My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement. Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers and continue on at your own risk!
I couldn’t pass up a book about a half elf /human girl who kicks butt…and happens to be the daughter of a goddess. It ended up being an easy book to read with a few bumps…here’s what I thought:
Bethany, a half elf, half human, daughter of a goddess (the elf side), falls in love and is suckered by her twin sister. Wow, I summed that book up in one sentence. One of my issues with the book, is that it feels like the foundation story for a larger series (and there are already more published). The only person pushing the plot forward is the evil twin sister (Sarissa). She is fiddling with magic (which is evil) and generally trying to kill Bethany.
In one part of the book, Sarissa had her husband rape a prisoner, then let her go since she was pregnant and Sarissa could track where she was with her connection to the baby. WTF? The girl was supposed to lead her to some type of magic books, but that whole thing didn’t pan out…
The plot is OK at a high level- as long as you don’t dig into the details (sort of like Twilight: OK concept, execution flaws).
Plot Score: 2/5
Location, Location, Location
I never felt as if the location really came alive for me. I knew Sarissa was some place cold, and Bethany was some place warm. As far as the religion, it was never really explained. The people worshiped Bethany and Sarissa’s mom (Apexia- who could pop up when she wanted, but rarely speaks to her girls). Then there was some mention of Creator Gods, but no further information (next book maybe?)
Location Score: 2/5
Characters and Relationships
Let’s start with the sister who actually *does* stuff, Sarissa. She is SUPER evil, I mean, watching her husband rape prisoners, killing babies (yes all that actually happens). She started the book off in a funk, until the prisoner helped her get ‘control’ of her magic (right before her husband raped the girl). She showed a bit of humanity when her mother told her that Bethany thought Sarissa was the favorite. But it didn’t change her course, she just kept going for total world domination.
Bethany is the complete opposite, she is the Queen of hesitation. It takes Bethany the entire book just to admit she loved Arrago- and we won’t get started on the *blink and they are in love* stuff. This chick has awesome powers- and she is the daughter of the goddess that everyone worships. There are only a select few people who know this, and she does whatever she can NOT to use the power. I also felt it was odd that Bethany, as a pretty old and experience elf warrior (third in command and in charge of weapons training) was a pretty weak fighter. Needless to say I didn’t really like this girl, she had a chance to be pretty awesome and she was just so BORING. Even when she knows her sister is coming for her, they didn’t seem all that concerned, just upped the guards a bit.
I won’t even mention the other characters because they were completely forgettable- I still can not distinguish Kiner, Jovan and Allric because their personalities don’t shine.
Characters Score: 2/5
I guess the bigger meaning is kill your sister when you get the chance.
Bigger Meaning Score: 0/5
I thought the writing style was easy to read, although parts of the story seemed like unnecessary filler. Perhaps the first two books should have been combined and edited down to one book. I am not planning on reading the second book to find out.
Style Score: 2/5
– Why did Sarissa hate Bethany? (some childhood jealousy? is it all the magic’s fault)
– Is Aargo the Elf King from the prophecy? (Probably)
– I kept waiting for some kind of inside traitor (Javon, Allric, Kiner?)
– Why won’t Bethany kill her sister? Is she too tender or too stupid?
Total Score and Recommendation
8/25- If you want an easy fun read, try the Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron. I remember her characters to this day- and she could really wrap up a book and still leave the overarching plot points for future books.