Voice of the Gods Didn’t Speak To Me

voice-of-the-godsThis book was an all-round disappointment. The book was slow- despite me complaining about the plodding pace in the other two books, this one still did not pick up the tempo for huge amounts of this tome. Plus the character development came way, way too late in the day. And lastly the idea that I had been waiting 2 books to bear fruit, ended up leaving me with what felt like two overripe bananas.

(Spoiler- that’s what I’m giving this book)

I have been going on since I read the first book that this was an ambitious series that had buckets of potential… Unfortunately that potential was never really reached. As it’s on the subject of religion and gods it could have been so much more philosophical… but not only did it fail in this regard- the philosophy behind it didn’t work!

For one thing- everyone in the book was too obedient. I did not get her loyalty to the gods- or anyone else’s for that matter. No one ever doubted the gods or questioned their tyrannical actions. I mean, it took the main character until page 534 to realise they wanted her dead- even though they’d already tried to kill her!! From a purely logical perspective, when you can see a ruler or god, it humanises them enough that you would see their flaws and at least question them. But no… in this universe, they were all obedient drones.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, (*massive spoiler warning*) after they overthrow these worthless gods- who turn out to have been humans originally- the epilogue implies that some conniving sods will try to find a replacement for them… This was particularly irksome because it implied that everyone would just believe in gods for the sake of it. The moral was revealed at the end of the story: anyone can be indoctrinated with a lie and people like to be controlled by religion. All of these things I can imagine would (rightly) piss off my religious friends.

On top of that they all just have really weird and unhealthy relationships with the gods- like they’re lover/father figures- it’s just odd. I don’t feel like the author really gets religion- unfortunately all I have gathered about the author’s biography is that she’s irreligious- but a lot the philosophy behind this was weak. It was a mixture of poorly thought out ideas and lazy religion bashing.

There were other minor things that irritated me about this book- including other things the protagonist was too dim-witted to figure out- but if I sat here listing them we’d be here all week! So as aforementioned: here are two mouldy bananas to throw at the author…

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So have you read this book? Did you like it? And what series disappointed you with its ending? Let me know in the comments!

The Last of the Wilds Wasn’t Too Tame

last-of-the-wildsSince I started reading the last in this series today, I figured it was high time I reviewed this! And if any of you remember my review of Priestess of the White (or my whining about Trudi Canavan’s consistency in general) you’ll know I have had my doubts about this series, but luckily this series is turning out to be pretty good! I actually found I was pretty pleased with this one- though it wasn’t fast-paced, it turned out to be a much wilder ride than the last one.

Unlike so many middle books, the story actually picked up and got more intriguing. Slowly, slowly the hidden depths of this world are starting to be revealed. I loved the development of the gods and what it means. I’m also really starting to get invested in the characters- particularly Laird and Minar (No spoilers- but I love the drama that goes down between them). There are also far more emotional elements to the story now!

I still had problems with it– for instance the ending didn’t completely make complete sense. The gods seemed a little too forgiving and I didn’t quite understand why they didn’t just punish the protagonist. Perhaps that will be revealed in the last one.

This series is still not quite there yet- but I have a feeling that it’s only gonna get better and I’m gonna like how it ends.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

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Have you read this book? Are you a fan of Trudi Canavan? Let me know in the comments!

Where I Get All Preachy About Priestess of the White

priestess of the whiteLet me start out by saying I have a difficult relationship with Trudi Canavan’s books. I feel like they have their ups and downs. Because even though I loved the Black Magician series, I really struggled through the first one. And even though I’ve enjoyed most of her other books, I was bored stiff in Thief’s Magic. So I entered this book with trepidation, wondering if it was gonna be hit or miss. In the end, it turned out to be slap bang in the middle: not terrible, but not great either.

First off, I’ll admit it had a solid plot and had decent world-building. That being said, it felt pretty samey- because it wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before. Especially from Canavan. Because let’s face it, after a while you get used to a writer’s style- especially when you’ve read 8 of their other books.

And this book was true to Canavan’s form in every way. The style of magic involved the usual: mind reading powers, telepathy, passing on memories etc.  The villains: dark and mysterious foreigners. The main character: the perfect hero with unbelievable powers, the special snowflake in a position of privilege, who somehow saves the day (just like Sonea). It’s nothing I haven’t seen before- especially from Canavan. This repetition wouldn’t have been such a bad thing- as I said, this formula clearly works for me, cos I already like a lot of Canavan’s work.

