(I received free digital copies of these books in exchange for an honest review)
Good idea, poor execution
BOOK 1 :
“Sometimes new problems are fixed with old ideas”
Oh boy, how I’ve struggled with this one ! I’ve never met a more annoying set of characters, I don’t even know where to start. Maybe by the several things that bothered me throughout the whole story ?
I feel like the characters aren’t fleshed out enough. In the end, we know so very little about them. Despite everything, not enough time was spent on them as characters. There’s also the fact that Gabriel is so annoying during, at least, a good 80% of the book. The thing that bothered me the most though is how casual and jaded he is about the whole ore-thing in the beginning. He’s not even a little bit curious, he’s just content lounging in his brother’s apartment, letting his brother do all the work, and asking about what his brother found just as he would ask for the weather report in Taiwan ! I mean, it’s not like the whole thing is happening to him, it’s not like, if he takes into account everything he knows about ore, he’s probably going to die because of the giant crystal embedded in his chest ! There’s also a lot of, in my opinion, useless back and forth between Gabriel and Adin. They keep arguing about the same things, repeating the same stuff. It doesn’t move the plot along, and it makes you feel like you’re stuck on repeat. I also feel like the different POVs weren’t necessary, especially Dr Cymru and Nate.
On the whole, I think the idea was interesting, but the execution was really clumsy. It didn’t feel finished, in my opinion. I expected a lot more, and I wasn’t given anything I might have hoped for.
BOOK 2 :
“We are just waiting for the lights to fail. For this world to turn off, till all they have left is the ore. Then it will be our time. No more hiding”
So, the plot thickens in this one, the characters’ fate is left hanging and I’m guessing a big battle is looming in the next book. Unfortunately, there are too many things happening at once. I get that it’s somewhat realistic to show so many different sides and allegiances, but you can feel yourself getting lost in the middle of all this. As in the first book, I feel like there’s a huge problem of characterization, like the whole process isn’t complete. To those main and almost-main characters that we don’t know that much about, are added even more secondary/tertiary characters, just names really, characters we only see for a few chapters before we forget all about them. The villains are all very one-dimensional. I kind of lost patience half-way through.
Two other things : the completely forced, unexplained and unnecessary romance. We’ve barely seen Gabriel and Claire interact with each other in the first book and suddenly they’re mad for each other, each other’s reason for living, and from a reader’s point of view, it doesn’t make sense. Especially to me, who’s so picky when it comes to romance in fiction. Same goes for Nate and Celes. Other than the fact that I think Nate is one of the least interesting character in these books, why the need to pair them up when, again, they’ve barely interacted before their romance is forced on us ? I also wanted to point out that the action scenes were a bit hard to go through. The author has this stop-and-start way of writing action, in which the sentences are very short and concise, there’s a period every 6 or so words and I think the narrative loses its rhythm because of it.
Then again, I liked the last few chapters a bit more than the rest, and they almost made me want to know what happens next. I stand by my first rating though, because it really wasn’t enough to make up for the previous 200 pages.