Monday, December 20, 2010


Recently, for some reason, there have been a few books I have encountered that I have been unable to finish for one reason or another. I don't want to review a book I haven't completed, that seems unfair, so for these three books I'm giving "un-reviews", just my initial impressions and why I could not finish them. Enjoy!

Symir: The Drowning City by Amanda Downum
Completed: 173 of 351 pages

Symir -- the Drowning City. Home to exiles and expatriates, pirates and smugglers. And violent revolutionaries who will stop at nothing to overthrow the corrupt Imperial government. For Isyllt Iskaldur, necromancer and spy, the brewing revolution is a chance to prove herself to her crown. All she has to do is find and finance the revolutionaries, and help topple the palaces of Symir. But she is torn between her new friends and her duties, and the longer she stays in this monsoon-drenched city, the more intrigue she uncovers -- even the dead are plotting. As the waters rise and the dams crack, Isyllt must choose between her mission and the city she came to save.

IMPRESSIONS: This book was fast-paced and written well, but the story and the world were just so complicated, it took a lot of mental effort to figure out what was going on. One day, I hope to return to this book, because it was quality fantasy, but that would require me to be able to focus entirely on this book and nothing else. I would still recommend this, though, to people who enjoy intense, all-consuming reads.

Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
Completed: 107 out of 309 pages

What Lily Carter wants most in the world is to attend Princeton University just like her grandfather. When she finally visits the campus, Grandpa surprises her: She has been selected to take the top-secret Legacy Test. Passing means automatic acceptance to Princeton. Sweet!

Lily's test is to find the Ivy Key. But what is she looking for? Where does she start? As she searches, Lily is joined by Tye, a cute college boy with orange and black hair who says he's her guard. That's weird. But things get seriously strange when a gargoyle talks to her. He tells her that there are two Princetons—the ordinary one and a magical one—and the Key opens the gate between them. But there are more secrets that surround Lily. Worse secrets.

When Lily enters the magical Princeton, she uncovers old betrayals and new dangers, and a chance at her dream becomes a fight for her life. Soon Lily is caught in a power struggle between two worlds, with her family at its center. In a place where Knights slay monsters, boys are were-tigers, and dragons might be out for blood, Lily will need all of her ingenuity and courage—and a little magic—to unite the worlds and unlock the secrets of her past and her future.

IMPRESSIONS: I adored Sarah Beth Durst's earlier book Ice, and I expected the same kind of story here. Unfortunately, that was not the case. While I give kudos to Durst for variety, I could not stay hooked on Lily's story. The writing itself was as sturdy as ever, but the world (a magical parallel world at Princeton) and the characters did not appeal to me. It was too typical, very modern-fantasy/paranormal/girl discovers she is the key to everything. That sort of thing. And while really this would be an excellent read for a lot of YA readers, it wasn't for me.

 Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul by H. A. Goodman
 Completed: 118 out of 262 pages

What would you do if the love of your life was murdered by a deranged killer? Would you become a vigilante and seek retribution? And would this revenge affect those you care for in the afterlife? Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul takes you on a journey inside the psyches of men and women forced to deal with the spiritual consequences of their decisions. Through the lives of a demon, two Angels, and a mysterious teenage girl, a plethora of politically and socially relevant issues ranging from the roots of genocide and sex trafficking to child conscription and religious fundamentalism are addressed in this fantasy thriller. Life as well as the afterlife converge in this novel to explain certain peculiarities of the human condition.

IMPRESSIONS: The concept of this book is interesting. It seems original and unique, and it is. The plot and the premise are not the problems with this book. For me, it was the pace and the writing style. This is a slow book, very in the characters' minds as they make decisions and such, which is, I suppose, the whole point. But I didn't like it. The writing had its moments, definitely, and was at times quite impressive, but it wasn't very consistent and I felt like it was sometimes trying too hard to connect with the reader.

1 comment:

  1. Actually the first one seems intersting so I am adding it to my endless TBR list...
    But I always enjoy a book with complicated world and magic system!! :)


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