Hi everyone! This is Julia of The Broke and the Bookish, formerly blogging on my own at The Competitive Bibliomaniac.
I read mostly historical romance, but can often be found reviewing paranormal romance, young adult books (mostly distopian/fantasy), fantasy/sci-fi, classics, and the occasional non-fiction book about languages.
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I've been sitting here in front of my computer just kind of staring and unsure about what to write on this one. The whole series felt kinda of "meh" for me, but somehow interesting enough to not abandon it. Maybe it was the pretty covers.
Let's see if I can just focus on this book. Something about it was just off, but I feel like I have felt that the whole series. The world building, while better and more explained than the first book, is still subpar. I don't understand the rule of this world. I don't understand people's interactions. I don't understand why certain things came to be.
Ana and Sam don't really progress much as a couple in this, which was one of my favorite things about the last two books. Actually a lot of their interactions are repetitive and mundane. Them and two secondary characters go on a quest for much of this book, but again it just feels off.
The characters themselves aren't well developed, but developed enough not to bug me, if that makes any sense. The plot leads up to one final battle which was hella anticlimactic.
The ending itself, the thing the whole series was building to, made no sense to me. Like it was all euphamistic and unclear (sort of like the worlfbuilding). There also was this deus ex machina that didn't make any sense, though it was attempted to be explained the whole book. The worst part about the ending is I still dont understand what happened! It was never made clear or the narration just sucked or something.
Outside of the covers there is one thing that I really like about this series and that is all the philosophical discussions seeping in regarding reincarnation and death. Death especially isnt something that is often explored in YA novels and this one does bring up points that I think can help challenge young people to form their own opinions on it. That is something I think this book does really well.
However, that said(show spoiler)
This whole series just felt like I turned on a movie on SciFi and watched it for a few hours before forgetting everything about it. That is how this series is for me: just entertaining enough in the moment of reading it, but soon forgotten after. The only bright spot are the covers and the theme of death and reincarnation.
Do I recommend the series? There are better ones out there... I am sure there are better ones out there that deal with reincarnation as well. I seem to be in the massive minority when it comes to rating this book though, so if you liked the others in the series this one is probably up your ally. But if I had to only recommend one YA series for someone to start with a scifi/fantasy aspect, it's not this one (its the Lunar Chronicles).