But in this case, I just couldn’t connect to the main character. Auraya just didn’t feel real. Not only do I not buy her devotion to the gods, I don’t buy her wishy washy tolerance of Dreamwalkers (it came across as patronising, a bit like saying “oh I think you’re going to hell, but that’s a-okay with me- I’m only judging you an acceptable amount”). The flaw in her characterisation was mainly due to the fact we don’t get to see her develop into a priestess, we don’t get to see her struggle, and I didn’t feel like she really developed at all (except to get even more powerful and Special-with-a-capital-S). Honestly, she wouldn’t have been able to carry the plot on her own.

It was a relief, then, that there were so many excellent tertiary characters. If not for them the book would have fallen flat. Emerahl, Leiard, Tryss- all of them were wonderful, intriguing and had complex. I simply loved reading about them and would eagerly wait for Auraya to bugger off so I could enjoy their stories.

Above all, however, what will keep me reading this series is the intriguing backstory to the war of the gods and the demise of the Dreamweavers. It may not be riveting- yet– but I’m certainly intrigued. Needless to say, Canavan’s discussion of free will and religion has a lot of promise- I won’t be giving up on the series just yet. I guess I will have to wait and see.

The Rating: 3/5 bananas

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Have you read any of Canavan’s work? What do you think of it? And what do you think about author’s getting samey- have you had this problem before?

5 Books That Beat Middle Book Syndrome

After my post yesterday, I decided to do talk more positively about the books that managed to beat middle book syndrome. Actually, these books didn’t just defeat middle book syndrome, cos I’m not gonna include books that were as good as their predecessors (we’d be here all day!). Instead I’m gonna talk about the books that brought something new to the series they belonged to, raised the stakes and just knocked it out of the park! So buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  1. Crown of Midnight

crown of midnightI could easily use this post just to rant and rave about how much I *loved* this series. And, surprisingly, that love did not begin with book 1. Unusually, I started loving this series only after book 2 and then was completely blown away by book 3. Every book since the first one Maas has upped the stakes, made me love the characters more and developed the world in incredible ways! So yeah it’s safe to say this beat middle book syndrome!

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  1. The Novice

the noviceWith the Novice, Trudi Canavan didn’t just build on the first one, she made *everything* so much better. In all honestly, I hadn’t actually enjoyed two thirds of Magician’s Guild- but the last section of the book got me wanting to read more. And I’m so glad it did! Because the second book (and the third) took everything to a whole other level- the characters came to life, the world went from generic to intriguing and the plot was phenomenally gripping. After the slow world-building of the first one, I had not expected to like, let alone love the rest of the series- but somehow Canavan pulled it off, and this is now one of my favourite fantasy series of all time.

  1. Fractured

fracturedThis is a bit more of an unusual one for me to pick. Honestly, I did not think much of Slated– I wasn’t crazy about the idea, the characters and the pacing was all off- so I really don’t get how the sequel managed to impress me. But Fractured was a massive improvement on the series and because of this book I actually became invested in the story. The stakes were higher and the characters were more complex. And unusually for a YA dystopia- I actually liked how it turned out!!

  1. The Rose Society

rose societyThe Young Elites was definitely up there as one of my favourite books of last year- I just loved how dark and unexpected it was. So naturally, I picked up this book with high expectations- and not only did it not disappoint, but it actually built on the success of the first one and made me even more excited about the potential directions this series might take. I loved the twists and turns of the second book even more than the first one! You can read more in my review here.

  1. Cress

cressHaving read the whole series now, I can safely say this one was my favourite! I rated it higher than all the others- and for that reason it had to be on this list! I’m a sucker for cute romances- so I just loved Cress and Thorne’s relationship. Those characters were just gorgeous! Throw in the awesome direction the plot took and the general character development and I was all for it!

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Bonus: Catching Fire

catching fireSome people believe this book is firmly in the Middle Syndrome category- but I disagree- which is one of the main reasons why it had to be in this post. Admittedly, it is really similar to the first one, yet as I said in my last post, it had wonderful character development and really advanced the plot to set up the finale- so it definitely deserves an honorary mention.

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Hope you enjoyed that! Have you read these books? Anyone have any other books that beat middle book syndrome? Let me know in the comments below!