Falling Kingdoms by Morgan RhodesOkay, I would like to make a confession here: I love Forever 21 and H&M. Why? Well, aside from the fact that they are giant stores and I love shopping--I mean, win/win combo here--they are known for mimicking styles that are at the top of the most recent fashion wish lists. Those Prada earrings? H&M has almost the exact same pair! That 3.1 Phillip Lim bag? Forever 21 has its near identical twin.
But you notice the difference right away. The earrings break after a couple of uses, and strings magically appear to pop out of the seams on the handbag. And while these are easily replaced and are honestly minute problems (seriously, I'm not really complaining, because I go through different styles too quickly to care), the fact is, they are obviously paler versions of the real thing.
Ah, and here is where Falling Kingdoms comes in! Undoubtably, if you've heard of FK, then you know it's supposed to be like a YA version of Game of Thrones. My love for GoT is no secret, so believe me when I say that I tried very, very hard to NOT compare Falling Kingdoms to GoT. This was semi-easy to do because Falling Kingdoms takes its sweet time going anywhere, let alone falling. Sadly, though, the similarities to Game of Thrones make it evident why it's compared to the high fantasy series. But since many people haven't even read GoT, I won't be comparing it to FK in my review. Just know that if Tyrion Lannister had been in FK, he would have been a boring, slow-witted, and probably taller version of himself.
It's the little things that get to you:
-Don't mess with incest. If you're going to use it, you can't hold back. Not to say that I am like YES, PLEASE GIVE ME MORE INCEST, but it's a tricky/taboo sort of storyline, and I like to see authors tackle lesser-used ones. But Prince Magnus was such a zzzzz character, and Lucia was just sooooo underdeveloped, that by the time Magnus actually acted on his desires, I was over all his ANGST!
Grow a pair, and I DON'T mean on the battlefield. Either be a badass, or be a coward, but stop being a halfass. I don't really care, just figure it out before I catch some of your angsty incest!
-EVEN MORE BORING: Jonas. Um, hello, I get that you want to avenge your bro. That's cool and all, but you don't need to keep telling me. Also, even a blind person can tell you thought Cleo was hot right away, so get over yourself and work on your internal motivation a little bit more, because you're coming off as a minor character.
-Prince Anus [that's not really his name, but he's so stupid I read his name as Anus throughout the whole book]. He reminds me so much of the guy from Vampire Academy [you know, the one who drinks all the time...I haven't read that series in forever but I know this comparison is not misplaced!] that I was like wtf are you doing in this story? I'm not supposed to be comparing Falling Kingdoms to Vampire Academy!
Unlike all the other blah characters, Cleo grew on me. Okay, so her writer made her kind of unbalanced: One minute she's partypartyparty, then the next she's wandering off to find a cure for her sister's illness. And I HATE the way her relationship with her bodyguard just sort of happened. It was one of the most unbelievable couplings in YA I have ever read. However, by the end of the book, I started to like her. She's obviously going to play a larger role in the second book, and I'm looking forward to seeing her character grow. But other than that, it's snoozeville with the main characters, IMO.
|So sleepy and SOOOO FLUFFY!|
So, should you read Falling Kingdoms? If you like to put yourself through almost an entire book just for it to finally get good--the last twenty pages are all that kept me from trashing this book, but trust me, they're really good pages---then YES. Personally, I think I could have been won over if I hadn't read Game of Thrones/watched the tv series, and if my knowledge of fantasy genres in general was lower. Sadly, my appetite was just not sated by the newest addition to the YA fantasy family. I am all for a good knockoff, but I don't believe that Ms. Rhodes wrote Falling Kingdoms just for it to sell to those thirsty from GoT. I have very high hopes that the second book will be the reason I end up loving this series. I am ready to eat my very words if I am wrong, but I sincerely believe that Ms. Rhodes was only trying to set the reader up for when the story gets, well, better.
BRING ON BOOK 2!