23 May 2017

Ivory and Bone

Series: Ivory and Bone #1
Publication: June 7th 2016 by HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Format: ebook, 400 pages
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      The only life seventeen-year-old Kol knows is hunting at the foot of the Great Ice with his brothers. But food is becoming scarce, and without another clan to align with, Kol, his family, and their entire group are facing an uncertain future.
      Traveling from the south, Mya and her family arrive at Kol’s camp with a trail of hurt and loss behind them, and hope for a new beginning. When Kol meets Mya, her strength, independence, and beauty instantly captivate him, igniting a desire for much more than survival.
      Then on a hunt, Kol makes a grave mistake that jeopardizes the relationship that he and Mya have only just started to build. Mya was guarded to begin with—and for good reason—but no apology or gesture is enough for her to forgive him. Soon after, another clan arrives on their shores. And when Mya spots Lo, a daughter of this new clan, her anger intensifies, adding to the already simmering tension between families. After befriending Lo, Kol learns of a dark history between Lo and Mya that is rooted in the tangle of their pasts.
     When violence erupts, Kol is forced to choose between fighting alongside Mya or trusting Lo’s claims. And when things quickly turn deadly, it becomes clear that this was a war that one of them had been planning all along.

I told myself that I would stop reading Ivory and Bone if it is still boring until 30%. But I found myself reading until its half because I was waiting. I was waiting… for Lo. The plot picked up when she came into the story. Kol and Mya’s was just plain boring. I know there is something wrong with Mya towards Kol, and I have guessed it right at the end why because it was obvious - Ivory and Bone spoils itself. Warning: The next sentence may spoil you and lose your interest. Highlight at your own risk. Also, I was hurt that I have encountered Kol killing a mammoth down, but I understand since this is set in prehistoric.

Despite the weak points, Ivory and Bone is a moving-read towards family responsibilities. Kol is a great clan-leader in training who pays close attention and is exquisite. He is also a great brother and a son. All I can say of Mya is that she’s obstinate. I may have hated her for that but then have understood her side for she has her reasons, not just stubborn-because-I-like-it-to-be stubborn.

The plot was not that compelling but I still have enjoyed reading it since Kol TELLS. YOU. EVERYTHING. BEAUTIFULLY. His perspective was well done written.

If you love saber tooth cats running (towards you), spear throwing and bee hunting and Pride and Prejudice, you will assuredly be delighted reading Ivory and Bone.

9 May 2017

Review: The Bone Season

PublicationBloomsbury USA
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 432 pages
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In 2059 Scion London, Paige Mahoney works for one of the most powerful crime-lords in the city, scanning people's minds with her clairvoyant ability. It isn't that she particularly wants to be part of a gang- it's just one of the only options for a clairvoyant seeking even a measure of protection in a country where simply being born with an ability like Paige's carries a sentence of imprisonment and death.

Then she's caught, and finds herself transported to Oxford- a city that has been kept hidden for two centuries under the control of the otherworldly Rephaim- to be trained to fight creatures that enter through rifts between worlds. 

Sorry for the long description... as you might gather the story is rather difficult to convey succinctly- there's a lot to the world of the clairvoyants. The book even starts off with several pages of diagrams detailing the different types of clairvoyants- which includes everything from those who can walk in others minds, to those who can see the future. This book does focus strongly on the world-building- and sometimes does that by info-dumping, which slowed down the story, especially at the beginning.

The world is a lot of familiar elements combined in  really interesting way. It's a paranormal fantasy with a fairly strong dystopian edge. I also quite enjoyed the long-term power squablling and history of the Rephaim. The relationship that humans have with them tends toward a "the enemy of my enemy is also kind of my enemy, why are we surrounded by enemies how did this happen" kind of feeling. Because they're generally somewhat awful, but are also stopping something even worse from happening.

There's also a pretty big cast of characters. While they're written dynamically enough, something about the story kept me from really connecting to anyone- even Paige, the narrator. was a character that only sometimes resonated with me. I'm planning on reading the next book, and hoping I'll connect more with the characters this time. For me, The Bone Season was driven more by the plot and world than by the characters- which was alright, but it would be great for it to be both.

Overall this was quite an interesting first novel, and I'm curious to see where Samantha Shannon plans on taking what's planned to be a seven book series... it kind of doesn't feel like the set up for that many books, but we'll see.
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