Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: Hero by Alethea Kontis

Rough and tumble Saturday Woodcutter thinks she's the only one of her sisters without any magic—until the day she accidentally conjures an ocean in the backyard. With her sword in tow, Saturday sets sail on a pirate ship, only to find herself kidnapped and whisked off to the top of the world. Is Saturday powerful enough to kill the mountain witch who holds her captive and save the world from sure destruction? And, as she wonders grumpily, "Did romance have to be part of the adventure?" As in Enchanted, readers will revel in the fragments of fairy tales that embellish this action-packed story of adventure and, yes, romance.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Harcourt Books

(info grabbed from GoodReads)

This book was a huge let down.  I adored ENCHANTED with its magical world chock full of fairy tales and was thrilled to read the sequel.  HOWEVER.  This sequel does not live up to any of my expectations.  Maybe the bar was set pretty high after how much I loved ENCHANTED, but HERO honestly doesn’t even come close on any level to the amount of enjoyment of its predecessor.

HERO follows Saturday Woodcutter, Sunday from the first book’s next oldest kin.  The non-magical sister gets a fantastical tale of her own: whisked away to a mountain cave inhabited by a witch, Saturday faces danger and excitement, with a touch of romance.  It sounds like this story couldn’t go wrong.

My first bone of contention?  Saturday.  Saturday Woodcutter is not nearly as fun to read as her little sister Sunday.  Whereas Sunday was whimsical and dreamy, Saturday is tomboyish and … boring.  She is a generic I-wish-I-were-a-boy character that had no original spunk.  Her lack of personality made reading her adventure tiresome, and I just couldn’t keep reading.

Next issue: the writing is pretty bad.  Alethea Kontis excels at writing interesting dialogue.  Other than that, everything gets confusing and isn’t described nearly enough -- there was never a moment where there was a beautifully painted picture of what was going on.  It seemed like guesswork whenever there was any action, where this was less of a problem in ENCHANTED.  The characters were what pulled you into the story and kept things interesting in addition to helping the reader find their way through the somewhat lacking prose.  In HERO, where I had no connection to the main character, the writing issues were all the more apparent and unforgivable.

HERO ended up being completely dissatisfying and disappointing.  I had other issues that I decided if I fully disclosed, this would turn more into a rant than review.  If you’re a fan of ENCHANTED, then you probably are going to pick up this book regardless.  Maybe with a bit of warning the reading experience will be more enjoyable for you.

Final Thought: 2 out of 5 toadstools

This review is also posted on GoodReads