Saturday, November 25, 2017
Book Review: Flame in the Mist
Book 1 in a new series
AUTHOR: Renee Ahdieh
PUBLISHED: May 16th, 2017
PREMISE: A girl disguises herself as a man after she is attacked to find out who tried to kill her.
MY REVIEW: Flame in the Mist and the way it was received is a perfect example of how poor marketing and blurbs can hurt your book. This was billed as a Japanese retelling of Mulan. And...it isn't. The only thing it has in common with Mulan is that there's a girl dressed up as a guy. Everything else from why she's dressed that way, to the story, is not at all Mulan. I get why the blurb writer tried doing that, because a lot of people are fans of Mulan. But its misleading and that led to a lot of people being disappointed. And when fans are disappointed....they tend to get harsher when reviewing books. Seriously, don't piss off your readers guys, it's just not a good idea. Another issue was that people were getting upset at the idea of Mulan being retold with Japanese elements (something about cultural appropriation, I think) and I bet we maybe wouldn't have had all of that if it didn't market itself as a Mulan retelling. Which...again...it wasn't. So just...be careful how you market your books, okay?
So as for the book itself....it was just okay for me. It has a pretty solid plot. The characters are interesting and world is well developed. The weaving of Japanese myth into the fantasy world was probably one of my favorite aspects. The romance....was there. The ending...was a good lead in for the second book.
For the most part, I was pretty okay with this book. It's not the most remarkable thing I've ever read. I've certainly read worse. Just please, don't go into this expecting a Japanese Mulan retelling. You will be disappointed.
WHO SHOULD READ: Renee Ahdieh fans, Japanese mythology fans
MY RATING: Three and a half out of Five shrugs