Protagonist: Lizzie has lived a fairly normal life so far. She's got a great best friend, a competitive and successful boyfriend, and her outloReview:
Protagonist: Lizzie has lived a fairly normal life so far. She's got a great best friend, a competitive and successful boyfriend, and her outlook for the new year looks bright. However her world changes when a new boy transfers to her school. She's can't put her finger on it but he feels so familiar to her. There's definitely an undeniable connection between them, but she already has a boyfriend, and besides he doesn't really seem interested in her. Then she begins to feel parts of a life that can't be hers, a life where she and Drew are together. A life in Regency era England. So honestly, Liz isn't that great of a protagonist. In fact she is kind of a pushover for most of the book. Her character does develop and grow, but not as much and not as quickly as I would have expected or wanted for a first installment. That's actually really all I can say without going into other parts of the review, she's not really a strong character and it's hard to really pin down a strong personality in her, which was kind of disappointing because she definitely had a lot of promise.
Romance: Okay, so this romance was kind of awful. First off there's a love triangle of sorts, though you can't take Liz's boyfriend Jeremy seriously at all. In fact he's the kind of character that's just there to add drama and tension. The guy's a complete tool and he just gets worse and worse as the book goes on. Drew's no peach either. Granted he's the much better choice, but compared to Jeremy almost anyone would be. The thing is, I didn't dislike Drew, even though he did make stupid decisions, but it was that I couldn't find the love believable between him and Liz. With something like a past life story, you can't put all the romance and connection on that aspect or plot point, there has to be a connection with them in the present and with Drew so hot and cold for a lot of the book it's not like they could ever really form that connection. The romance just really reminded me a little too much of Twilight which bothered me, though since they're both inspired by Pride and Prejudice, it much just be a P&P thing.
World Building: So this past life thing, I honestly thought, and hoped that it would have a greater bearing on the story. I though maybe there would be a mystery of the past that needs to be solved in the present, something not completely unrelated to the romance, but not something completely entwined with it either. However, it more than anything just adds a little bit of an interesting wrinkle to the story. With this being Madow's debut novel I knew that the writing was probably going to be a bit rough and it was. It's not really something that I think will impact the rating too much, but just something that bothered me a bit. Things were over explained, it seemed like it was hard for the author to find the balance between showing and telling, leaving parts of the book too described ad others not enough. Another things is that this book is loosely inspired by Pride and Prejudice, which I'm sure is great (I've never read it,) but I kind of felt like the author was holding my hands through all the parallels and coming from someone who's never read the book or seen any of the movies, and someone who's read other books based on things he has read, just leave it up to the reader to figure out, as long as they know or can tell where the inspiration comes from they don't need there hand held the entire time
Predictability: This book was also insanely predictable, Not in the definite sense, where I could pinpoint exactly what was going to happen, but more in the sense that I knew how the story would unfold. It wasn't hard to see the pattern after the story got going a bit. The story seemed so familiar, not in a copyright sense but more in a trope/cliche sense. A little drama here, some more there, all leading up to an intense finale.
Ending: I've been trying to write this ending segment for a while now. Honestly there was a lot to like about the end. There was a lot that was finally resolved, for better or worse, but I don't know I think I just expected more. The final climax of this book was pretty intense though some of the choices Liz made, even the ones that I agree were necessary, were pretty stupid. That being said though things did find a way to get resolved, and that's the thing, going into this, I knew that this book is a duology with a novella in the middle, however unsatisfying as the ending is, things are resolved. That being said, because of how unsatisfying the ending is, my interest is peaked for the next part of this story.
So this book isn't a bad book. I just think my expectations were a little high. There's still a lot to this book to keep it interesting and I think there's still a lot of promise to this story. Liek I said my interest is peaked and I'll keep going and keep you guys posted. Before I go I'll say this, if you're still a fan of Twilight and you like past life stories with a lot more of a realistic and contemporary edge I think you'll enjoy this book a lot more than I did....more
Characters: While this book includes a few third person POV perspectives, the main two that it focuses on are Echo, a human girl who has been mReview:
Characters: While this book includes a few third person POV perspectives, the main two that it focuses on are Echo, a human girl who has been more or less raised by the bird-like Avicen race, and Caius, the Prince of the dragon-like Drakharin race. The Avicen and Drakharin races are at war and the only known way to end it, for good or for bad, is with the help of the Firebird. Echo and Caius set out to find this legendary hope, and along the way their paths intertwine. I really enjoyed both characters. While Echo was a bit self-deprecating, being a part of the Avicen culute without being one of the Avicen, she grows stronger over the course of the series and learns to embrace who she truly is. Caius, at first seeming like the cold and calculating Dragon Prince, is quickly shown to have a softer and kinder side.
Romance: So there is a bit of a love triangle, if you could call it that, in this book. At the start of the book Echo is in a relationship with an Avicen boy, but since she's separated from him once she begins her journey and she meets Caius, things get a bit complicated. Right off the bat, I wasn't a huge fan of Rowan, Echo's boyfriend at the beginning of this book, mainly because I'm inherently skeptical of all pre-established romances, and there's no real development with him. Echo and Caius's romance is very slow burning, but it's always there beneath the surface. I liked that and it never felt over the top or crazy.
World-Building: It is very easy to see where Grey gets her inspiration from, and while this book definitely feels inspired by other works it never gets too far into that dangerous copyright zone. This book is very reminiscent of both the Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare as well as the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. At one point this book does get dangerously close in plot to DoSaB, but sort of slowly backs away and becomes more it's own thing. Because it never went too paralleled with DoSaB, I decided not to let it cloud my judgement (i.e. affect the rating) but as a friendly warning for those who have read Taylor's series, this may be a love or hate book for you. Overall, the writing is very well crafted, the pacing reminds me very much of a Raven Cycle book by Maggie Steifvater, it's slow to start, but around the halfway point things get kicked into high gear and while it's never too faced paced it certainly is compelling.
Predictability: So on the whole this book is pretty unpredictable. Sure, as usual there were a lot of small things, falling within certain YA tropes or cliches that make these certain elements easy to predict. Actually there was one moment, when the parallels between this book and Daughter of Smoke and Bone first hit me that my inner cynic that I thought I knew how the larger twists in the end were going to turn out to be like, but instead they turned out to be so much better than I imagined.
Ending: Wow, that ending. So first off there's an amazing final climax, definitely something I didn't see coming, I loved the action at the end, things got very fast paced as the book began to wrap up, There were some amazing revelations and shockers. The very ending of this book plateaus like many other first books in series, and of course there's the obligatory final declaration that helps though not too much I might add to stave off the nagging wait until the next book.
So it took me a little while to come to my final decision on the rating of this book. Mainly because after this book got a little too close for comfort too Daughter of Smoke and Bone I had to think if it was really too close or not. Eventually I came to grips with it. This book is amazing, full of an amazing world, fantastic adventure, compelling characters, and some great action!...more