Thursday, June 25, 2015

Book Review: The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima *Spoiler Free*

Rating: 2/5 

Categorization: Young Adult, Fantasy 

Length: 506 pages, and felt like 506 pages 

Plans To Continue the Series: Maybe? 

What this story has to offer you:

Young Main Characters 
Royalty - who are both in power and pawn-like
Wizards - who are suspicious
Soldiers - some crooked, and some just trying to get by
Priests - with minor ceremonial & educational influence
The Clan - Native American-esq, but with more political power
The Poor Plebs - some honest, some crooked 

Why? Why? Why? Why? WHY? I wanted to like this book!  I really really did!

I basically did not like it at all.  I have seen this book series around for what feels like forever to me now. I was told by numerous people of both the real-life & internet variety that it was a great read. And finally i decided to pick it up. The story focuses on the lives of two teenagers and the people surrounding them. Han Alister, 16, (not to be confused with Han Solo, 30 something?) is a reforming street lord; and Raisa, 15, is the Princess Heir of the realm. The book switches back and forth between their perspectives until their worlds collide! Sounds epic, right? Don't get excited, it's not.

The political backdrop was intriguing to me.  And i thought the world building was immersive enough.  The issues came up when i realized that the story was not going to focus on those things as much as i would have liked. Everything that drew me into reading the book! Instead, this story is very character driven. Normally, i love that (like Outlander & Harry Potter), but these two teenagers were not that likeable, and not terribly different from each other. Quite honestly, they did not drive much of a story. They just kinda floated around, doing what they could/should. The few parts where they actually took action were great! But i spent all the other time yelling at them, and rolling my eyes as well. Much of what went on in this story was forgettable. I seem to remember my own questions about it more. I liked Amon, and Averill. Oh! Also! The Clan name 'Demonai' is badass.

Unlikeable Han and Raisa, well more-so Raisa, seemed very shallow, with such annoyingly superficial cares. Even the could-be love stories were nothing more than fleeting attraction between teenagers with short attention spans. Yes. They are young. But were they supposed to come across as young people who are relatively bad at life? They are both caught up in a very political world full of secrets and conspiracies. They both jump into it with curiosity, but then kinda fizzle out, like 'ehh, i'm over it'. AND THERE'S FREAKING MAGICAL POWERS AFOOT! (Clearly they don't read Harry Potter in the realm--after you read Harry Potter, you never say no to magic. You say: "Yes please, I'll have all the magic. Thank you". Is it always appropriate to talk about Harry Potter during reviews for non-harry-potter books?). I understand that the magic is supposed to be forbidden, and kind of scary, but isn't that what these two were all about? Attraction to what they should not meddle with? To excitement? Trying to get something done before their fates kick in? Oh, guess not.

I liked the writing. It was descriptive and gave you a good sense of the larger picture. Although, i also seemed to zero in on the use of the word "fingering" which was prominent throughout the novel. Can't anybody in this book just touch something dammit?! Feel? Handle? Pet? Play with? Stroke?... well maybe not stroke...

You would think that by the end of 506 pages the two main characters would have some more substance to them, but by and large, I'm gonna say they didn't. Disappointing. That being said, i actually liked how this story ended, AND i think i like where it would be going. so i might be interested in continuing the series.  I just don't foresee it any time soon. I would rather not be disappointed again. Womp womp.

Read the synopsis on Goodreads:

Final Comments: GET IT TOGETHER RAISA! You're the dam Princess Heir of the Realm!
Please drop us a comment here if you have read the full series, and let me know if it gets better!?

A sad Manda