One of the stars from this rating is actually for me. For finishing this sucker.
Also, if the fantasy books that I'm excited to read in 2019 keep disappointing me like this I will run out of books to read pretty quickly.
This book also made me help realize something about myself. Something I've been noticing lately, but couldn't put my finger on it. I don't like adult fantasy books that have a child as a main character. Coming of age if you will. I'm just tired of this way of story telling. I'd rather have an adult cast in an adult fantasy.
If I must know the character's tragic (and it's always so tragic) childhood, tell it to me in flashbacks. Also, the girl on the cover looks like she's in her 20's at least. Nona is 10 in this book! What even.
Speaking of age, Nona is supposed to be 10 in the beginning and 12 by the end the book is over. Why then, she sounds and thinks like a 30 year old all throughout the book?
Yes, she has been through a lot and yes that matured her quickly. Yes, she's smarter and more cunning that most kids her age. No, it still doesn't feel right. When I'm reading Nona I know that I'm actually reading words of a 40 year old man (I'm not actually sure how old the author actually is, sorry).
This fact was probably the biggest contributor to me not having any connection whatsoever to the main character. Zero. Was I supposed to feel bad for her? Sure, I could tell from all the events that were happening to her. But I didn't care about Nona, I didn't care about the plot, I just didn't care. I did like some of the side characters, but they weren't as nearly developed as I would have wanted them to be. Plus they are dead now (not a spoiler, there's tons of side characters and I didn't tell you which ones I liked).
For a book that's over 500 pages long nothing much happens. And when it does it's very repetitive. We have series of ring fights, sparring as part of training, practicing a thing called blade-path (which I still couldn't envision in my mind space even if you pay me money). Add a lot of everyday things like eating and sleeping and getting places - and you will understand why it took me 8 days to read the whole thing.
The overly flowery language did not help either. It wasn't bad, it was quite pretty and luscious, but sometimes it would ramble on so much that I would forget what I was reading about.
There were things that I enjoy, I think. I liked the bond connection ability. I hated the constant need to abuse and beat up the main character and I hated the animal cruelty scene (it's forever burned into my mind eye, so thanks for that (NOT!).
As of right now my desire to read book 2 is about at 4 percent. So not very high, but I still might. Just not soon. I'm just hoping that book 2 would expand more on the politics that were underlaying the story, but didn't get explored or explained nearly enough.
That it would explain ALL of the abilities, because as of right now there are so many and just kept popping up at random. Oh look, I have "claws" now. Oh look I can predict things before they happen, and now I can also barrel through rock with my bare hands. And so on. Things felt disorganized and scattered and not completed.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk, I guess.