WARNING: Spoilers from first three books. It is impossible not to spoil them while discussing The Heir.
I did not expect to like The Heir by Kiera CasWARNING: Spoilers from first three books. It is impossible not to spoil them while discussing The Heir.
I did not expect to like The Heir by Kiera Cass. Maybe it's because when I read the synopsis, I was disappointed in America and Maxon, who had not righted the Illea culture and biases.
But that is actually the charm and meat of the entire story, or - at least part of it. Now, instead of tackling an outdated caste system, the Schreaves are dealing with the fallout of having successfully removed these castes from society. Should we expect people to fall in line immediately after having lived entire generations under one way of life? Just because we put doors in walls doesn't mean people will willingly walk through them.
The Heir reminds me of the current turmoil surrounding racism in the United States. We desegregated nearly 50 years ago, and yet there are cops on trial for the mistreatment of our Black community in this country. Even though we dissolved the means with which we may express prejudice legally, we have not removed all of the hate and prejudices. The Heir showed that prejudice is a learned thing that is passed down through each generation from the one before. We just have to hope that farther removed the generations, the better with which the newest will be able to embrace humanity.
Despite feeling that I should probably detest Eadlyn for being spoiled and abrasive, I actually really liked her. She was flawed from the beginning, and she wasn't ashamed of that, even though it wasn't something she was exactly proud of. Eadlyn kept her walls up and wouldn't let anyone in, because that is what she thought was expected of her. In fact, while it's obvious that she doesn't exactly love the idea of one day being the ruler of her country, she has begrudingly accepted it as a fact she cannot change. Her struggle to open up the parts of herself that she keeps closed off was nice to see, because it, too, was imperfect.
Her relationship with her twin brother, Ahren, was typical. They are close, since they shared a womb, but she resents him a little bit. While she's mired in the responsibility of being the heir, he's able to make his own decisions about his life, including who he will one day marry. Jealousy abounds.
It's interesting to see how Cass has flipped the Selection on its head, Bachelorette-style. How differently do men act in this competition between each other from women? As much as society is beginning to embrace shifts from gender norms, biology will still dictate some of our baser thoughts, feelings and actions. The group of men in the Selection was much different than the group of women in the prior books.
Each man brings something different to the table for Eadlyn. Some are confident and sexy, and not afraid to show it; others are quieter, happy and eager to please the princess. Her relationship with each of them was a pretty fascinating thing, especially given her desire to be in control of her own destiny.
Where Maxon was an only child growing up in the palace, he and America have had a whole basketball team of children. Eadlyn is the only girl and I found it very compelling how having all brothers transcends to how she interacts with the men of the Selection. Also of note: she only had one female "friend" in the palace to play with growing up, and wasn't her biggest fan. She's a tomboy at heart.
I was not a huge fan of the ending, but it didn't exactly break it for me, either. I just felt like Cass wanted to wrap it up to get us to the next book. But will I read the next one? You betcha!This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post....more
While not a bad book, because it was certainly entertaining, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson was utterly predictable. I knew how it was going to eWhile not a bad book, because it was certainly entertaining, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson was utterly predictable. I knew how it was going to end probably before the author did. So let's talk about what made it tick - and what didn't.
Verity Newton as the main character was boring. Seriously, Swendson couldn't have chosen a more tedious character to narrate this novel, despite being a half-breed that can potentially cause conflict down the road. And while she wasn't unlikeable per se, she lacked that badass quality that every main character should have. She was, for the most part, meek and unsure of herself, almost until the very end.
Lord Henry was delightful and enigmatic, with his bespectacled eyes and his nose shoved in books. But his secret is given up early on in the novel and I would have liked to have seen it drawn out more for the reader. He is much more than an entomologist, and I wanted to know even more about him than we got.
Alec, one of the Mechanics, I never found trustworthy or worth Verity's schoolgirl crush. He came off as conceited and as if he disregarded all of Verity's feelings about their situation and how she might have been used by the rebels.
Likewise, Lizzie struck me as a little two-faced, despite knowing she did have benevolent intentions. She simply justified her actions a little too much for me to like her.
I actually liked Flora and the children, despite Flora's vanity. Shallow waters run deep, and all that. I'm looking forward to seeing where her character goes in the second book, and if she is also involved unbeknownst to the rest of the rebels, Henry and Verity. The kids were genuine and inquisitive.
I sense a love triangle brewing. Although I usually don't feel one way or another regarding them, they still need to be organic. I have a feeling there will be romantic conflict in the second book and I'm not really looking forward to that. I hate when an author creates one where it's obvious that the main character should be with one character and not the other.
The plot was interesting: this is an alternate reality where the American colonists did not successfully overthrow the British control, and Red Coats still patrol NYC while the colony is under the thumb of the monarchy. It begins quickly, with a robbery on Verity's train by masked bandits, which leads her straight into the hands of conflict, but she handles herself well. I'm kind of excited to see where Swendson takes it next.
Overall, not a terrible book, but it could be made better with improved characterization and less obvious plotlines.This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post....more
Excellent follow-up to Burying Water! I really enjoyed listening to this one.
Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker is a companion novel to Burying Water.Excellent follow-up to Burying Water! I really enjoyed listening to this one.
Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker is a companion novel to Burying Water. You don't need to read these in order...but I highly suggest you do, because Becoming Rain not only spoils some of Burying Water, but also heavily references that backstory to push the plot along.
I really loved Clara (aka "Rain") as a main character. Where Alex was beaten and meek in Burying Water, Clara is strong, opinionated and a go-get-em kind of gal. She has a job and she's going to damn well do it. Her sense of ethics is strong, and she constantly wrestled with herself her own mistakes, even as she made them. In fact, I really liked we had a female lead who had a very specific direction in her life and was quite unwilling to waver from it, despite any feelings she may have had for Luke.
Luke was a strong male lead. He's the good guy trapped in a bad situation, and easily wooed by flashy things and cash. He wants to live the good life, but he feels a little uncomfortable with how that happens. I always got the sense that he didn't quite know everything about Rust's businesses, but was happier not knowing. As they say, ignorance is bliss.
The plot was quick and the romance heady. Supporting characters were intriguing, especially the little gem Clara drops at the end about her summations on another female in the story who may not be what anyone originally thought. I would LOVE to see Tucker write more about that character (name being withheld so as not to spoil). The ending was very in keeping with both their personalities. Loved it.
Overall, solid romance, good suspense and I want to listen to more.
Narrator 4-1-1 If I recall, Elizabeth Louise is not my favorite narrator. Not because she's terrible at story-telling, but because her voice is too sweet and I think she struggles to deliver different tones. Josh Goodman is great, although I don't feel like he differentiates the male voices very much. He did a good accent. I'd listen to them again as they carry the story along fairly well.
This book may have been provided in exchange for an honest review, and therefore will be noted on the original post....more