Oh well, Shadow Study was surprisingly entertaining and gave me the motivation to continue with this series. After I disliked the original series, I’mOh well, Shadow Study was surprisingly entertaining and gave me the motivation to continue with this series. After I disliked the original series, I’m not surprised that this enjoyment didn’t last.
With Dawn Study returned a major problem I had with the original series: an incredibly repetitive plot, which is made up of kidnapping – rescue – kidnapping – rescue – kidnapping – rescue. There are no amazingly complex plans or surprisingly smart moves from either the bad or the good guys (view spoiler)[on the contrary, some instances, such as a random guy saving Valek from a fatal fall in a ridiculous manner, were really badly written. (hide spoiler)], so all the kidnappings and rescues blended together after a while and I lost track of who was currently rescuing whom and who had not yet been kidnapped, i.e. was probably next on the list.
Dawn Study also piles on with cheesiness. There are more Happily-Ever-Afters than in a Disney movie. The epilogue pushed it too far and I finished the book while rolling my eyes.
Many small things annoyed me, such as contemporary colloquial speech destroying the medieval fantasy atmosphere, the cast relying way too much on their horses which rival google as far as search engines go, the constant talking of “the baby” (either you decide that being pregnant is not the ideal time to save the world or you decide to risk your life constantly, but then please stop reminding me that your baby is in danger, because contrary to you, I have not forgotten about it), the flat bad guys and the final showdown(s) being completely anti-climatic and what happened to Valek? Who’s this new guy with the same name but totally different character? … but it all comes down to the major issue that there is just not enough plot to fill a trilogy. Why does it have to be 3 books, if 2 would have been just fine? (rhetorical question.) Well, obviously there’s an audience for superficial pseudo-adventure books like these.
The Soulfinder series continues to be a decently entertaining adventure story. I enjoy it much more than the original Study series for a simple reasonThe Soulfinder series continues to be a decently entertaining adventure story. I enjoy it much more than the original Study series for a simple reason: Less of Yelena. She has lost her exaggerated powers, making her less of a Mary-Sue and she has to relinquish a fair amount of screen time to the other cast members, whose actions actually matter for the plot. This simple fact has an enormous impact on my enjoyment of these books, because the supporting cast members are likeable and often funny. ...more
I wish Opal’s story would not have been dragged out over 3 volumes, as apparently there is not enough plot to fill so many pages. The Study Series hadI wish Opal’s story would not have been dragged out over 3 volumes, as apparently there is not enough plot to fill so many pages. The Study Series had the same problem, actually. I like Opal, her glass magic and the stormdancers, but apart from that there is not enough substance to keep me reading this spin-off.
The good: - Opal is not an over-powered Mary-Sue as Yelena has become. It was refreshing to have a heroine that has to think and strategize (view spoiler)[Reaching the end of the book, I might have to take that back. Opal also discovers new abilities to get her out of danger and might become just as over-powered. (hide spoiler)] - Opal is not as stupid as Yelena who never listens and runs into trouble without thinking. - Storm magic, glass magic, horses
The bad: - Possibly to make Opal different from Yelena, the author took her character too far into the opposite direction. Yelena is too hot-headed, while Opal hesitates all the time, has zero self-confidence and constantly doubts herself. Granted, she does get some character development towards the end, but her self-loathing is a bit too extreme, given that she really has no reason to be that disregarding of her quite impressive achievements. - Love triangle/rectangle - I am so over them. In this case particularly, it is very disturbing that by the end of the book a guy who tortured Opal repeatedly is set up as a possible love interest. - Teachers sending their students into dangerous missions without proper protection or even thoroughly teaching them self-defense and other skills (lock-picking) that don’t involve magic - Too much talking about the incredible amazing marvel that is Yelena. Seriously, people will pick up your other books if they like this one. No need for so much publicity. ...more
I liked this one better than the first, possibly because I knew what to expect, but in the end I still fail to see the point of these books. If I’m goI liked this one better than the first, possibly because I knew what to expect, but in the end I still fail to see the point of these books. If I’m going to read a dry and meticulous account on a fictional culture which nevertheless closely resembles possible real world societies, I might as well just simply read an actual account dealing with a culture that does exist in the real world.
