Angela's Reviews > Seraphina

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
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's review
Jan 23, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: ala-2012, i-have-a-lot-of-favorites-okay, the-list

THAT's what I'm talking about! After so many disappointing books, I needed this one. The concept is utterly original--some ideas are so new that they take a while to fit your brain around (in a good way). The author has written in this universe before, and sometimes she presents things as though she assumes you know the world, but they're not too hard to figure out without that context. The characters are masterfully painted, full of complexity and depth. Our heroine is truly spectacular, though--probably one of the best I've ever read. She's so real, so easy to relate to, so believably conflicted. The romance is slightly predictable in that you can guess the pairing from the back cover matter, but you're not sure what's going to happen with it until the very end, and there are some good red herrings. The pace starts out a little slow in the beginning, but that's kind of a good thing--it gives you a chance to think about and get used to the more unusual aspects of the plot. It also allowed me to realize that, for the first time since I read Graceling (which was, oh, snap, way back in January), a book had gotten into my head. I kept thinking about the characters and what was going to happen as I went about my daily life. And after a certain point, I could hardly put it down. My husband came home and wanted me to pay attention to him at a very climactic point in the book, and I actually held it open as I explained to him what a great book this was and that he should read it, which he pretended to count as talking to him and then left me alone to finish the last 50 pages. I like that the ending clearly resolves but also sets up neatly for the next book, which I am pretty excited about. I am also excited about reading the comic series this author has written in the same universe while I wait for it. I'm not really that into comics, but for her, I will make an exception.

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Quotes Angela Liked

Rachel Hartman
“I cannot perch among those who think that I am broken.”
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina

Rachel Hartman
“That’s the secret to performance: conviction. The right note played tentatively still misses its mark, but play boldly and no one will question you. If one believes there is truth in art – and I do – then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying. Maybe lying is itself a kind of art. I think about that more than I should.”
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina

Rachel Hartman
“The resolve written in his eyes said no, but I could see exactly where I would have to push, and how hard, to break that resolve. It would be shockingly easy, but I found I did not wish it. ... Some part of him would break, along with his resolve, and I did not see a way to make it whole again. The jagged edge of it would stab at him all his life.”
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina

Rachel Hartman
“A feeling rose in me, and I just let it, because what harm could it do? It only had another thirty-two adagio bars of life in this world. Twenty-four. Sixteen. Eight more bars in which I love you. Three. Two. One.
Rachel Hartman, Seraphina

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