Michelle's Reviews > Oppression

Oppression by Jessica Therrien
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's review
Mar 13, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: 2012-debut-author-challenge, debut-author, myths, paranormal, young-adult, romance

Opression is a relatively quick read, a mostly fast-paced, plot-driven novel with lots of action. It was fun while reading; and Therrien comes up with some interesting new ideas about Greek Gods and their Mythos. It is a pretty strong debut, and infinitely better than most of the other YA books taking on the Gods right now. (Yes, The Goddess Test and Starcrossed, I'm looking at you.)

unfortunately, Therrien's characters seriously lack consistency; and this inconsistency can be found in all of her characters, to varying degrees, but especially Elyse, Will and Kara. Of these three, Kara's conflicting actions and character traits are the most easily reconciled because we are allowed to see her motivations toward the end of the novel. Elyse and Will, however, remain an odd mixture of excellent traits and terrible ones. Elyse at times appears very strong, smart and independent. Sometimes she gets really angry when she sees bad things happen, and gets ready to take on injustices. At other times she just meekly allows other people to tell her what to do or what she can or cannot know. Similarly, she can completely dismissed REALLY TERRIBLE THINGS from her mind right after they happen so that they will not ruin her or her friends' fun. Will, likewise, can go from a really sweet, romantic guy to bit of a jerk without much warning. He keeps things from her 'for her own good.' And, naturally, there is Instalove with a lot of MeantToBe thrown in.

There are also some pretty serious (possibly spoilery!) holes in the world building. It doesn't really make sense that everyone within the world of the Descendants knows about the prophecy, but no one really does anything about it for most of the novel. Nor does it make sense that - knowing Elyse is supposed to lead their upcoming war - the "adults" within their community take a hands-off you'll-figure-it-out approach to her education. Also, what is with these "kids" going to school for 80+ years? (Presumably it is a result of the complete lack of required attendance policy they seemed to have?) Along the same lines, what is with allowing all these student to be taught by the previous leader of a rebellion and the husband of the woman who predicted the next one? It seems to me that the Council would exercise a bit more control over who was teaching the next generation.

I didn't really like how extreme the cliff hanger was - the last chapter almost seemed like it would do better as the first chapter of the next book - , nor did I think the novel was flawless, but I do think that Oppression was a pretty nice series start, and I will give the sequel at least the Library try.

Blogged at Chronicles of a Book Evangelist

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