I don’t know if I’ve seen a worse cover. I don’t like that look at all
Every time I thought this book would get better, the plot took another predictable turn. I really wanted this to be good, but it just fell through too many times.
It starts out with the usual. Ava’s a college student and when she was younger she claimed to have magic powers. She could make things happen that should’ve been impossible. In college, Ava’s struggling with physics and gets help from this guy called Caleb. Turns out he’s more than a regular college student and is there observing her, he’s a Protector for this ancient race. Cue the cringy standard fantasy names with capital letters. Guardians, Council, it’s all there. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of time and “random” attacks for Ava to find this out. Even with dreams and weird memory losses she can’t seem to connect any dots whatsoever.
The book goes slowly downwards from there, except for a few surprises. I’m not going to get into the things that annoyed me, except for *SPOILER* Caleb gives up everything to protect Ava although it’s told he’s given up other suspected untrained Race members to be executed. Why? Is the next book’s plot how he’s been good from the beginning or something? I can’t say if some parts are predictable or just bad. This book had it’s good points, but as a whole it seemed unfinished.
Don’t be fooled by the beautiful cover or the fact that “it’s based on Swan Lake and Robin Hood”, this book is horribly boring.
*some spoilers, but it’s so predicable nothing should be considered spoilers*
Odette, the huntress and supposedly female version of Robin Hood, is the orphaned niece of a merchant and pouching from the margrave’s forest to feed the poor. She’s early Katniss Everdeen, only she’s less snarky, less brave, less of a personality and will never go hungry herself again. Jorgen is the new forester who will do anything to catch the poucher, not knowing it’s the girl he’s fallen in love with. It’s forbidden romance – of course it will happen, no secret there. But there’s also this third wealthy guy I can’t remember the name of who wants to marry Odette and so he does anything to split them up. At least he’s honest about what a douche he is.
What bothered me most about this book was how predictable it is. I wasn’t wrong about guesses a single time, and I couldn’t even feel good about it because I was so bored. This book made every other book seem like an original masterwork.
The only thing that works is the straight-forward (at best) writing. Unless you’re – like me – annoyed at the use of the word “Ja”, which means Yes in both norwegian and this supposedly german language. This book makes me want to never say the word again. Or see Robin Hood. Or read another “historical novel” in a long time. Have women be oppressed, throw in some misplaced Bible learning in this fantasy-ish story and claim it’s placed in the Holy Roman Empire. That’s how you get into that historical novel genre and not “get it at the convencience store near you – romance”. That’s also a word in norwegian – kiosknovelle – but I don’t know how to translate it, which still beats the author not translating fucking “Ja”.
It has a fucking masquerade ball. I laughed out loud. The perfect example of an over-used element. What happens at masquerade balls (in books)? People are mistaken for other people, causing drama. It’s so good at being predictable you almost have to applaud it. Also if you haven’t already figured out the plot a few chapters in, the author so graciously sums it all up in big speeches, often in big chuncks at the end of the last chapters. Below the cut there’s examples, all spoilers. To sum up this book was a big miss for me, with nothing but cliches and info dumps.