The books are well written and I don’t dislike the characters, but I believe the “memoir” style with Lady Trent’s mostly dry and emotionally distant narration does not work for me. Her neutral description of dragon biology, the oppressive jungle climate and the local culture does not leave much room for suspense – but even her passion for her research was not conveyed to me. At the same time, the political schemes that make up the actual plot are glossed over, as the narrator herself is not really interested in them. In turn, the crazy things she is willing to do for her research seem exaggerated. I’m also often bored when authors use too many words of a fictional language. I won’t learn them, nor be impressed by them.
The different ideas of how an actual animal called a dragon could look like and behave are nice and all, but not enough to keep me interested in a whole series. Nature has come up with so many incredible and crazy animals, I will spend my limited time to learn about those instead.
In the end, I have read actual reports on real world fieldworks and expeditions that were more enthralling, without the researchers risking their lives to steal a glance at their study objects or becoming entangled in a war. So, I think, I will just stick with these....more
As far as teenage fantasy romances go, this is one of the better ones, albeit still cheesy. I don't care for all the swooning, the incredible spark whAs far as teenage fantasy romances go, this is one of the better ones, albeit still cheesy. I don't care for all the swooning, the incredible spark when just looking at each other, the magnetic power that draws them together etc. There is a lot of over-dramatization ("oh no, oh godstars no") and yet a very simplistic world view, where love conquers all. At times, the plot feels lazy, the "gods and monsters" of the title seem like an afterthought to give a final obstacle to the main love story. The universe is supposedly at stake, but in the end all that matters is the "cake". Also, a too perfect happy ending....more
Well, where Feverborn didn't have enough plot, Feversong has way too many things thrown at you in too little time. In particular from the second partWell, where Feverborn didn't have enough plot, Feversong has way too many things thrown at you in too little time. In particular from the second part onward, it is a mess.
The original Fever series is a favorite of mine, because as a reader, you could tell that the author had a plan and knew where her story was going. Everything fit together nicely, the plot twists were surprising, but it felt like the author had them planned all along.
After the first 5 books, I got a feeling that the story was prolonged beyond the point where it had been originally conceived to be finished. At first, this actually worked for me mostly, because the focus switched to Dani's story. Feverborn and Feversong however are direct continuations of Mac's story and it feels like this continuation was made up in a rush. The different developments don't fit neatly together, the timing is off, and to me, many parts felt random. Suddenly we have space travel and colonization of other planets, fairy queens who can feel the Earth's amazing living consciousness, magical cats, preaching about afterlife and how 'death is not the end', a whole love story squeezed into a few pages. The storytelling was a mess. At times I found it hard to believe that the same author could have written this sequel, because it lacked so many of the storytelling skills which made the original series fascinating. The further into the novel, the more I just wanted it to end, to finally wrap things up.
I feel like the Fever series has outstayed its welcome and the new plot lines were not crafted as well as the original story. The series made me feel again the wisdom of the saying "better to stop while it's still good". I'm not sure what I'm going to do, if further novels set in this world will be published. Burned, Feverborn and Feversong have deflated quite a lot my enjoyment of the world and the characters.
I do recommend the first 5 books. They're still among the best Urban Fantasy works I know....more
I’m sad to say that this final installment ended up being a bit underwhelming. I grew less and less interested in the story and came to dislike or notI’m sad to say that this final installment ended up being a bit underwhelming. I grew less and less interested in the story and came to dislike or not care about many of the characters I had liked before.
I felt that Adare was wasted as a character. She is intelligent, but she makes all the wrong choices. Sure, she does not have the right information to make the right choice most of the time, but it really became annoying. As she unknowingly puts obstacles in her brothers’ paths time and time again, it felt too much like she was used as a plot device to keep the story from resolving itself too soon.
I was slightly annoyed by Valyn already in the second book, probably because I really liked him in the first novel, and he has become a very different person. And I never understood why he hated the idea of Adare being empress so much, and why he was so much more loyal to his brother, whom he didn’t really know any better than his sister. In this third book, I really did not care for his relationship to Hutsu and apart from that, his story arc is almost nothing but fighting.
