Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Prophecy of Underwhelming Proportions

"'How I wish I'd had a daughter.'"
--Ellen Oh, Prophecy

Genre: YA Fantasy and Paranormal
Publisher: HarperTeen, 326 pages
Publication Date: January 2nd, 2013
Source: ARC received from EpicReads, thanks ladies!!

Goodreads Description:

Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope...

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.



Happy New Year!! Ok, so to be perfectly honest, I really had no idea what to expect when starting this book. I heard it was action-packed (plus) and was about the only female soldier in the King's army (double plus). I love a badass chick as much as the next person so I was definitely intrigued, but then to find out the entire novel is based in Asian culture...oh.my.gosh.excited. I loooooove reading historical fiction about the Asian culture. 

With all that said this book never really fully grabbed my attention. I did love the Asian influence of the novel and the beginning of the book was quite good. After the initial introduction of the demons that lurk underneath human's skin the plot started to drag a little. I felt like the world building outside of the main city was a little lacking. I had a bit of a hard time visualizing what was going on. I also felt that the telling of the plot itself zig-zagged a bit too much for my liking and wasn't as linear as I would have liked. Thinking back on how the book progressed I have a hard time remembering what situation propelled what outcome and what happened first, second, etc.. 

The characterization of Kira I really liked, though. She has lived a life where she has been loathed by most and feared by all. She has a tough exterior in order to survive but the love she has for her family is heart-warming. She may be rough and tough but there is a softness to her that is beyond endearing and Oh really has you rooting for her the entire novel. The other part that I really liked comes from the quote I chose at the top. The Queen comments at one point how she wishes she had a daughter and in every other Asian cultured book I have read sons are absolutely yearned for. A woman's worth is based solely on her production of sons so to hear a woman say this was refreshing.

The story also held the possibility of a romance but never really developed at all. I felt shorted by this. The boy in the story Jaewon obviously liked Kira but she was beyond clueless which also confused me. She would comment on how she knew he would show up  to comfort her yet was confused as to why he said he would follow her and help her. It was a bit too back and forth for me in regards to her emotional state towards him. 

The premise and basis of the story is really interesting. Like I said, I love the Asian culture, the idea of magic, demons and prophecies I really like but after the idea of the story it never really developed for me. The overall plot conclusion of the novel seemed obvious and predictable. 

Overall, I did enjoy reading the book. It didn't completely grab me, I wasn't racing to finish it to see what would happen but it wasn't a chore to read either. I'll probably read the next book but it won't be something I'm running to the bookstore to get. 

5 comments:

  1. This is a really excellent review. I haven't read it yet, but I've had a review copy kicking around here for a while. You've really underscored the problems in this book really well, and I'll definitely know to look out for them when I get around to reading it!

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    1. Thank you so much! That means absolutely so much that you think so :) Let me know what you think after you read :)

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  2. It's kinda disappointing that this book isn't a 5 star book. However, it does sound intriguing. It is something I'm interested in reading.siriusyareader @ Devoured by Books

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    1. Yeah, I really wanted to like it more! Just didn't happen :/

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  3. I'm reading mixed reviews of this one. I'm seeing it being compared to Graceling?? Usually if a book has mixed reviews - that's when I'm most excited to read it because I'll want to make my own opinion but I don't know - something about this one just doesn't reach out and grab me. It's awesome that you won a copy though. Winning!

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