Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.
I'm just trying to light up the world as much as I can one SciFi/paranormal/fantasy/space opera/time travel book at a time.
This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, there were some really solid aspects I could get behind and on the other hand there were a few very glaring, critical flaws. On the whole though, the writing was well done. The world building was decent BUT the character development was spotty and the character dialogue was excruciating...especially the zero to 100 I hate you nope wait that's Love I feel...yup, definitely Love and I happen to love you more than anyone or anything in my entire world...GRRRRR!
There were 6 POVs, which can make things messy if not done well. Here it was slightly disorienting but otherwise it flowed rather nicely.
Princess Asterin, one of our MCs, was a fairly competent female heroine if not a tad oblivious, obnoxious and annoying. She had a tragic backstory, which made her compelling yet her powers (like many characters in this story) were mastered WAY too easily. For me, this is a BIG no no and throws up all sorts of red flags, deep sighs and dramatic eye rolls. I like when my characters have to work hard and earn their achievements as well as deserve their "True Love's" desire (which works both ways). It's just more satisfying that way. Asterin's best asset, however, was her ability to pull people... especially powerful people...into her personal gravitational field and garner a deep sense of loyalty and protectiveness from them.
One such valiant protector was Quinnlan. Quinnlan had a yummy yummy gooey center surrounded by a rather fickle hard, prickly shell of PTSD from years and years of abuse at his father's hands... a much (re)visited, almost to the point of projectile nausea, character defining anchor point in his tragic backstory. I was torn between wanting to kiss his damaged psyche to bits, bitch slapping him... the pages and chapters of wide eyed mooning was a bit much to digest... or jumping into trouble just so he could rescue me, damsel style. BUT unfortunately, I am not fictional and Quinn... well Quinn's state at the end of the book is a detail I won't discuss... spoilers and all...but only time will tell.
A couple of MCs that enjoyed were Rose and Harry. Rose was practically (a bit too) perfect in every way. She was a badass magic wielder, fighter, strategist, friend, cousin and all around MVP. This type of star player that can do no wrong and is awesome just by breathing can and will irk me in large doses. Thankfully she was more of a side character and thus it wasn't as glaring and painful to witness. Harry, on the otherhand, was a surprise for me. When we first heard about him I thought he'd be a stereotypical bad guy that we'd be preprogrammed to despise BUT I ended up loving him. He was loyal, endearing, and more emotionally fragile than one would think.
Overall: I wish I could rave about this one I really do. The synopsis ticked all the right boxes for me but ultimately, in my humble opinion, it was spectacularly middle of the road Meh. The characters were almost always predictable and their dialogue was extremely sophomoric. The love matches seemed trite, stilted, forced and clunky at times BUT even so, they also managed to be sweet at other times so there's that. The plot had too many convenient or easily foreseen twisty turns for my taste. BUT on the bright side, the story's writing was strong. It did seem like the author knows how to write very well but when it came right down to the heart of the tale, the meat and potatoes were lacking compared to the well crafted prose. The latticework of ideas was solid and the writing was good but the rest fell short for me... except for Harry...BUT alas, a Harry (or a barrel of Harry's, although that would admittedly have been a MUCH different story) does not a cherished novel make. I wish it did.
*** I was given a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***