Abigail Singer's Reviews > Entangled

Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta
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bookshelves: bea-2013, dystopias, read-2013

** spoiler alert ** I picked up this book at BEA 2013 and was excited as it was hailed as a the best "to read" book for a Joss Whedon fan and Browncoats especially. However, "Entangled" failed to make the cut for me.

What I found lacking though was the story itself. There is the basic girl finds out about a missing half who's in danger and she MUST get to him to rescue him before he dies. This is a good motivator to get a loner girl like Cade to move. It's an old trope but can be done quite well. But She's such a strong character it's a little jarring that she drops everything for a boy she's never met. She knows they're entangled and that means their minds are linked across the universe. I'll go with that in the beginning, figuring what it means to be entangled will be explained along the way. Only... it never really is. Or if it is, I missed it. So for more than half the book it seems like she's just acting for a boy. I'm fine with the mental connection but I'm not sure later why she's embarrassed about kissing Rennik while Xan is unconscious. I got the feeling that entanglement didn't mean they were lovers. It felt like it was more than that. Only, I never got the explanation of what it was and what it REALLY meant to the human race. I can see the implications music had and how the link kept her grounded, but what did it REALLY mean?

Cade is a strong character who is self sufficient, streetwise loner character with a gift of music. We get a good look at her world in the beginning and how humans are seen as less than worthy. I'd say Capetta's greatest gift in writing boils down to the diverse world building she's created. We not only see physical worlds that differ greatly from our own but the aliens that populate it are distinct and unique. Each one has a different way of viewing the world, my favourite being the Matalan, "a species of women who had some qualities of plants. They could photosynthesize and wore clothes spun with treads of sunlight over birch-pale, paper skin. This one rustles as she swept the floor. She grew purple flowers in her hair" (pg 30 ARC copy)

Capetta also has a gift of insinuating foreign words into dialogue without having to stop to explain what they mean. Examples of this are "dregs" and "spacecadet" this is something that's hard to do but she manages it quite well. The same goes for some of the science.

I also enjoyed the combination of music and science as the two are somehow linked with being human.

All in all, the scattering of humans across the universe and the fact that they're less than dirt reminded me more of "Titan AE" as opposed to "Firefly." It was only after considering this realization, that Joss Whedon wrote the screenplay to that. Joss' strengths have always been in unique worldbuilding as well as strong characterizations, both of which Capetta has in spades. But while Joss' stories are good, they aren't always the best, but we're willing to overlook the physical plot in exchange for the rest of the good stuff surrounds it. (For an example of this, think how much you liked "Avengers" and called it a good movie, and then sit back and think of what the actual plot of that movie is. The plot is really weak but we're willing to go with it because the characters are funny and awesome stuff happens. "Puny God" anyone?) The problem with "Entangled" for me was that it didn't quite make amazing enough characters and situations to allow the pitfalls for the plot to fade into the background.

I also found the action scenes muddled. One minute Cade is distraught about having to chuck Cherry Red, the ONE thing she owns and cares about, and the next minute she's willing to toss it without a second thought? What's the motivation here? And let's not get into the fact a second after that she seems to get away from her attacker and get on the ship. I found myself rereading this, and other scenes like it, over and over again wondering when we went from point A to point D.

I really wanted to like "Entangled" and I can see it's potential. For most of the book I was between 3 stars and 4 stars on it. (Shame I can't do 3.5 stars, that's what I would have given it.) I was set to give it 4 stars until I got to the end. The double, triple (not sure how much) deception with Xan and the Unmakers just got too muddled. We didn't know enough about Xan or maybe we knew a lot about him but not enough of the important stuff. His personality and who he was never got explained to us. Which is fine, Cade didn't know it either. But her reactions to Xan didn't seem right to me. I guess the entangled part of her made her latch to him, but again, without understanding truly what it meant to be entangled, how could I understand their bond.

I wish Amy Rose Capetta best of luck with this book,and future books. It's a nature of a person, to continue learning and this is only her first book. She has a lot of room to grow and I look forward to seeing it because she has the world and the characters, the exposition and plot just need some tweaking and it'll be great.
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Reading Progress

June 14, 2013 – Started Reading
June 14, 2013 – Shelved
June 14, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
June 14, 2013 – Shelved as: bea-2013
June 17, 2013 – Finished Reading
June 19, 2013 – Shelved as: read-2013
June 19, 2013 – Shelved as: dystopias

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