Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott

Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to re-create herself in any form - a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother's new husband, Lord Terayama? Or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama's kitchens? Or is she Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even the one true aspect of her life- her love for a fellow shadow-weaver.
Hardcover, 447 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Candlewick Press
(info grabbed from GoodReads)

I was really expecting to like this one. 

For supposedly being a retelling of Cinderella set in an alternate version of Japan with a moon kingdom, there is surprisingly little magic.  And what magic is there has very little spark for me.  This one is really struggled to hold my attention.  I could see where the book was going at every turn and that it is a story of revenge, but I'm just not feeling any urgency with the story.  Everything feels drawn out and wordy.  Rather than flowing right along like a river, the story moves like a trickling creek that is about to run dry.  I think SHADOWS ON THE MOON is a good book, maybe a great book to some, but overall just not for me.

I was worried when reading the description that SHADOWS ON THE MOON would be similar to CINDER, in that they are both retellings of Cinderella, they have Asian inspired settings, and that they both involve a moon kingdom.  However, all of those similarities just lay on the surface of both books; at their core, they are nothing alike.  CINDER is a science-fantasy retelling whereas SHADOWS ON THE MOON is a slower paced tale of revenge that has very little in common with the traditional Cinderella tale.  And it has no robots, which makes me sad.

Speaking of things that make me sad, the pacing also felt off.  The story would stop and go as I was reading and I personally don’t like playing red-light-green-light with books.  I like a nice flow, which unfortunately, I did not get with SHADOWS ON THE MOON.  One thing that also worsened the slow pacing was the lack of urgency.  All these terrible things happen but we’re not going to do anything other than wait.  Let’s hurry up and wait.  Not digging it.

Basically this all adds up to: this book wasn’t for me.  If you’re looking for an anger fueled journey of revenge riddled with self-mutilation and a lot of reflection in a semi-magical Japan, SHADOWS ON THE MOON is for you.  If you want a story with a bit more of a kick and excitement, maybe look elsewhere.  Whatever you do, happy reading

Final Thought: 1 out of 3 moon bunny toadstools

This review is also posted on GoodReads

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Review: The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

Love or life.
Henry or their child.
The end of her family or the end of the world.
Kate must choose.

During nine months of captivity, Kate Winters has survived a jealous goddess, a vengeful Titan and a pregnancy she never asked for. Now the Queen of the Gods wants her unborn child, and Kate can't stop her--until Cronus offers a deal.

In exchange for her loyalty and devotion, the King of the Titans will spare humanity and let Kate keep her child. Yet even if Kate agrees, he'll destroy Henry, her mother and the rest of the council. And if she refuses, Cronus will tear the world apart until every last god and mortal is dead.

With the fate of everyone she loves resting on her shoulders, Kate must do the impossible: find a way to defeat the most powerful being in existence, even if it costs her everything.

Even if it costs her eternity.

(info grabbed from GoodReads

THE GODDESS INHERITANCE was a great (potentially temporary) end to THE GODDESS TEST trilogy.  It was action packed and filled with the same spark that made me love the first two books.  I also really liked how Aimee Carter left the ending open while still maintaining that complete feeling.  There is so much left in this world she created to explore; there are several characters that could have their own story and so many places that are only touched upon. 

I love how marriage is sexy in this series -- holy matrimony never looked so good.  Henry and Kate’s relationship still has a lot of spark to it, which I found especially lovely because they’re married.  Marriage isn’t terribly common in young adult (which makes sense; it’s young adult), but I love that THE GODDESS TEST series portrayed marriage in a good (and sexy) light.  In young adult, the glimpses of marriage you do get are usually through the parents of the characters.  And let’s face it, in young adult, there’s an abundance of absent and/or divorced parents.  Kate’s (somewhat incestuous) family is refreshing.  Plus, who doesn’t love a bit of win-cest?  I don’t usually, but for some reason I find myself loving how Kate’s mom is also her auntie and sister-in-law.

There’s nothing I would say is bad about the book, but there is something that was just okay.  I felt like I didn't have a strong feel for Henry's character anymore -- he's barely a main character in this book.  Actually, he is the definition of a supporting character, as he literally supports Kate.  That is his main role in the book, at least from my perspective.  Henry doesn't have the strongest personality to begin with, so with his depleted role, it was really easy to lose sight of who he is.  Henry is in the book more than he was in GODDESS INTERRUPTED, however, he just didn't have a lot of moments where his character shined.  In THE GODDESS TEST, my favorite part of the book was the chemistry between Henry and Kate, so the sequel and this one let me down a little in that way.

I love the way Aimee Carter writes; she has a relaxed way of writing that is so easy to read.  Not to say that her stories aren't dynamic or suspenseful, because they are.  The way she writes is kind of like how people normally talk: it is relaxed.  It is fluid.  It makes her books a quick, fun reads consistantly.  I would pick up another book written by her in a heart beat.  And it's nice to know I won't have to wait too long: her next book is out next month.  PAWN is the start of a dystopian series, which is a bit of a jump from THE GODDESS TEST, but I'm betting it will be just as good.

Final Thought: 23 out of 29 toadstools

This review is also posted on GoodReads