15 Nov 2016

Review: Nemesis

Publication Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
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Princess Sepora of Serubel's world runs on spectorium- and, as the last known person who can create the precious substance, she is a highly valuable resource. When her father devises a way to weaponise spectorium and begins to eye neighbouring countries, threatening to plunge her nation into a war, Sepora disappears into the night. Presumed dead, she journeys to Theoria, hoping to live out the rest of her life as a civilian there, where her power will not be turned to destruction. When she is captured on the road by Theorian slavers, she finds herself in the Theorian royal palace, thrown back into the world of politics- this time in the court of her father's enemies.

Getting this out of the way right now: the cover is kind of weird and doesn't suit the novel very well, nor is the title really well suited to the story being told. Okay, now that the judging a book by it's cover is done, onward.

This book was... entertaining, but didn't function terribly well on any greater level of engagement. It's like... Kingdom Politics Lite. I don't entirely understand the means of governance of Theoria... despite the fact that the novel ostensibly focuses on politics of the country, it was mostly superficial glamour the grossly underestimates the complexity of managing a country. So that challenged my suspension of disbelief a bit. (Yes, inadequate governance systems stretch my ability to suspend my disbelief, but dragons don't. The human brain is weird.) Moving on.

I feel like I never quite got a handle on Sepora as a character... or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that I didn't really connect with her. A lot of her decisions didn't make much sense to me.... and I found it really hard to believe that some of the things she suggested hadn't, you know, been suggested before...? She's impulsive in the extreme, but it seems to work for her, if only because of narrative convenience. I feel like I understood Tarik at the beginning of the book... but I actually lost any grasp I might have had on his character by the middle of the novel.

Something that was kind of interesting to me was the parallels with and references to Egyptian and Greek mythology. I'm not sure how much of that was intentional, but I assume at least some of it must have been.  Ones I caught:

  • Nemesis is the Greek goddess of revenge. I'm fairly sure they intended the more colloquial meaning of nemesis, though
  • Set(h) is the name of the Egyptian god who cut out Horus's (a.k.a. god-king/pharaoh, falcon-headed deity) eye. (Maybe. Depending on what version of the myth you listen to.) I'm not saying direct parallels, but there are... certain thematic similarities.
  • obviously the pyramids and some of the more basic characteristics of Theoria were inspired by ancient Egypt

The plot was a bit scattered... they often felt like they only happened because it was convenient. Also surely, surely there was a way for Sepora to secretly provide spectorium without telling everyone she was a Forger?

Overall, I feel like the book had a fairly strong concept, but didn't deliver well on a lot of fronts for me. I am curious about how the story ends, however, and will likely be picking up the second half of the duology.

4 Nov 2016

Unparalleled, The Graces

Series: The Graces #1
Publication: September 6th 2016 by Amulet Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Kindle Edition, 352 pages
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Everyone loves the Graces. Fenrin, Thalia, and Summer Grace are captivating, wealthy, and glamorous. They’ve managed to cast a spell over not just their high school but also their entire town—and they’re rumored to have powerful connections all over the world. If you’re not in love with one of them, you want to be them. Especially River: the loner, new girl at school. She’s different from her peers, who both revere and fear the Grace family. She wants to be a Grace more than anything. But what the Graces don’t know is that River’s presence in town is no accident.

There are lot of definitions a person could give you with truth. But mostly, his answer is not the whole truth, it’s just part of the truth.  That part is his experience to another person or the world not telling the truth to him. The other part is that, the truth on his self.

I was filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise on how Laure Eve exposed the truth of ourselves—on how we crave and crave for the entire truth yet we cannot give it back totally. On most chapters of The Graces, I have a lot of queries to what’s the point of this? What’s the point of that? Then what? There is no clear shot, yet, that my questions would be answered. I also thought that this would be a draggy read because of the rising number of my unanswered questions and I would end up DNF-ing it but it wasn’t, instead, those questions lead me to further to read The Graces.

This may spoil you a bit. You might want to skip it? But it’s good to know this first especially if you’re so into magic. Your expectations on The Graces magic might deadened and you would DNF it. The magic on this book was different but it was one of the reasons I have read it until the end. It’s a bit of a disappointment to those who have been fed up of breathtaking supernatural powers. So if you are interested to read The Graces, don’t expect much on its magic. Expect more on the magic of Laure Eve.

If you are finding the truth in yourself or of the world, The Graces is desirable for you. Just don’t let your anticipations get ahead of you. It’s a light read and it’s easy to adapt on its quality of being one of a kind. Resplendently written, The Graces would grant you coup de grâce.

Source: Publisher via Netgalley - Thank you! · I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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