Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellison

Book: Threats of Sky and Sea by Jennifer Ellison
Rating: 4/5 stars
Bookdictive Categorization: Good ol' YA-FantaSea with no death triangles of lurve. 

But then I feel abashed at giving ToSaS 4 out of 5 stars. 

A 4 from me isn't a bad thing. It means I really enjoyed the book, and will immediately become a fan on GR and go out of my way to send the author a 'thank you for taking the time to write this!' sort of thing. It means I'll add the next book to my TBR, and shelve it as "can you please be published already." But it doesn't mean that I am willing to overlook all flaws within. Ergo me reading this: 

First chapter: "I don't know about you yet..."
Third chapter: "Okay, I can get with this!"
Upon completion: Well, that's where I'm at right now. I just finished it, but I know why my rating dropped a star like one falling from the sky.
And let me tell you, there aren't many. Flaws, I mean. I GAVE IT 4 STARS AND FINISHED IT IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS. That's a good thing! Even 3 stars isn't bad, but this book is NOT 3 star status.

So what went wrong?? 
It's a pacing thing. That's all it is. 
The book went so smoothly for 80% of it. I admit, parts were a little rushed, like when the MC Bree and her dad are taken captive and forced to travel over two weeks ON FOOT to the Egrian Kingdom. There's also this gnarly description of what they eat that makes me gag even now. *shudder* But the book kept its pacing up until the end. The entire book is from Bree's perspective, and because the book is mostly her internal musings and not dialogue, the pretense of suspense is kept up. I like voices like this! I wish there was just a little more description, but I'll get to that in a second.
Anyway, here's the long story short: There's these people called Elementals, who posses elemental magic. There's an corrupt king who forces Elementals to swear fealty to him so he can use them for his armies. Bree has lived a quiet life as a barmaid with her dad for 16 years, and then
***insert montage***

--she's in the king's castle watching her dad get thrown in the dungeons for being a deserter to his childhood bff, the king. Oh yeah, and she finds out that her dad is a duke and has lied to Bree for her entire life.
Here's where the book really becomes interesting. Most of the book is around Bree struggling to survive without her father near her side. She befriends the handsome prince, and slowly befriends the bitchy betrothed princess (I LOVE WHEN BITCHY SIDE CHARACTERS REVEAL THEIR WEAKNESSES AND YOU DISCOVER THEY'RE THE GOOD GUYS!)

Up until the last chapter, this book packs an exciting and fast punch. This being YA fantasy, Bree of course has hidden magical abilities. She has to keep trying to unravel the mysteries surrounding her father to truly find out who/what she is.

So, this ending. I was not impressed. You know that fast pace I talked about before? The ending is fast, but not in a good way. The climactic conclusion with its obligatory cliffhanger ending falls a bit flat. There's no long battle, and the henchwoman to the evil king DOES NOT GET AWAY. You're not supposed to kill off one of the main bad guys in the first book!!!!!! SUCH FRUSTRATION. With the lukewarm battle scene, my fingers are crossed that the next book will spend a lot more time on Bree and Company training/fighting/describing hardships/hopefully going through deserts because we all know I love a good desert-trekking scene/romance/friendships. And that, my dear readers, is why I give this four stars. Because even with the mehhhhhh ending, there's a lot to look forward to. When you feel attachment to a book, you want to read the next one because the first one leaves you wanting more. And my darling bookdictives, I. WANT. MORE.


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