among the stages of ‘reading fluffy fanfiction therapy’, there’s this very distinctive stage of ‘reading fluffy fanfiction about bookstores’. it comes after the ‘reading flaffy fanfiction about coffee and/or writing’ and when things are pretty damn awful. it doesn’t even really matter what fandom it is. (it could be an original fiction for all I care, but people for some reason don’t publish fluffy therapeutic fiction unless it’s for children. Or at least I haven’t seen it.)
I’ve been looking forward to his book a lot. I do love stories about outlaws in space, especially with a dose of quality romance, even if it was a bit too instantaneous for my personal preferences. I wouldn’t say this book is without issues – I feel like there could be a bit more of environment/world building; it felt like the book was too short and covered too little – like an introduction that opened a lot of questions and not much else; it asks you to swallow a lot of ‘…but what about this/but why?’; it leaves a lot of characters and interactions out for no reason; the oppressive tyrant image is a bit too tired. And so on.
Nevertheless, even though there’s plenty of angst, it’s exiting and well-written, and the characters all promise to be interesting. There are books, cats, and handsome rogues. What else needs to be said?
‘Wanting more’ is a good thing, but the fact that this was considered ‘enough’ for this book worries me a little. I hope we’ll get more sustenance in the next one, even though it will have to wait for a year.
Three books in and I’m still on about the same position on these series – there are elements, settings, and characters that appeal to me very strongly and pull me back in for more, but there are also a lot of elements I feel like I want to skip over or ignore to not spoil my experience. And I’m constantly afraid that in the every next one the things I love will be replaced and disappear entirely. If I was reading these series while they were still in the making I would chant ‘Less angsty politics and more wolfy humor!” Alas, the further in we get the more large-scale the angsty politics are threatening to get. And the relationship between the main characters is not as much slow-burn as it is barely smoking. Not that I mind that it took them 3 books to hold hands, I’m not reading this for the possible romance much, but some kind of tangible progress would be nice. Personally, I find it disappointing when the focus of the book turns completely away from characters’ interactions and into large-scale politics. It’s boring and impersonal, and we have enough of large-scale human stupidity, prejudice, and intolerance in our everyday life for it to be interesting or pleasant to read about. The only plus is that in these series the intolerable humans are very likely to get dead or at least mercilessly punished with hardly any delay.
Unusual style, unexpected turns, not everyone’s cup of tea.
First, I would like to say that I did enjoy this book, or at least 80-90% of it. It’s one of those reads that allowed me to get far enough away from my usual outside world. It has its own style, it has humor, it has some interesting characters, and a heroine that at least has some brains. I wanted to say that I enjoyed this book first, because I tend to focus on the elements that did bother me about it so much it might send the wrong impression. But there are some things that bothered me that I can’t really let go of: First and foremost, the ‘everfloating POV’ style. I think it’s also called ‘head-hopping’. When every next paragraph you have to wonder from whose perspective it’s going to be. Or feel like it’s trying to be from everyone’s perspective at the same time. I know that there are many debates on whether this should be considered acceptable or not, and I would not say I had placed myself firmly in either camp before (and had to made myself edit it out of my own writing a couple of times), but I must say that reading a whole book full of did nothing to persuade me in favor of it. It’s a bit too confusing, and feels ‘unprofessional’. I also found the beginning of this book to be rather misleading. It lulls you in this sense ‘oh, I’m going to read something light and flimsy, with some fun style’, and, while I don’t want to spoil much by saying in which ways this impression was wrong, I can say that I found some unexpected elements dumped on me hard and fast. Let’s just say that there’s enough angst in it to warn people before they mistakenly pick this book seeking to read something light and worry-free. Or ‘adult’ elements free. I’m not sure how I feel about the personality of the heroine yet. I just don’t really enjoy people who like to yell and act with their temper before thinking, or enjoy power. There were also a couple of points at the very end that I was not really a fan of. Such as the location and the way the very last ‘event’ took place in the Epilogue, and also the new ‘post’ (the professional one) of our heroine that I assume she will assume in the next book. While I am sure I’m going to read the next book in the series, I’m currently feeling very apprehensive about the possible amount of politics that might be involved. And politics just might be that something that will turn me away from these series.
I did enjoy this book more than the first one. Though the amount of chapters with POV of random characters (villains) did still bother me, it does feel like there were fewer of those than in the first one. Although, unfortunately, I still can’t shake the feeling that I would prefer these series without the whole ‘blood prophets’ concept a little bit more… which is maybe a strange thing to say, since it’s literally the central idea around the main character. It’s just the whole idea of girls kept as property, bred, raped, used, treated as things… doesn’t sit with me and I wish I didn’t have to read about it. I do, however, enjoy the world of terra indigene and the way they interact among each other and with humans quiet a lot. I feel like the next book has a potential to either go somewhere I will like a lot, or go some other completely unexpected place I won’t really want to follow it to… I sincerely hope it’s the former.
Remarkably simple fantasy romance with knights, horses, animal companions, disgusting villains, and mleh ending
I couldn’t stop thinking that this book held striking resemblance to something I would write when I was about 13-15 y.o. It ticked all those points – a heroine with magic power related to horses, a handsome knight on a black horse, an instant romance with the aforementioned knight, a group of overly protective and honorable warriors with animal companions, etc. Unfortunately though, the villains in this book were a bit too villain-y and disgusting in the beginning, and then were thrown away in a mangled and abrupt ending in a rather disappointing way. For an ending like this, I really don’t see a point for building up the resentment towards them as much as it was built up. Another point would be that the heroine could do with a bit more brains (as usual). I literally couldn’t stand the way she behaved and acted in last few chapters. I think, that even for a silly fairy tale (with sex) for girls this book had some promise, until about 70% in, when it suddenly flew off the hinges and the plot was washed down the toilet.