**spoiler alert** I usually don’t review books I haven’t finished yet, but as I don’t expect it to get much better, there’s really no point in waiting...more**spoiler alert** I usually don’t review books I haven’t finished yet, but as I don’t expect it to get much better, there’s really no point in waiting. I was really excited about this book. The setting was intriguing because it’s something you don’t get to read every day, especially not in YA literature. I liked the idea of a cursed Indian prince who could be freed only by a special girl. There concept of saving the damsel-in-distress is still very popular and it’s nice to see that it works the other way around.
If I adore the plot, then why give only one star?
It’s true, I adore it. Unfortunately, it’s rather poorly written. It reads like something an intermediate learner of English would write. There is some very beautiful imagery in there and Ms Houck seems to have a gift for descriptions, but aside from that the book reads like a report. This happened and then that happened. Which doesn’t make for an interesting read, let me tell you.
Then there are the characters. I’m halfway through the book and I still haven’t decided whether I like them. Maybe it would be different if the book was written in third person instead of by a first person narrator. Kelsey is… Well, if I say ‘flat’, then that’s an understatement. She could have been such an interesting character, but she’s just annoying. She’s very girly, complains almost all the time and while she is supposed to be the one to ‘rescue’ Ren, she ends up getting resuced or worried about every twenty pages. That’s a phenomenon that’s still prevalent in YA literature (most literature to be honest) and I wish female characters were given more of a backbone. Also, I find her decision to help Ren not very believable, but that may simply be because of the lack of inner monologue. I may change my mind though. After all, I’m only at 58% per cent or so.
I am at almost 80% now and Kelsey has become even more annoying. I find it very hard to empathise, let alone sympathise with her. She is beginning to act very irrationally. Why is it that in almost every YA fantasy book the heroine first pushes the man/boy she has fallen in love with away? That was the point where I said, no, I’m not going to finish this novel. Instead of talking about her justified fears, she just withdraws from Ren. As I’m not a very big fan of her character, Ren is probably better off without her.
So far I liked Kishan best, simply because he isn’t afraid of a confrontation or tries to avoid it at all cost. Personally, I think a good fight clears the air.
I already commented on the writing. I may not be a native speaker, but I do appreciate a well written book and I am capable of recognizing poor writing when I see it. Unfortunately, I’m also one of the people to whom writing is very important.
It’s not a bad book. I’ve read worse (also in regard to language) and it is a first novel after all, which should be considered. And some people, much as they like to write, just don’t naturally have a way with words.
This book needs to be rewritten and re-edited before it becomes readable!(less)