Today's Christmas Eve review is over a book that, sadly, is a little difficult to get a hold of for those of you interested in reading it. Strange Chemistry, the publishing house behind Clarke's "The Assassin's Curse" duology has closed down and thus the only copies available are the leftovers from the last printing that was done before production stopped. In fact, the first site I ordered my copy from, after waiting for weeks for the shipment, emailed me explaining that they were unable to send a copy and only sent me the sequel. The second site did the same, but eventually got a few copies back in stock and I was able to read it.
That being said, for those of you who do get the chance to read this book, I'll give you the Goodread's description before I go into my thoughts:
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together.
To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks--all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic...and the growing romantic tension between them.
Right away, I can tell you that the synopsis is misleading. The entire last paragraph doesn't even begin to take place until the very end of this book, most of which isn't even touched on until the sequel. This book is a 200+ build up of a story that didn't need to be two novels. I think with some generous editing, this easily could have been one book that topped out at 350 pages or so.
The writing was rather choppy and forced to fit the character of a less than scholastically inclined pirate.
Ananna, while being a different and definitely spunky character, was rather annoying. Her feelings develop out of nowhere and she refuses to communicate anything other than anger. She narrates things in a way that makes her seem like an overdramatic high schooler rather than a girl who has been toughened by years at sea on a ship. A lot of what was written to make her seem like an independent woman just made her come across as lacking common sense.
The story rushed in a way that seemed like this was a draft rather than the final copy. The conflict was always entirely glossed over as if scared to go into details.
My last problem is with word choice. I am fine with swearing in books, but only if it fits the context. If it legitimately goes with the story and the characters and everything else with the story and doesn't feel thrown in because, "That's what pirates do, right?".
In the end, it was an okay book, but if I could go back, I wouldn't have bought it. I think the publishing house closing down did wonders for book sales because I am fairly sure a lot of copies were sold solely because readers had a vague interest in the story and knew they wouldn't be able to find editions anymore.
Anyway, that was my review, I hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas and I'll be back on New Year's Eve with my next review.