OMG. If I could give this series 10 stars, I would! This is an amazing story and equally amazing audiobook. Plot: perfect. Characters: perfect. Romanc...moreOMG. If I could give this series 10 stars, I would! This is an amazing story and equally amazing audiobook. Plot: perfect. Characters: perfect. Romance: perfect. The only negative thing I can think of is that the first book does take a little while to get started. However, DO NOT GIVE UP ON IT. By the time I got to book four, The Crimson Crown, I was a zombie connected to my iPhone listening to Carol Monda’s every word. She has such a deep and gritty voice that she effortlessly switched back and forth to both female and male characters. LIKE WHOA GUYS. If you only ever read one audiobook series in your life, let it be this one.(less)
DNF. I thought for sure I would love this since a few of my friends highly recommended it to me, but I hated it. The main characters are terrible and...moreDNF. I thought for sure I would love this since a few of my friends highly recommended it to me, but I hated it. The main characters are terrible and underdeveloped. Let me count the ways: Iolanthe is virtually a Mary Sue and can do no wrong. She is The One with the power to save them because of reasons and has the BEST of luck. *wink, wink* Prince Titus is a spoiled brat that wants everything his way. He even tries to manipulate Iolanthe several times to get her to do things by preying on her feelings. There’s also a romance that came out of nowhere, horrible world building (GAH, this is a fantasy novel, FFS!) and info-dumping all over the place. Also, I hated the narration. Maybe I should have not gone with the audio, but I tried the print too and it’s just a big old NOPE for me.
There is always a certain nervousness that comes with being the first critical review of a book. Not only are you instantly...moreActual rating: ZERO STARS.
There is always a certain nervousness that comes with being the first critical review of a book. Not only are you instantly the black sheep, but you may be worried how others will react. Now, combine that fear with the fact that your review may make a rather bold statement. Perhaps, it's something along the lines of accusing the book of being a direct rip off of one of the world's most beloved children's novels: Harry Potter.
But, yeah, I'm about to take it there.
I was recommended this book by a fellow "blogger" or so I thought at the time. No matter. I'm determined to let this book stand on its own merits, which are few and far between. I was told this book was an amazing new series. That it was original, exciting, funny, entertaining, etc. Adela Arthur and the Creator's Clock isn't any of those things.
Right from the beginning, before I was bitch slapped with glaring HP similarities, my eyes were accosted by poor use of the English language in the prologue. There were sentences repeated in an overall general condescending tone, choppy writing style that mostly consisted of very simple sentences and awkward sentence structure that was clearly attempting to be prestigious.
Never have I ever encountered so many cons within just the first 5 pages of a book. But here I was. I had accepted this book for review and when I get print copies, I feel this moral obligation to finish or at least give it the good college try. Yet, as I continued to read, the novel never improved.
With almost every character or plot deceive, there was a clear reference to either Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter, the latter stronger than the former. Shall we do a quick check list? (I attempted to draw a vinn diagram, but there were too many similarities and it wouldn't all fit in the middle.)
-MC is orphaned by the villain (the mother risks her life to save the MC) -MC grows up away from her "magical" world -MC finds out she belongs to a very powerful family -MC is the only one who can stop the villain -MC goes back to her world and studies at a boarding school castle that has 4 houses (each mirroring one of Hogwarts') -Everyone seems to be afraid of saying the villain's name except for the headmaster -There is a Hermione like character named Hector -There is a Malfoy like character who attempts to a form friendship with the MC because of her powerful family. MC refuses, embarrassing the Malfoy like character. -Villain has a special interest in coming for MC and attempts to enter into MC's mind -MC must take "mind defense" private lessons to keep villain out of her mind -MC joins the school's sports team (think Quidditch, but under water) -MC finds out her mother was a legend at the school's sport and everyone tells her, "It's in your blood!" -The school's dining hall is just as magical as Hogwarts', changing its decor magically -The school is run by elves -The villain mind controls a student to cause the MC problems at the school -At Christmas, the MC receives a mysterious gift that was her late father's accompanied with an anonymous note -One of the MC's school books screams. (I mean, c'mon. Really?!) -The villain has Deatheater like companions. They even travel in black, hooded robes. -Everyone seems to know the MC's name ("It's Adela Arthur!") -Birds deliver the mail -Adela and her posse end up in a forbidden forest, fighting an ogre, rescuing unicorns. *sigh*
(There are more smaller references, but I honestly can't be fucked to pour any more energy into this book to list them.)
Now, sure there were some differences like the MC's blatant lack of self-preservation that would rival Bella Swan's. After a classmate dies from an attack from a creature from her home world, she discovers that she must go back and fight the villain that no one can seem to defeat. The same villain that appears to be eating her people for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Does it matter to her that she knows nothing of her power or her world? No! Does it matter that many people sacrificed their lives for her so that she never had to come back to have her "mighty power" taken by the villain? NO!
But what does Adela do when she finally gets to her world? She complains about the burden of all the responsibilities she now has. She misses the human world. Why did she ever journey to this evil place? OH WOE IS ME. MY LIFE SUCKS! To put it bluntly, Adela is a brat and whenever she whines hard enough about anything, another character comes around or a plot device shows up to solve her problems. To say this was frustrating is an understatement.
Since I was apparently reading a proof, I can't comment too much on the grammar used. However, there were many instances in the narrative when repeat phrases or sentences over again on the same page or improper use of inflection. If character is yelling at another one, why not use exclamation points? Why is the reader constantly told by the narrator how a sentence is to be interpreted? This kind of writing style didn't work for me and made me consider on more than one occasion to whip out my red pen.
The world building leaves much to be desired, though, this is partly because there is hardly any world building at all. The most the reader is told is a very general story on how the magical world was formed and how the villain came into power (think: Voldemort). After that, Adela and the reader find out more by little info-dumps from other characters that often didn't work well with the novel's swift pacing.
In conclusion: I personally could only find one small redeeming factor: the author's attempts to include a lot of equally strong female characters. However, the cons heavily out way that one small ray of light. I've never gone so far as to tell another reader to not read a book, but in this case, I really can't make a good argument for someone to waste their time reading a Harry Potter knock-off. If you're looking to relive the magical world in which J.K. Rowling worked incredibly hard on for years, my advice would be to blow the dust off of the Philosopher's Stone, journey back to Hogwarts and don't look back.
**Small note on the controversy surrounding this book and author** I'm not sure if I should be extremely creeped out that someone went to such great lengths to get me to read a book or incredibly flattered that someone valued my opinion so much that they took to stalking me with various account across various social media avenues.
P.S. Why is there a big fat grammatical error in the title (On the cover)? Yikes.
ARC was received from the author for an honest review.