Friday, March 22, 2019

Les Petites Revues [#17]

I think I need a break from YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi, I've been underwhelmed lately. 

Title: Bloodleaf (Bloodleaf #1)
Author: Crystal Smith
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3 Stars

Bloodleaf had an extremely strong start: the only princess of a kingdom was under suspicion of being a witch and the  whole kingdom had Salem Witch Trials vibes. In addition to being accused of being a witch, the princess, Aurelia, also saw the dead, specifically one entity that seemed to appear whenever death was imminent. Where Bloodleaf lost me was Aurelia's journey to the neighboring kingdom, Achleva. There was a lot packed into Bloodleaf, and it felt like some plot lines were shoved to the side to make room for a new conspiracy theory. If the story focused on a young girl on the run and trying to start anew in a foreign kingdom, I may have been more invested, but instead I just felt exhausted in Bloodleaf. I was surprised to see that was a series because it had a nicely wrapped up conclusion. I may pick up the next book to see what adventures await Aurelia and her new friends. 

Title: Sherwood
Author: Meagan Spooner
Source: Work
Rating: 3 Stars

Let's cut to the chase, Sherwood was boring. The concept behind this story was fascinating and I thoroughly enjoyed how Spooner wrote Marion's grief process. Because Robin's death was such an unexpected blow, Marion found herself talking to an imaginary Robin while trying to decide how to move on and make a difference in her land. I did not find Marion's transformation to Robin Hood compelling; I loved the idea but the actual story and pacing did not keep my interest.

Title: Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1)
Author: Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
Source: Publisher
Rating: 3.75 Stars

It'll be a cold day in hell when I say 'no' to a Les Mis retelling, and Sky Without Stars was true to the original (the musical at least,  I haven't read the 1,000-page novel). All of the characters were there including a version of Jean Valjean, Inspecteur Javert, and the Thénardiers. Because this is a Young Adult retelling, the focuses were the characters inspired by Marius, Eponine, and Cosette (with a guest appearance from Gavroche). The overall story was intriguing; a undercover rebellion group was identified for the murder of a royal family member with a brewing class war. Chatine, who played our Eponine character, was the most compelling of the three characters because she had a lot of anger and was in a dangerous game of betraying a lot of people. Marcellus was interesting but had a lot of growth (he really needs an Enjolras in his life), and much like Cosette, Alouette was just there. The one thing this book was missing was the presence of the ABC, so I can't wait to see how the story expands in book 2. 


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