Thursday, 27 June 2013

GoodRead - Icons

I know some of you guys LOVE the world of Beautiful Creatures (Sorry. The Caster Chronicles) by Margaret Stohl and Kami Gracia. And now the series is done, both authors are writing their own series. The first book in Kami's new series, Unbreakable, will be out in October while Margaret hits the ground running with the first book in her series, Icons.

Everything changed after The Day. Everything changed when the Lords came from the heavens, where windows shattered and people dropped down dead, losing a war no one knew they were fighting. But a one year old Dol survived. Since then, she has gone in the countryside, away from the Icon's shadowy reach.

But when a teenage Dol and her friend, Ro, are captured and taken to the Embassy, they begin to wonder. Why did they survive The Day? What makes them so special? And when the two of them meet Tima and, the Ambassador's son, Lucas, they reveal the four of them are bound together in ways none of them could possible imagined.

So, reactions. Honestly, I'm kinda on the fence with this. There were things I liked and things I didn't.

For a start, the things I like. This book isn't like Beautiful Creatures, which is a good thing. When I requested this on NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and UK publisher, Harper Collins/Voyager), one of my main fears was that this would be similar or exactly the same of Beautiful Creatures and, while I liked reading both Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness (I do have EVERY intention to read Beautiful Chaos and Beautiful Redemption), I did find reading them a trial. But Icons didn't feel like a trial to read. I found it interesting. I found the whole idea of The Day and the Icons fascinating. I found that the book asked questions and then, not answer them a smart move (why make it easy for our heroes in book 1?). I found the messages/emails at the end of each chapters making me ask more questions (and I enjoyed reading them and going "Well, what does that mean?" And the world-building in this book was something I enjoyed, even though it was confusing (remember, this is a first in a series). Another thing I liked were the secondary characters like Doc and Fortis as I found them interesting and have depth (I want a prequel/eNovella to these two characters). This is the same with characters I disliked like Colonel Catallus...

Which says a lot as this was one of my main issues with the book. The main four characters: Dol, Ro, Lucas and Tima. When these characters met and were together, they felt flat to me. There wasn't really much depth. On their own, each character had depth and were interesting. For a first few chapters, Dol and Ro were in the countryside and I liked them. I wanted to know more about them. This is the same with Tima when she and Dol were alone as I wanted to understand why she is so damaged. But the four of them together... they just didn't work. It didn't click for me.

I think the problem is the guys in this foursome/love-square: Lucas and Ro. I didn't felt warmth to them in the way I think I was meant to. Lucas, to me, is vanilla. There was nothing great about him, but there was nothing awful about him, either. He just didn't pop out as a character. Ro, on the other hand, I liked at the start of the book. But, halfway through, I found him and his attitude irritating. By the end of the book, I really disliked him. I found his anger and his rage (funnily enough) infuriating. He reminds me of someone who would be at a peaceful protest but who would start throwing patrol bombs and attacking the police. Not because of the reason for the peaceful protest in the first place but because he enjoyed the chaos and the anarchy of it all.

Dol, Tima, you can do so much better then these two. Seriously... what do you see in them?

The second issue I have was repetition. There were phrases and things that characters did and say that annoyed me. I remember reading two or three chapters very early on and the phrase (I can't remember off the top of my head but it was something like "I wanted to cry, scream, run out of the room and not look back") was used four or five times. Luckily, the repetition was used less and less as the book went on, but I found this annoying and it took me a while to forgive the book for this.

So, now I got that off my chest, we come to the big question: will I be reading book two in the series? Weirdly, I think so. Yes, there are cons that annoyed me and, yes, there were times I wanted to throw my kindle across the room, but I kinda wanna know where Margaret goes next. I do hope book 2 beefs up on the character development side, though. I need to want the four to win against the Lords. But I sense book 2 could be a gripping read. I shall wait in the corner, watching the skies...

Oh, for those of you thinking this is the next Beautiful Creatures, stop right there. It isn't. Go into this book with an open mind. That is all.

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