Saturday, August 29, 2015

August Mini-Reviews

Title: A Curse of Ash and Iron
Author: Christine Norris
Out of Ten: 6/10
Review: Overall this book was a fun read. While the cover is very steampunk, the novel itself is more fantasy with steampunk elements. The main focus is on Ellie and the curse she finds herself under- her father is ill and no longer capable of recognising her, the rest of the world sees another girl's face when they look at her, and she is unable to speak her own name. Its a retelling of Cinderella, and it is always interesting to pick out how elements of the fairy tale tie in to a retelling, so that contributed to my overall interest in the story.

While the plot of Ellie and Ben, a friend and aspiring illusionist, attempting to undo the curse laid on her by her stepmother before time runs out was enjoyable, I decidedly did not enjoy the romantic aspect of the story. It felt both forced and unnecessary, and really detracted from my interest in reading- especially because it was a love triangle. While I don't exactly hate them on principle, they have to be well done to be enjoyable, and this, unfortunately, wasn't. The issue of the romance aside, however, this was quite a quick, enjoyable read.

Title: Dead Upon a Time
Author: Elizabeth Paulson
Out of Ten: 6/10
Review: First thing that we need to address: on my ARC there's a little byline thing on the cover. It is an allusion to Disney's Frozen, and I may have shrieked in despair inside, but tried not to let it warp my view of the novel's contents. I hop you appreciate my self control. Moving on to the actual book: it was alright. There were pages where I was wholly engaged, and there were stretches where I just wasn't. The major flaw in this story is that nothing in this world is really explained or expanded on in any more than the most superficial way.

It is an quick read, and, while I enjoyed parts of it, the weaknesses in the structure of the world and plot really decreased my engagement with the story. I found myself asking very basic questions about the plot- I constantly felt that I was missing something, as though I were reading the third of fourth book in a series without reading the novels preceding it, almost. I did enjoy the characters and the general plot, despite the incomplete feeling of the story, and would have liked to see it fleshed out more.

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