I think this one was a ‘free on Amazon’ book that I picked up, and let me tell you, as a marketing effort, that worked. The book ends on a one-sentence plot-twist that acts as an incredibly effective cliffhanger, so props to the author for that.
As to the content, it’s a general fit in the young-adult-fantasy-adventure genre: kid runs away from home (though, admittedly, the reasoning for that is more ‘young adult’ than ‘young adult,’ a slight change that helped to hold my interest), gets involved in a weird situation, finds out magic is real, yadda yadda saves the day. There’s a bit of a ‘hunger games’ vibe to the weird situation, and the ‘magic’ bits are more hinted-at than outright-confirmed for a while.1
The book gets bonus points for a female protagonist, and since I’m now staring at the end-of-book about the author page and just now finding out that the author is a female2 it makes sense how well she was able to portray the female mind. As a dude, I am eternally doomed to be unable to understand the inner workings of the other gender, and I’ve come to terms with that.
On the other hand, it gets docked a few points for two issues: first, the occasional Mary Sue moments with the protagonist – there are three main male supporting characters, and between the three of them at least two are very clearly in love with her.3 More points were docked for the fact that the closest the book has to LGBTQ representation is comparing the motions of a vampire, actively killing someone, to “a gay teacher [the protagonist] had in tenth grade.” Look, I get that every Disney villain ever has been a hodgepodge of stereotypically-gay traits,4 but I’m still going to be disappointed when anyone else gives in to the trope.
Other than that, the only issue I had was a single recurring spelling error,5 and overall I enjoyed the book. It’s easily worth what I paid for it, and the fact that that was ‘nothing’ is how I’m going to justify buying the next book in the series.
- Although, being a total mythology-and-legends nerd I picked up on it earlier than the average reader could really be expected to. I have a mental filter for these sorts of things, so it doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment of a book too much. ↩
- I think the ‘read every book on my Kindle’ thing I’m doing is going by author-alphabetical order, but I’m not actually looking at the names, so… ↩
- I’m not docking many points for that, though, because she’s the only girl in the group for most of the story, and I have a low opinion of the average man. ↩
- Hades, anyone? ↩
- ‘Break’: to separate. ‘Brake’: to stop. I don’t think the word ‘break’ is used anywhere in the book, but ‘brake’ shows up multiple times, and it’s spelled wrong each time. C’mon. ↩