Krystal Hammond's Reviews > Fated

Fated by Alyson Noel
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May 23, 12

bookshelves: fantasy-other
Read in May, 2012

I received this book from a First Reads giveaway back in April/March, so first off thanks St. Martin's Press for giving away so many ARCs (I believe there were 100 in the giveaway I entered). I delayed reading the book because I'm a student with no life but school. :o)

FYI: I've never read anything by Alyson Noël, so I'll be looking at this review on its own. I'm not comparing it to the Immortals or anything else that Noël has done.

So. The Book. It's been summarized several times, so I won't bore you with the details that you've probably read already. It was decent. I had originally planned to read another book, but decided to get started reading this one since, after all, it was an ARC and I wanted to get it read and reviewed before the release date. The writing and plot were strong enough that I kept reading and put off my plans for that other book.

If you don't want spoilers, stop reading now.

It doesn't strike me as all that original to have a character suffer from dreams/visions and for those dreams/visions to push the plot forward. However, even though those things strike me as cliche (not everyone would agree with that), I do think Noël handled that plot element well. And, honestly, without the waking visions that the main Daire has, there wouldn't really be much of a story. Not when you're trying to work with a culture that emphasizes vision quests and such.

That said, I'm not 100% sure how true-to-life the American Indian ideology put forth in the book was. It seemed a bit over-the-top in some places, and a bit too mixed with the fruity side of New Age in others. Anyway. I hope that Noël did her research and I'm the one in error here.

Let's talk about plot. It was a bit meandering, but I suppose that's a given when the main character's goal changes radically throughout the course of the book. First, Daire just wants to get rid of the visions and move on with her life. Then she wants to get away from her crazy grandmother. Then she wants to learn what her giftings are about. Then she wants to learn from her grandmother. Then she wants to protect her grandmother. Then etc., etc., etc. The plus side to this sort of constantly changing character goal is that it's much easier to see the character arc. Daire really does change throughout the course of the book, and this is nice to see. The down side is that the pacing starts to feel a bit slow. Fortunately, it didn't get so slow that I got frustrated and put the book down.

Characters. Daire is strong, but she's also a thinker, which I like. I can understand her confusion at certain parts, though I had the thing between her and Dace figured out pretty darn early. Dace/Cade ... they're okay. I think Cade's nice-boy routine was a bit overplayed ... or perhaps Daire constantly reminding herself that she couldn't trust him was a bit heavy-handed. I'm not sure what, exactly, but there was something about that relationship that just struck me as annoying. As for Dace ... I hope there's more to him than just being the "nice twin". I'd like to see a little more depth there. Actually, I'd like to see a little more depth to a number of characters. Jennika, Lita (I think that's her name), basically most of the characters outside of Chay, Paloma, and Daire feel like they need a bit "more" to really come alive. Hopefully we'll see more in future books.

I think I've rambled enough. Overall, I enjoyed this book. Daire is likable, the plot is fine, and there are some interesting elements that Noël can definitely play with later in the series.
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