Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review: A Girl of Fire and Thorns

TITLE: A Girl of Fire and Thorns
Book 1 in a new series?
AUTHOR: Rae Carson
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: fantasy, adventure
PREMISE: A girl enters an arranged marriage and becomes a leader.
MY REVIEW: You ever have a book you want to absolutely love? You feel like you SHOULD love it but something in you just can't because of all the flaws? Well, that is me and my feelings on A Girl of Fire and Thorns. By all rights I should adore this book. It does honestly have a lot going for it that I understand why people were gushing over it during BEA time. The world building is splendid, it's very fast paced, while it does follow the typical useless girl becomes useful trope it does it in a somewhat believable manner, and there's a clear plot that doesn't wander too much. Also there were some lovely passages of writing here that make me sit up and pay attention.
HOWEVER, it was very obvious that this was a first book. While there were lovely bits of writing, far too much of it was the tell and show type of writing which I'm sure all of you have figured out that I can't stand. The main character Elisa while kind of awesome was also a huge Mary Sue. Literally the only flaw she had was that she was fat, according to her and we are reminded that she is fat over and over again and of course her being fat come with all the typical fat stereotypes out there such as no confidence in her looks and over eating. Look, I love that finally we have a girl who isn't a white skinny heroine but when you literally make her fat the only flaw she has that actually isn't very progressive or helpful. The romance and characters didn't really do anything for me. About maybe the only one I was intrigued by were Cosme and Alodia and they were relagated to the background. After one realized this was the useless girl becomes useful trope and that Elisa was a Mary Sue it was very obvious what was going to come next the only thing that kept me really going was the imaginative world and the action.
So honestly, this was a bit of a let down for me. I do think it's a good enough debut. I mean I've certainly read worst first books. I will say I'm not sure how she's going to make this a series because for me it all tied up very nicely at the end so I'm honestly not really interested in a sequel. But I do hope to see more from this imaginative author and that she works a bit more on her writing skills for her next book because if she does that and keeps her imagination? We'll get awesomeness.
WHO SHOULD READ: Tamora Pierce fans, fantasy world fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five godstones

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tina, this is Steve Reifman. I'm an elementary school teacher and author in Santa Monica, CA. You and I follow each other on Twitter. Your site is great, and I have an idea I'd like to share with you. If you're interested, could you please send me your e-mail address? Mine is Happy holidays.