April 's Reviews > The Pearl Wars

The Pearl Wars by Nick  James
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's review
Sep 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: review-copy
Read in September, 2011

(Originally posted @ CSI:Librarian.)

3.5 stars - First and foremost, I have to say I applaud this book's originality and that I am still really pleased by how different it was from a lot of the Young Adult titles that have come out in recent months. There were a lot of unique concepts such as the world Cassius and Jesse were living in and what was going on behind the scenes with their technology.

In terms of the main characters, I liked that the book was from two opposing point of views, but I didn't like both characters equally. Jesse was an odd pick as a main character since he was fairly dull and normal with no real drive or motivation. He was a blank slate with potential though so it'll be interesting to see what he becomes as the series continues, but I wouldn't have minded being given more to like about him here in the first book. Cassius, while misguided and dangerous, was far more well-rounded and developed in terms of himself and in terms of his story arc. He also provided a decent amount of forward momentum both for himself and for Jesse. As a result of his competence and personality, he was decidedly my favorite part of the book.

When it came to the minor characters, I felt like everyone was entirely too underdeveloped. This was particularly and unfortunately true of Madame and Captain Alkine, adult leaders in charge of opposing governing forces. Alkine comes across as the Good Guy and Madame definitely comes across as the Bad Guy. Several characters attempted to suggest there was a gray area somewhere though so I'm sort of hopeful that one will emerge as the series moves forward. I also hope there's a bit more of Eva and Skandar in the next book.

Plot-wise, I felt like the opening and ending were a lot stronger than the follow-up to the initial action-packed introduction to both protagonists. The book didn't seem to go anywhere for the longest time and when it did, a lot of sections and chapters still seemed sort of irrelevant. I liked the sort of graphic novel vibe I got from The Pearl Wars though. What was going on with the Pearls was fascinating and I'm excited to see where this series is headed. I think my only concern is that the story itself will be overshadowed by very awesome concepts, world-building, and plot twists. This isn't a very bad thing, but it can certainly be problematic for character-driven readers like myself.

In conclusion, a cool and engaging series opener. While not a completely flawless read, I devoured the book quickly and I am certainly eager to read the next Skyship Academy book once it comes out. I would definitely suggest getting a hold of a copy of The Pearl Wars if you have a chance. Particularly if you're a fan of adventurous Young Adult Fiction.

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Reading Progress

09/09/2011 page 120
31.0% "Really good so far! I love the idea of the Pearls and the way everything alternates between two different POVs."

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