Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mini Reviews # 10

THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS by Rae Carson, MERCY by Rebecca Lim and THE NEAR WITCH by Victoria Schwab are three more 2011 Netgalley titles I finally got to review. Read my mini reviews for them below.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Girl of Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson

The blue gemstone in Elisa's navel is a sign for the divine purpose she's destined to fulfill. Chosen by God like many others before her every century. Married to King Alejandro de Varga, Elisa is expected to fit into her new role as future Queen of Joya d'Arena. Until she is kidnapped by revolutionaries and  has to choose her very own path.
Finding her path has to be understood figuratively as literally. Elisa is travelling a lot whether she wants to or not. She leaves her home of Orovalle for Joya d'Arena, most of the route leads her through desert areas of great expanses. I really would have liked a map to go with the story so I could have followed Elisa's journey more easily. She's living in a war-torn country and that's why there were too many discussions about strategy and stretched marches through the desert that lacked all kinds of excitement.
It must have been the long and tedious  journey that clouded my senses and made me unresponsive for Elisa's desert romance.
Central to the story are high beliefs in God, thorough praying, a profound historical background and tellings of former Godstone-bearers.

3,5/5 ***/* THE GIRL OF FIRE AND THORNS -  Have a little faith and this could be an adventurous journey!

Elisa's special because she's a Godstone-bearer. But her ways of communicating with God weren't exactly what made her appealing as a main character but the metamorphosis she's undergoing in so many different ways. For fans of GRACELING by Kristin Cashore, LEGACY by Cayla Kluver or A TOUCH OF POWER by Maria V. Snyder.

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publishing Date: September 1st 2011
Length: 423 pages
Keywords: YA fiction, fantasy, religion, history, romance, sorcery
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

Mercy (Mercy #1) by Rebecca Lim

Waking up in a new human body now and then, taking over their lives to righten things, that's what Mercy's existence looks like. This time Mercy finds herself on a schoolbus on its way to a choir practice trip and with that in the life of Carmen Zappacosta. From the beginning it's all about singing and choir meets - a complete musical overload if you ask me.
Then there's a crime case at hand that Mercy gets involved with. Lauren, the daughter of her host familiy went missing almost two years ago and Lauren's brother Ryan still hasn't lost hope of finding her. Mercy and Ryan team up to dig for info with joined forces.
There was nothing said about Carmen's life before Mercy or that much about the missing girl's life.
Ryan and Mercy as Carmen wander around town, blatantly and obviously asking people about where Lauren could be. I could't call it hunting for clues, they are just too dumb to realise what's right in front of them the whole time. I guess they were supposed to bring a romance factor to the story of MERCY but I hardly felt the spark.
From the sound of its abstract MERCY is supposed to be the start of a new paranormal angel series but there's not much talking about angels and everything about the background of Mercy is left in the dark. No explanations, therefore stark frustration.

1,5/5 */* MERCY – Music, angels, a missing girl – all rather disproportionate and shapeless parts of MERCY not really adding up.

MERCY was a touch case. The story got more absurd and cruelly evoking disinterest with each passing page. The entire choir and music theme a liability. The romance probably the weakest I've encountered so far this year. Only the idea of some angelic being put into another human's life to offer help and improvement time and time again was what kept me reading.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: May 17th 2011
Length: 288 pages
Keywords: YA fiction,music, angels, romance, missing girl
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch is only an old child's tale. That's what Lexi believes until one day when a stranger appears, in the town of Near where there are none, and children start to disappear overnight.
Lexi and the stranger Cole, who has an otherworldly feel about him, start looking for clues to find the lost children and see if there's actually more to the near witch tale than they always thought. Cole is mysterious and elusive and  I wasn't sure if their relationship was supposed to be a love story, it only evoked weak feelings.
The story itself is supposed to be scary, slightly unset was all I felt. It's more of a spooky tale to read to children than a Young Adult novel.

3/5 *** THE NEAR WITCH – An eerie read for cold and windy days. More children's tale and not much of a successful YA debut.

It's been a while since I read THE NEAR WITCH and even though the plot wasn't elaborate enough to fully grasp me it's the atmosphere of a remote town, a whispering gale, moor and green glades that's still surprisingly present when I think about Victoria Schwab's debut.

Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: August 2nd 2011
Length: 282 pages
Keywords: YA fiction, tale, witch, romance
Source: Netgalley
Author's Homepage


  1. Back from my blogging break :) I know Mercy had a lot of favourable reviews but I didn't really enjoy it either. It's too bad though that you didn't like The Near Witch and The Girl of Fire and Thorns as much as I did.

  2. Nice reviews. I have yet to pick up A Girl of Fire and Thorns soley because it sounds so majorly religious....and I'm just not a religious all. (Not that I have anything against people that are) it just doesn't sound like my thing, but there have been soooo many good reviews. Anyhow great mini reviews!