My rating: 3 of 5 stars
An interesting idea, yet shallow and underdeveloped.
There’s certain charm in fairytale re-tellings.
I personally like the sense of safety you get when you kind of know what where it is going to go, but read it for the experience anyway. Well, everyone knows this, it’s why we still get new movies based on fairytales all the time and watch them none the less.
This… has hints of a number of fairy tales, but they are only hints, there for no particular reason but to be there. I wouldn’t call it a re-telling in any way.
I think it has a number of interesting elements tied together by strings that seem more often than not too thin.
Story elements spring out of nowhere or die in nothingness… often enough to mildly bother me, but not often enough to actually hate it.
The whole concept of Lunars and shells and how do they work and where did they come through seemed underdeveloped, under-explained, and a bit too far-stretched.
I was sort of glad that Prince Kai was not a haughty blind (idiot) with a tone of issues like princes so often are in YA books, but on the other hand he seemed a bit too nice to be believable as an Emperor.
In fact, believability is a rather big issue with this book as a whole. The whole state of the Earth, the relationships between races, the reasons for the way cyborgs and androids are treated the way they are, Lunars, as I have already mentioned it… Hardly anything is ever explained in a believable way, and most issues are glided over in a manner that says ‘this is YA sci-fi, stop thinking and just accept things at their face value and swallow down without chewing’.
I can’t say I loved it, but I would like to see where it goes from here.