Neither did I buy the belated romance between (view spoiler)[Triste and Kaden. I felt they had passed the point for a believable romantic development. I was actually quite happy that the most obvious couple of the first book did not become a reality. Until it did, too late, and for no comprehensible reason. From my point of view, if Triste didn’t fall for Kaden when he was actually nice to her, she couldn’t have fallen for him after all he did to her afterwards. Giving her up to torture, putting her into prison, being very willing to sacrifice her to save humankind … I found her position, that she really does not care after she had lost everybody quite believable and I’m unsure why she changed her mind towards the end. Just because Kaden was also willing to sacrifice himself? (hide spoiler)]
Another instant that really stood out negatively to me was how Rampuri Tan was brought back into the story. He was a too obvious plot device to get rid of Longfist and his actions made no sense to me.
Finally, I got really bored of all the gore and violence. The second and third book are full of gruesome torture and creative ways to kill somebody in the most painful way. As another user put it: “As if Meshkent and Balendin ran away with the story” indeed. Yes, it makes sense for the god of pain and the emotion leech to act as they do, but as a reader I can only be horrified to a certain point. It was really funny, when Kaden called the human sacrifices “boring”, since I had been rolling my eyes throughout that whole scene. For my taste, Balendin, one of the few flat characters in this story, was around for way too long. (view spoiler)[He needed some depth or should have been killed off sooner. The transfer of Meshkent could have also been made sooner, to shorten the number of human sacrifices. (hide spoiler)]
That being said, I had enjoyed the previous books a lot, so I couldn’t help having high expectations for this one and these are always difficult to live up to. This review sounds negative, but many parts of the book were good and entertaining. The world building is fascinating and most of the characters are smart, way more complex than in many other novels. In particular the scenes with Pyrre, Nira and Gwenna and her wing were enjoyable. I’m also happy with the overall ending (view spoiler)[a courageous step away from typical happy endings (hide spoiler)].
In the end, I think this final novel was a bit too long and obviously, I would have preferred a shorter version with less cruelty, less superficial romance, quicker pacing and more Kettral, which are one of the best things about this series. I still recommend Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne as a whole, if you're looking for a complex fantasy. ...more
Well, this got really complicated. A very entertaining high fantasy series. I'm not happy with all the choices the different characters made and sad aWell, this got really complicated. A very entertaining high fantasy series. I'm not happy with all the choices the different characters made and sad about those who had to go, but I love their complexity. Not to mention the intricacy of the world-building itself. Really impressive....more
Don’t be fooled by the Sci-Fi setting. This is a pure romance novel and not a very memorable one. It comes with an incredible Instant-Love, in which tDon’t be fooled by the Sci-Fi setting. This is a pure romance novel and not a very memorable one. It comes with an incredible Instant-Love, in which the love interest actually asks our heroine to marry her after they've known each other for - one - week. The heroine is quite literally the most amazing female in the universe. She is astonishingly powerful, but absolutely humble and self-sacrificing. She is not an annoying character per se, but she is just too special.
The world-building is superficial and feels like an afterthought, because the romance needed some kind of setting. There’s the normal humans, who can’t do much on their own. Next, there’s the evil race, i.e. a whole magical race that is simply evil in their DNA and wants to rule the world. Then there’s the god race, also magicians basically, but the good ones. They don’t look down on humans, just because they’re immensely more powerful. Our heroine, even among these benevolent sorcerers, is an especially powerful one. She keeps saying that she's not a goddess, but seriously, many of the gods that mankind has known are probably not nearly as powerful as she is. And her mission is to protect defenseless humans from the evil magicians.
So, yes, this is barely science-fiction, but reads more like “magicians in space”. There’s constant talking about spells and magic and all the advanced technology is mostly based on magic rune and crystal stones. It left the impression that the author wanted to write fantasy, but the publisher requested science-fiction or something. ...more
Well, a bit too slow and at times felt very random. Also, too many things happened off-screen, which would have been more interesting to witness thanWell, a bit too slow and at times felt very random. Also, too many things happened off-screen, which would have been more interesting to witness than that all these details on ciphers....more