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Did Not Finish Reviews

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
The Queen's Choice
Heirs of Chrior #1, by Cayla Kluver

Genre: YA Fantasy   Hardback: 512 Pages
Publication: January 28, 2014 by Harlequin Teen

Magic was seeping out of me, black and agonizing. I could see it drifting away. The magic that would let me pass the Road to reach home again.

When sixteen-year-old Anya learns that her aunt, Queen of the Faerie Kingdom of Chrior, will soon die, her grief is equalled only by her despair for the future of the kingdom. Her young cousin, Illumina, is unfit to rule, and Anya is determined not to take up the queen's mantle herself.

Convinced that the only solution is to find Prince Zabriel, who long ago disappeared into the human realm of Warckum, and persuade him to take up his rightful crown, Anya journeys into the Warckum Territory to bring him home. But her journey is doomed to be more harrowing than she ever could have imagined.

I loved the first book I read by Cayla Kluver (Legacy), but I didn't love the sequels, even dnf-ing the third book. Because I remembered Legacy, however, I decided to give another of her books a try, especially when I saw faeries in the synopsis. Unfortunately, I ended up dnf-ing another of the author's books. The reason for this is that the writing falls flat for me. It feels like Anya is writing a scientific journal, detailing her observations from an objective perspective in order to preserve what she sees for future generations to study instead of actually being in the scene and feeling things. Even detailing Davic's attractiveness seems like a scientific observation, for she calls the parting of his lips "an aphrodisiac in itself." Really?? How about straightforwardly admitting that she finds it hot? More internal dialogue and more showing of emotions would be helpful here. As it is, I couldn't form a connection with Anya or even immerse myself in the writing.

A copy was provided by Harlequin Teen for review

The Chaos of Stars
by Kiersten White

Genre: YA Mythological   Hardback: 288 Pages
Publication: September 10, 2013 by Harper Teen

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Though Paranormalcy was a fun, fresh voice in YA lit, I've since seen a lot of outspoken girls like Evie since, and the trend is growing old. Isadora is extremely opinionated and has an over-the-top personality that takes things too dramatically. She really just seems like a spoiled princess who gets annoyed when she doesn't get what she wants. I also don't like how she doesn't have many, if any, nice things to say about her family in the first pages of the book. While I know that families can be overbearing, especially if they try to arrange your life for you, they're still family. From the synopsis, it looks like Isadora will probably reconnect with her family and mature over the course of the novel, but I just couldn't take anymore. Because I didn't really like Mind Games either, I'm probably not going to give another Kiersten White book a try unless I happen to spot it on a shelf and decide to browse it.

A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review

The Burning Sky
(The Elemental Trilogy #1), by Sherry Thomas

Genre: YA Fantasy  Hardback: 464 Pages
Publication: September 17, 2013 by Balzer & Bray

Iolanthe Seabourne is the greatest elemental mage of her generation—or so she's being told. The one prophesied for years to be the savior of The Realm. It is her duty and destiny to face and defeat the Bane, the greatest mage tyrant the world has ever known. A suicide task for anyone let alone a sixteen-year-old girl with no training, facing a prophecy that foretells a fiery clash to the death.

Prince Titus of Elberon has sworn to protect Iolanthe at all costs but he's also a powerful mage committed to obliterating the Bane to avenge the death of his family—even if he must sacrifice both Iolanthe and himself to achieve his goal.

But Titus makes the terrifying mistake of falling in love with the girl who should have been only a means to an end. Now, with the servants of the Bane closing in, he must choose between his mission and her life.

Another book where I couldn't connect with the heroine. Another teen heroine who thinks she knows best and won't listen to her guardian. I KNOW that Iolanthe has had to fend for herself for a while because her guardian hasn't been in any condition to properly care for her, and his mind is in a questionable state. However, she could at least respect him and look into what he says? It's not like he's was a bad guardian during his lucid times. I gave this book a try because I love a good fantasy; however, this is seems more in the vein of Ellen Oh's Prophecy (read my review here), which didn't really world build and took a romantic approach to an epic adventure.

A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review

Revolution 19
(Revolution 19 #1), by Gregg Rosenblum

Genre: YA dystopian, science fiction  Paperback: 288 Pages
Publication: January 7, 2014 by Harper Teen

Twenty years ago, the robots designed to fight our wars abandoned the battlefields. Then they turned their weapons on us.

Nick, Kevin, and Cass have spent their whole lives in a community in the wilderness, hiding out from the robots that have enslaved mankind. But when the bots discover their location, they barely make it out alive — only to discover that their home has been destroyed and everyone killed or captured. Now, the siblings must risk everything to save the only people they have left in the world.

I feel like three perspectives was overkill for the novel. While each character has something to add to the plot, the perspective changed so frequently that I didn't really get to know any of the characters. It didn't help that the writing is flat. It felt like the narration was happening in passive voice. I didn't get a sense for the world or who the characters were. It didn't feel like there was any substance to them.

A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater

Genre: YA Fantasy   Hardback: 404 Pages
Publication: October 18, 2011 by Scholastic Press

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

The writing isn't bad, and the characters are interesting enough. However, it just didn't feel like anything was happening; it didn't feel like the plot was moving anywhere. I quit around halfway through.

A copy was provided by Scholastic Press for review

Starry Nights
by Daisy Whitney

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance   Hardback: 280 Pages
Publication: September 3, 2013 by Bloomsbury USA Children's

Seventeen-year-old Julien is a romantic—he loves spending his free time at the museum poring over the great works of the Impressionists. But one night, a peach falls out of a Cezanne, Degas ballerinas dance across the floor, and Julien is not hallucinating.

The art is reacting to a curse that trapped a beautiful girl, Clio, in a painting forever. Julien has a chance to free Clio and he can't help but fall in love with her. But love is a curse in its own right. And soon paintings begin to bleed and disappear. Together Julien and Clio must save the world's greatest art . . . at the expense of the greatest love they've ever known.

There was a lot of potential to this book with the plot and setting. However, it was poorly executed. I stopped reading a little over a quarter into the novel. There is a lot of telling with little internal dialogue. I never really felt like I got to know Julien or his obsession with Clio even before he gets to know her. I knew he had a compulsion to see her, but the novel doesn't really explain why. Additionally, Julien tends to skip time in his narration, directing readers to certain events while brushing over others, and it happens so frequently that it disrupts the flow of the story. I would have also liked if the paintings coming to life aspect was explored more, especially at the beginning during the exposition, since it plays such a large role in the story. On the whole, the plot wasn't well developed, character motivation wasn't properly explained, and the flow of events was poor.

A copy was provided by Bloomsbury for review

2 comments on "Did Not Finish Reviews"
  1. Awe, I liked The Burning Sky, but I can see your point. I tried to read The Chaos of Stars and made it a couple of chapters in and gave up and read another book. Don't know if I will go back to it or not. I have The Scorpio Races on my shelf, tried to get my son to read it and he even told me "No thank you, I'll pass." lol

  2. Totally agree on The Scorpio Races-I did manage to finish it but nothing really seemed to be happening. That just seems to be how Stiefvater writes.


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