The Waking Land tells the story of Elanna, a young woman who is taken from her family at a young age and held hostage in an enemy country. There are so many great things about this book: an interesting magic, plenty of strong and developed characters, a rich history…the list goes on and on. And for the most part, I really enjoyed all of it. But there were a few parts that didn’t quite mesh with me, so I felt like I couldn’t give it a full 4 or 5 star rating. As much as I liked parts of it, I just didn’t love it.
That beginning was fantastic. Right from the prologue I was completely drawn in. I couldn’t wait to learn more. Then the story got going and I started to lose a bit of interest. Things just began to seem a little too cliché and stereotypical of young adult fantasy. I love many of the young adult tropes, but sometimes they just don’t work well. Towards the end I warmed back up though and began to really enjoy myself. In the end, even though I felt like the last few chapters were kind of rushed, I was left feeling pretty good about what I’d read. I definitely needed more closure and explanation at the end though.
As you all know, characters are the biggest thing for me. No matter how interesting a world is, if there aren’t equally interesting characters, it’s really hard to stay engaged. And I think that for the most part, the characters in this book were pretty solid. I would have liked a little more back story for a few of them, but overall I was satisfied. Elanna was especially good in my opinion. So despite some of my misgivings about the plot, I feel like the characters often saved the book for me.
So basically, this was a good book. Not great, but good. There were a fair amount of common tropes, which kind of worked, although sometimes got on my nerves. And sometimes I feel like the plot didn’t quite work. But, overall, I’m glad I read this book. There were some truly good parts that made me smile and tugged on my heartstrings. So would I recommend it? Probably, if you know you like young adult fantasy and are okay with a relatively stereotypical plot. It’s worth checking out for yourself.
Thank you to NetGalley and Del Rey for the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review!
This was such a pleasant surprise! I mean, based off the description I figured this would be a book right up my alley. But I didn’t expect to love is as much as I did. And I really did love it a lot. More people should be talking about Coetir because it’s seriously fantastic.
First there’s the characters. I loved so many of the characters in this book. Ellya was such a strong, complex character. And I really enjoyed most of the others too. Everyone had such a deep and fascinating back story. I’d love a few more books with these guys!
I really enjoyed the plot for the most part too. It was simple in many ways, but at the same time so incredibly beautiful. This story drew me in completely and made my heart melt with joy sometimes and sadness other times. It was so gorgeous.
There were a couple plot holes and a few instances where I wasn’t quite sure about why some things had to happen. And the ending felt a little rushed. But, my issues were pretty minor compared to all of the things I loved about Coetir.
Needless to say, I’d 100% recommend this book. I want to give a big thank you to Indie Book Connect for introducing me to this great writer. I’m so excited to read more from Devine!
Recommend: Maybe, but probably not
Well, this was a rather disappointing read. I actually had kind of high hopes for this book. The description sounded like something that would be 100% my jam: a strong, but reluctant queen, epic wars, magic, and all in a medieval setting? That’s exactly my kind of book. But the characters and lack of sufficient explanations, not to mention an uneven pace, kind of killed it for me.
So let’s start off with characters. To be fair, I didn’t mind most of the characters. I feel like they could have been fleshed out a bit more, but overall I think they were decent. Nothing too exciting, and a bit generic, but not terrible by any means. Haven got on my nerves a bit because she was so darn naive, but even that didn’t bother me a whole lot. I think if I hadn’t had some of my other issues, the characters would have shone through much more.
My biggest problem was the plot and world building. There were so many times when I just couldn’t believe what was being said or done. I know in fiction, especially fantasy, readers have to suspend disbelief. But this was just too much. So many things didn’t make sense, or were so unrealistic (even given what I knew of that particular world). I had a hard time believing in this story. Of course, part of that might have been because I still feel like there are quite a few explanations missing.
That being said, I do think the writing is well done. Bogle writes in a clear, understandable way that is easy to read and flows pretty smoothly. I know there are other books in this series, so it’s possible that many of my questions and issues could be resolved in subsequent books. Although I wish she would have addressed more of them in this first book. I’m not sure if I’m invested enough at this point to read the rest of the series.
Thank you to NetGalley and Friesen Press for providing this book in exchange for an honest review!
I was really torn about what to rate this book. On the one hand, I think the concept is interesting, and the world definitely had potential. But, I had a really had time getting into this book and part of that was because of how annoyed I got with Tylira. So, there were some really good aspects, but overall I wasn’t as fond of this book as I was hoping.
