Alohomora! If you think that introduction is a sign of how magical this book was… you would be wrong. I’m just in a Harry Potter mood (I’ve been binge watching The Dom’s reviews– anyone else seen those?) Sorry to disappoint, but this book is hardly in the league of JK Rowling’s originality and imagination. Yes, the blurb of this book promises something dark, interesting, seductive even- but that’s not exactly what you get. This was bang on average- nothing terrible about it, nothing too brilliant either.
The writing style was crisp and effective in many ways- buuut there was one major flaw with it- the author does all her characterisation by proxy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not one to always bring out the “show don’t tell” rule and I even like a good Dickensian characterisation, where everything but the kitchen sink is thrown in with excruciating detail… Yet if there’s one thing I find fault with its when other characters *tell* us the personality traits of other people in the book- especially when there’s no other indication they actually possess these qualities. Note to authors: all the other characters saying the protagonist is “sweet” does not make her sweet. And if you’re going to use this technique, just back it up, with at least one piece of evidence! It just feels like lazy writing otherwise.
So what of these characters then? Well I liked Mirabelle best because we actually saw her acting out her characteristic “sweetness”. Likewise, Arsinoe’s “wildness” showed up from time to time. Kat’s personality on the other hand…. Well it was as flat as a pancake. As I said, there was not one iota of evidence to suggest she was also “sweet”. (Also could the author have managed to come up with a third character trait so that it wasn’t so repetitive- is that too much to ask?)
Alright, so the characterisation wasn’t ideal, what of the romance? I guess, it was fine (really, I’m not managing to conjure up much enthusiasm for this book, am I?) I found it believable enough. I know a lot of people thought it was instalove, but I thought it was done in a similar style to everything else- ie we were told about it. So it didn’t trouble me any more than how anything else was fleshed out (as in, not very much).
In terms of pacing, it was mostly slow-slow-quick-quick-slow- ok just kidding, it was slow, but it sped up at the end. Again, I didn’t have too much of a problem with this because it’s only 400 pages long, so if you’re a quick reader the slow parts won’t be too painful. There was *finally* some action at the end, but there were issues with it. The first being that I had not connected enough with the characters to be shocked… the second being that I guessed the “twist” from chapter 1. As nice as it is to be right, that’s a little too easy if you ask me.
Alright after that pretty lacklustre review, this may come as a shock, but I would quite like to continue reading this series out of sheer curiosity. In all honesty, I want to see if I can guess the rest of theplot….
Rating: 2½/5 bananas
Also, let’s be honest, the covers are epic.
What books have been *so obvious* to you that you guessed everything from the beginning? And what book do you reckon was lazily written? Let me know in the comments!