In the beginning of the book, we are introduced to three characters, one of them the main one, who all seem pretty immature. I cannot tell what their ages are, but the blurb says Ven is 16. They are Highborns, the highest cast in Cor, so live in luxury. I guess that explains why they seem to be such spoiled brats.
As the narrative advances, we are told that, to Highborns, Abolition Day is a nasty holiday but nothing of much consequence; the main character himself, as well as others, actually mock the situation and the people being murdered. They detach themselves completely from the situation because they live in separate worlds and the holiday is simply a necessary thing to cleanse Cor. But when Ven’s best friend Coralie is sentenced, he realizes just how petty the accusations which lead to people being sentenced can be. Those people, or at least some of them, are not criminals at all. And he is not going to stand by and let his friend die.
There are some things which were unclear to me:
– Ven gained access to the dagger way too easily. Why was such a room not better guarded?
– I didn’t get the explanation to the dagger (around 15% of the book). It is said the dagger was given to Roth as a means of protection. From what? Was it supposed to protect Roth? Or Roth and the city? How?
– If the two pod’s seats are back to back and Ven took the backsteat, how does he turn back to take a last look at his home?
– Even though Ven had a fairly nasty wound, Claira never seemed to tend to it, only got them food (with a bit of medicine granted but still, doesn’t even wipe it??) and a place to rest.
– No idea how Ven and Coralie escaped the Ambassor’s house. One minute they were surrounded by his guards and the next they’re going off with the man who grabbed Rex’s body.
– Sometimes I couldn’t tell how they got food or money for it, like at the café at Lamparth. They were supposed to be out by then, having spent the last of it in sweet potatos, so no idea how they could pay for that or the fruit at the market or the boy who helped with the map not to mention all the supplies at the shop.
– How can Ven tell if there’s no other elevator when they are in the underground tunnel? It’s not like they’ve explored all of it. Most, maybe, but at some point they just fell through holes. If they missed a turn or two, maybe they missed more.
– One minute we are told Haze energy isn’t good or bad, it just…is., that it depends on the container – and the next we have multiple references to good haze energy and bad haze energy.
– The characters dipped the dagger in Roth’s pool. Then we are told said pool had been soiled by Novus with negative haze energy. So then why can the heros use it? Especially to kill Kayn’s father?
And some things made no sense to me whatsoever. Like Ven buying Vigor, what is he, brainless? After seeing the effects first hand? If he wanted power might as well buy the weapon Coralie showed him, for the exact same price, no?
The humanoid creature at the underground passage sounded terrifying but also very out of place in this book.
Kayn charming the shop owner into “lending” them clothes, ridiculous.
The concepts seemed unexplored, lacking development, from the beginning. Amongst many other things, we were not even told why the entire family is sentenced on Abolition Day instead of just the offender.
Most of the time we don’t know what is going on and then in the final couple of chapters all the information is spewed.
The character development is pratically nonexistant. I don’t remember reading anything about Hans and Florentine other than that they are twins. Kayn is a one dimension brooding type with murderous urges for like 90% of the book; Coralie was almost ok, being so stubborn and feisty, but also extremely immature; Ven is just as immature, with a touch of self-loathing to spice things up – all of it made me completely unable to relate to any of the characters and wonder if the writer herself is 16. The only good thing I got out of the story, and why I am adding another star, was its moral of how you should forgive people because no one is perfect and the characters’ bonds with their families.
Immature writing and characters everywhere, drama/emo stuff like By the end of their session, Ven was so frustrated that he wanted to take the spear in his hand and impale himself with it and Coralie made vomiting gestures and Ven had to put his fist to his mouth to keep from laughing. and “What are we going to do?” He glanced at Kayn. “I think he’s trying to pick up a metal pole and impale himself,” said Coralie. Ven thought Kayn had every right to be suicidal. What is this?? Some attempt at humour? Are the characters supposed to sound witty? I don’t know, maybe kids and some teens will enjoy it. It just didn’t work for me. I felt a proper storyline was deterred in favour of trying to create characters teens would relate to, characters to whom suicide is apparently ok, even though it’s almost used as a joke. So normal teenage stuff, I suppose. If this is what we are supposed to expect from the next books in the series, I’ll pass.
Read from December 08 to 12, 2014
I would like to thank the author for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.