Britt's Reviews > Snakecharm

Snakecharm by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
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's review
Jan 11, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi, fiction, ya
Read in January, 2009

First, I thought the characters kind of regressed in characterization. Zane was so bland I frequently forgot who was narrating. They all seemed a bit lifeless. The last book focused so much on Zane’s & Danica’s developing relationship, it was a bit of a letdown to see how far into the background the characters were pushed in this story. Every character was just there to move the plot along, and there wasn’t even that much of a plot!

But my main problem with this book is the lack of world building. We learn a bit of the history of the world which is interesting. But Atwater-Rhodes just skims the surface of things. I know she is writing a series, but these books are way too short for what she is trying to do. Aside from the history, I don’t feel we really learned that much new about the world she’s created. I mean, the falcons supposedly have this incredibly powerful magic, and we only get to hear about it. We never see it. We learn nothing about it other than it exists. Though I did appreciate the deeper look into the sha’Mehay, that was the most we got for world building, and even that was a bit shallow.

This brings me to another problem. All the telling. I hate telling. I want to see it! All this worry and conflict over the falcons and what they might do, and we don’t even get to go to the falcon city with what’s her name! There was no sense of urgency in the story or the conflicts. We didn't see how much Syfka's interference with the Keep and the palace affected people. Aside from the assassination attempt, we didn't see much danger, really. There was lots of talk about how complicated things could be with the baby, but we don't really see much reaction from the people. We never see why any of this is a problem, we only hear various characters telling us it is.

It seems that nothing actually happened, all people did was talk, and everything was skimmed over. And then it ended abruptly while they are planning out their new court, and the next book takes us years into the future when this is done. Why? Wouldn’t that have been a great opportunity to explore more of the society and the conflicts that come from trying to integrate two vastly different cultures? The first two books deal with this integration in a kind of shallow way. I do like that the main point is, how do we get these warring territories to get along? How do we manage to learn from each other? And I really, really appreciated that she showed that just because two groups stopped fighting and are united under one leader, that does not mean all that history and all those ingrained prejudices magically vanish. But it’s just all approached in a rather shallow way.

I wish she had done more with the creation of the new court. There was the beginnings of the joy and exhilaration and optimism of a dream, of radically changing society, of taking charge and doing something some may think mad. And I appreciated that, but it still felt flat and rushed.

I think there is a foundation for a really interesting if predictable story if she would just take it a bit deeper.
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02/16/2017 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Pamela (new)

Pamela Wow, I cannot argue with anything you have said. I liked - no, LOVED - the first book and this one is a let down. I even forgot that Zane was there, sometimes.

message 2: by Kathleen (new) - added it

Kathleen I agree with both of you wholeheartedly. The first book was amazing, but the others each became worse than the one before, until I didn't care about it and just threw down Falcondance in discust

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