So let’s start off with talking about the characters. Like I said, Tylira was just not my cup of tea. Normally I love a strong, fearless character who might be a little impulsive but ultimately has a good heart. So in theory, Tylira should have been exactly my kind of character. But, sometimes I just couldn’t handle her stupidity and complete lack of awareness of anyone else but herself. I get she was socially isolated, but it all just seemed a bit much to me.
And honestly, the way she describes Rusk really got on my nerves. If I had a dollar for every time she mentioned how gorgeous or chiseled he was, I’d probably have enough money to quit my day job and just read all day. Okay, that might be a tad bit of an exaggeration, but she definitely mentions it a lot.
But, in spite of all those complaints, I did like some parts of the book. Like Alsoon. He was so precious and wonderful and I just wanted to give him a huge hug. And the concept was different from what I’ve normally come to except from fantasy novels, so that was also a plus.
So, would I recommend this book to others? I’m honestly not sure. I mean, I’m glad I read this and I enjoyed parts of it, but overall it left me kind of feeling…eh. It’s well written, but some of the characters kind of drag the story down a bit.
I don’t read a whole lot of short stories, but the stories in this book seemed so promising that I figured I’d give it a go. And there were some wonderful little stories in here. I didn’t love them all, in fact there were some I had to push through. But overall, I had a really good time reading these magical stories.
Ellen Klages certainly has a gift with words. Her writing is descriptive, but not overly so, and full of rich language. One of the things I really appreciated about this book was that it didn’t feel like Klages was trying too hard to sound intelligent and eloquent, which is a common issue among writers. But this was so well written!
I enjoyed most of the stories, although I think one of my favorites was Sounds the Suet Girl and the French Pearl. It was so delightful and entertaining. I loved the fairytale feel.
This was a quick, enjoyable read. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interés in reading short stories and enjoys fantasy/sci-fi. I’m glad I took a chance on this.
Thank you to NetGalley and Tachyon Publishing for providing a copy of this in excufor an honest review!
Mark Lawrence is a name I’ve been hearing in the fantasy arena for years. So when the chance came to read one of his books, I figured why not? And now that I’ve read it, I find myself…a little disappointed. The world is really interesting, and the characters were definitely engaging. But the plot and writing? That’s where things went a little wry.
First off, let’s talk about flashbacks. Because there were a lot of flashbacks in this book, particularly at the beginning. For me, flashbacks are difficult to make work. And unfortunately, I think this was one of the cases where they just didn’t work well. The amount and length of the flashbacks jarred me from the story and I found myself losing track of what was happening in the present because I couldn’t always distinguish between the past and present.
The pacing was also really slow, which I think ties into the plot. In all honesty, not much actually happens in this book, despite it being a bit on the long side. I loved the idea of a group of young women training to be super powerful fighters and use magic, but I kept finding myself wondering what this book was actually about. I’m still not a hundred percent sure I could give a good synopsis of the story. I liked most of it, but I had a hard time staying focused because of the slow and somewhat wandering pace.
That being said, it was the characters that really saved Red Sister. Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the flashbacks, I will say they did a good job developing Nona’s backstory. I felt like I understood her so well. And the rest of the characters were pretty developed and interesting as well. Everyone had their own specific motivations and I loved that.
So, would I recommend this book? Possibly. The story has a lot of potential and, since this is the first in a series I can understand some of the slower pace. So, while I got a little bored sometimes, I’m still glad I gave Red Sister a try. I still haven’t decided if I want to read the second one, but I think I might give it a go. Like I said, this story has a lot of potential.
This was such a fun read! I absolutely loved the concept. It reminded me of Indiana Jones, especially at first. Only, this time there’s magic too, which makes it even more awesome! Such a cool story.
It took me a bit to get into the book. I feel like the beginning move a bit slow and there seemed to be a lot of repeating of ideas and thoughts. But once the story got going, I found myself getting wrapped up in this world. Throughout the book, there were parts that felt a little jumbled, but overall I enjoyed the story so much.
The characters were really strong and well developed. I especially loved Catilen. I felt like I could really connect with her. There were some characters I had a little bit of a harder time truly understanding, but for the most part they were all great.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and mystical worlds. This is certainly worth a read. I’m excited to see what happens next!