Regular price: $19.95
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $19.95
Stacey does a fabulous job narrating this book.
This was mostly fast paced and interesting. The flaws are with the main character, Ember. Like how can she be so ignorant about the war between Empire and the Union?
(The deathbed confession from her dad about Earth being in the outer reaches don't hold water because she's scared of the visiting, important soldiers.) I'm also confused how she's geld captive for so long and doesn't ask questions or flicker everyone to find the answers. Lack of world building doesn't even offer explanations if or how news or communication are delivered.
Ember has a fluid personality. Or multi personality. One minute, she wants to be strong and defiant; the next she's a crumpled mess. One moment, she wants to walk behind a man, as she was brought up; the next she wants to be a mouthy, back talking, I'll-tell-you--you-don't-tell-me-what-to-do - only she's clueless and has no plan nor support. One minute, I have to have my dad; the next, she'd rather sacrifice him than kill a stranger. One moment, she defies a plan to escape (yeah, I know, right?) cuz she thinks she can come up with a better plan within the next several hours (she has never planned ANYTHING) and falls asleep (without hatching a plausible plan nor enlisting help) only to wake up beyond the time limit and the Union is caught in the cross hairs (really, they relied on a girl who has not proven her worth? How are they even fighting a war without contingency plans if X doesn't happen by YZ time?)
I liked the story. The delivery was less than mediocre.
As most trilogies, it's a continuation of the war and where did everyone she knew from the ship go?
Three stars for the book - it held promise, no character development, flimsy romance (oh you beyrayed me and lied to me but let me sulk and not confront you until you keep chasing me around, trying to explain) where he loves her (instalove on his part. Wtf? He told her she needed to shield herself but never teaches her how) and morons fighting a war ...
It's baffling. As much as I enjoy Stacey's narration, I'll be skipping the rest of this series.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I have mixed feelings about this book. In some ways, I’d like to read the sequel before making a judgment. I think some it’s weaknesses could be part of a longer character/plot development that’s yet to come. And I will likely read the second book. In the meantime though, let’s look at the elements of this novel and what troubled me.
The easiest point is the narration – which is excellent. Characters have enough vocal or linguistic variation to make them easy to distinguish without ever becoming irritating or distracting. Well done without being overdone.
Overall, the book reminds me more of “fantasy in space” – focusing on elements like mystical powers, visions, prophecy, destiny, etc. – than “classic sci fi”. (There’s also a definite hint of the “romance” genre in there too.) None of that’s criticism, of course – one could make a similar observation about Star Wars. Just set your expectations right. (I realized after that I had been in the mood for something less in the realm of fantasy.)
The setting works well: a future time when the earth has been largely abandoned and vast areas of space controlled by two powerful groups. The main character’s ignorance of this larger world makes it very easy for us to discover it slowly without piles of exposition being dumped on us in a sloppy manner. There are a lot of hints of this larger world, but you don’t feel there’s a phone book of alphabet soup names for planets and races that you need to keep track of from the start.
Things start to fall a bit at the characters. In this novel, at least, we don’t get to see a great deal of complexity develop – though there are lots of hints. Ember, our heroine, spends a great deal of time worrying about whatever her latest predicament happens to be. In some ways it’s very natural, but at the same time it gets rather tedious. “Yes, dear, I know you’re worried about it – but you’ve had that same thought a dozen times now. It doesn’t make me feel any more compassion for you, it just makes me impatient with your implied self-pity.” I can see the intent – a caring, reluctant heroine who didn’t want any of these big events – but... other protagonists have gone through the same without being quite as exasperating. Her personality is also extremely fluid. Is she a rebellious, strong-headed woman or a meek, traditional girl? Neither she nor the reader are sure. Ember is relatively young and naïve. Her self-absorption and inconsistency aren’t necessarily unrealistic for her age. That said, reading about it wasn’t terribly interesting and certainly didn’t establish any better feelings for the character. It often looks more like her personality flexes however is convenient for the plot – not because she’s struggling with who she is.
Our chief villain for the novel has similar shortcomings – his negative attributes (and actions) being repeatedly driven home until you’re not sure if you’re accidentally listening to the same part a second time.
The repetition is unfortunate. There is development and strong hints at more to come – but it gets lost in the repetition of the “key points”. That repetition makes the characters appear dumb and the reader feel as if they’re being treated the same way. We got the point quickly – and we wish the characters would figure things out a lot sooner too.
Upon reflection – the Star Wars reference may be appropriate overall. Luke begins as a much more immature and whiny character than Ember ever is – it’s fortunate we’re not party to his thoughts the way we are hers. Had we left him too soon in the story, we might not be too sure about his potential – or likeability.
I feel much the same about Ember. I want to know where she – and this world – go. I’m intrigued and see great potential… but I’m really not convinced yet that I want to follow her on all of her journey.
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author in exchange for an unbiased review (via Audiobook Boom).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was hooked from the beginning, I liked the plot and there are one or two twists, but I found Ember, the main character, to be confusing at times. She would do one thing, like trying to find a way out to escape then after a while she sort of forgets and doesn't bother trying. It did make me wonder if she was ever going to get away. I found her to be inconsistant at times, however, I still loved it and I am really looking forward to book two!
I would recommend this book to everyone!
The narrator did a great in voicing the characters. I would not mind listening to her other works.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.