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The Bone Season

To tell you I was disappointed in this would be an understatement. I think it’s pretty safe to say that the publishers are pushing this book like crazy. First book in a seven book series? Intriguing! Steampunk? Yes, please! London? Do you even have to ask? So what is so bad about it?

Well…let me start out with saying I didn’t hate it. In fact, it got a lot better once the plot actually got going. I think one of my biggest problems lies with the fact that I constantly got the impression that the author was trying SO hard to be cool it hurt. She is very young (born in 1991) and this is her first book, so I get it. Pressure so on and so forth. The slang just about killed me. There is a glossary in the back of the book that gives the slang and the meanings. There is a little paragraph at the top of the glossary stating that she kind of modeled it on slang from the London underground and blah blah blah. Que the trying too hard. It’s a nice idea, but it was kind of overkill. I don’t need you to shorten clairvoyant to voyant or clairvoyance to voyance. However, if you choose to shorten these words then stick with it! There can be no waffling back and forth between slang and not slang or I will just be annoyed.

This is also a book for adults, yet it reads like every YA book I’ve ever read. Now, I love YA books so this shouldn’t count against it, but it does a little. This is supposed to be a book for adults and it doesn’t feel like it. It just felt like an extended YA book because it was 452 pages long! I wanted to be surprised, but it all kind of felt cliche because I knew who the love interest would be and what was going unfold with her Rephaite keeper. I just felt kind of sad the whole time.

Ok, I feel like this post is a bit doom and gloom and perhaps that isn’t fair. Maybe my expectations were too high. So be it. I do have some positive things to say. Once the story really got rolling I couldn’t put it down. I had to know WHERE the story would end. I was still really let down overall, but the plot picked up and it stayed pretty exciting. The author did a great job building a world for these characters and giving everyone a distinct personality. I never felt as though they strayed from the character she was setting up and that was nice to see.

Now, will I read the other books in this too long series? That is debatable. I waffled over what to rate this for so long I can’t really decide how I feel about it. I will decide once book 2 comes out and perhaps I will give this series another chance.

2.5/5 stars


Medieval X-men

Graceling takes place in a traditional fantasy world where some people have been marked with heterochromia showing that they have a “grace” or power. When Katsa, our lead, discovered her grace she was only 8 years old. She killed a cousin who had….let’s go with intensions towards her. A grace for killing is rare and very valuable so she was trained in the household of her king to be a weapon that he wielded against traitors and any others who dare disobey him. As she comes into her own, she realizes that what her king wishes isn’t just and, along with his spymaster, create the Council that ranges throughout the kingdoms working for good. It’s while performing a mission for the council that she meets Prince Po, who is also graced. Po’s grace is a major plot point, so I don’t know how much I can actually talk about their relationship. Just know that he’s amazing, and I love him.

Katsa is a girl I can identify with – anti-social, stubborn. I loved that she doesn’t change her opinions based on what others think and that her ultimate goal isn’t to fall in love and get married. It’s refreshing in a YA book geared towards girls. Po’s character is a brilliant counterpoint to Katsa, he’s gregarious, very independent and although he helps Katsa become more outgoing, he does it on her terms. The romance in this book (because what would a YA book be without a little romance) is paced very well, it isn’t insta-love that happens to often. It develops slowly and through friendship. 
This book was so good, I want to recommend it to everyone I know! I’ll admit, the last 20 pages or so were a bit of a letdown, which is why I give it 4.5 rather than 5 stars. Ultimately, though, it was a great read.