couldn’t get into it. I can’t explain it. This book is everything that I generally like, but I couldn’t keep interested. For whatever reason, I found it dull and hard to follow. It was well into the third part of the book before I started caring at all. It’s not that the book was bad, it wasn’t, but it was hard for me to like.
The story is good. You are dropped right into the action, which can be hard to follow, but you are just as confused as the main character, Jade, so you really learn what is going on as she does. The world of Elyndia is crafted really well, and you find yourself very interested in the various zones and races of creatures living there. I found it really hard to get a mental map on what the world should look like in my head, but some of that might’ve had to do with the random teleporting that took place. The descriptions of the areas, namely the citadel where they spend the most time, are vivid and easy to picture.
The writing is well done, but often too much information is thrown out at once. This big new world needs explained and foundations laid and so the characters have to explain things to Jade so she can learn about the world. This leads to random explanations at inconvenient times. Things like “Oh, let us explain this very complex thing that will take a lot of time to do while we stand around calmly even though we were just attacked and the villain is a hundred yards away and will kill us all.” It’s like we were supposed to suspend reality and think that the villains would wait for you to understand what was going on while they killed you. Or maybe they were just waiting for their turn to spew their monologue. Manners, I guess they have them?
The characters are well written, and for the most part it feels like their motivations are taken care of properly, but there are so many of them that it’s hard to really keep track of them all. It felt like they were going the way of a love triangle for a good portion of the book, which had me cringing because it would’ve been a really awful one, but it deterred at the last moment and faded away. It took a long time for me to start really caring about them, but I don’t think that would be a general problem most people would face. The climax was written well, but I do feel like a plot point that came out as part of that was a bit too convenient. It could hold more significance in the second novel in the series, but for the current moment I feel like it was a poor mistake, or better yet, a cop out.
This book really was well written and entertaining, so I have no idea why I had such a hard time getting, and staying, into it. I do plan on reading the next in the series, hoping that I can get into it better.
I really wanted to like this book. It has some problems though, which kept me from being able to really dive into it and not look away. The writing stI really wanted to like this book. It has some problems though, which kept me from being able to really dive into it and not look away. The writing style is really stiff, which is hard to deal with, as the book is long. The flow was stunted and jerky and it became quickly obvious that English isn’t the first language for our author. It felt like the author came up with her ideas in one language and then wrote them down in another and a good part of things were lost in translation.
The writing style got to me. It was full of description. I read very far into the book and felt like I had read more details than dialogue, and when you do see dialogue, it’s awkward and superfluous. The writing is far too formal, for any novel really in my opinion, but especially a novel with teenagers. Teenagers don’t speak like that. It would’ve been fine if the Arkanians spoke formally only, but it leaks into other parts of the novel until the other characters are speaking and thinking formally and it doesn’t work. There were a lot of unnecessary scenes that could’ve been cut to make the book shorter, which would’ve been nice because the story repeats itself in places. There were a lot of plot elements that were tossed in there randomly for convenience with little to no purpose or explanation, which is one of those things I have problems forgiving. I hate when I can’t see the buildup. The lack of buildup leaked over into the plot as well. Usually, you can see threads of the climax as the story goes. You might not know which thread will be pulled, or how hard it will be yanked, but you know that you need to follow one of those threads because they will lead you to the climax. Having multiple threads is the way to keep the readers guessing and engaged. This story had no real threads, just wisps that were trying to become strings. By the time the climax happened, it was hardly led into and ended up being a let down because of it.
The characters needed better development. I couldn’t relate to them, or even care for them or their relationships. The interactions were unnatural, the dialogue uncomfortable to even read, and their emotions and actions hard to believe. Molly annoyed me the most, she could’ve been such a great character, but she spent too much time pining over Viktor (Who, by the way, switched between being “Victor” and “Viktor” often through the novel) and stressing over nothing. I hated being in her head. She was dull. Her motivations were shallow and tedious.
Despite the flaws with the story, lack of climax, poorly executed resolution, and underdone character development, the winning ticket of this story is Whelan’s imagination. I found the descriptions of Arkana to be captivating and beautiful. It is such an interesting place that it actually makes me want to spend more time there. So while I probably won’t rush out to continue the series post haste, I will eventually get the next because I want to see more of Arkana. I feel like this could’ve been a really great story with more polish. It needed more storyline input before being sent to publishing and probably more editing to make the writing and dialogue feel more real.
When the gate was opened and the curse lifted, everyone thought that life would be back to normal, but it’s too early to celebrate yet. Vienna decidedWhen the gate was opened and the curse lifted, everyone thought that life would be back to normal, but it’s too early to celebrate yet. Vienna decided not to wait for Rownan and set out to find a different entrance to Earth. Yara and Treygan won’t allow Rownan to travel through Harte alone. The three of them set out on a dangerous journey. Traveling through Harte won’t be easy, and no one returns from Hell the same. I felt like this book was much better than the first. The plot was far more entertaining and the flow was much nicer. Unlike Tangled Tides, the story was harder to predict and the manner of Harte was random and, in ways, terrifying. I found Harte to be a much more interesting place than anything we have seen so far.
I spotted better development with the characters but also, all of the mannerisms that annoyed me with the first book were toned down a bunch. The focus was also on Yara far less, which I enjoyed. It was nice to see the other characters get more attention. My favorites still weren’t seen much, but it was better than nothing. I was still not a fan of the characters.
This book certainly improves the series, but it’s hard to like a story when you can’t like the characters. So while I look forward to the next installment to see where the story goes, I’m not looking forward to dealing with Yara and Treygan again. If they were better characters and their romance more believable, I would be more fond of this series.