My rating: 1.5 of 5 stars
Publication Date: August 5th 2014
Genres & Themes: YA, Fantasy, Adventure, Magic.
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.
Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
The only period of time when this story gripped my attention was at the beginning…obviously because, hey, gorgeous cover + intriguing blurb = hype to me and I’ve been waiting to read this one for awhile now.
This is a great example of do not judge a book by its cover. Still, I don’t actually regret reading the book since I HAD to try it. And I did, but it didn’t work for me.
First of all, the pacing: it was very slow and, even though I can manage slow, it’s not working well with the story and concept. I mean, sure, they’re (Kai and Avan) searching for Kai’s brother and a search is usually slow but you can’t just base your plot on that…except that’s what the author did. Blood Red Road managed it much much better…
Sure, they do meet some people along the way but them meeting those people wasn’t interesting. It was just okay…now can we actually look for the guy now? You know how some books have some small events and stuff happening between the main ones? Well this one didn’t. It felt very very planned and too organized. As if the author had a list of ok, now Kai goes to see that guy and then they’ll go to the school she and Avan and then meet new people who can help them enter the Tournament (which, by the way, wasn’t exciting.)
They kept meeting new characters and meeting new characters ALL THE TIME.
It was seriously boring and repetitive.
Then, there is the romance… WHAT ROMANCE? Kai is definitely not looking for a boyfriend! She’s looking for her brother and that’s all she does. Her mind is focused on finding the person she loves the most and that’s all, with some few exceptions.
Sure, she has some sweet moments with Avan but those sweet moments are mostly friendly ones. Because that’s what they are: friends! She did have many opportunities though but does she take them? No, because her feelings for him are not clear. She’s confused…so I, reader, was annoyed.
At about 90% of the story, she sees more clearly but the happy dance didn’t come because I was too exhausted with reading a book I don’t enjoy.
There is also the gargoyles.
Why were there gargoyles in this story? I was always wondering how the characters didn’t do anything about those gargoyles and why they were in this story in the first place since they just DON’T FIT.
Well, according to the author, this is why:
Gargoyles had been native reptiles once, before Rebirth happened more than two centuries ago. But the mass collection of magic and technology during the war had changed them and killed off their major predators.
So yeah…what?! It’s not a good enough reason, and I wanted to let it go but to me it doesn’t make sense for them to be in the story.
Also, the main character is able to slow down time. The problem is that her power is actually so so so boring. She doesn’t even use it with perfection, as if she just got it, when that is a false statement. I mean, she SLOWS DOWN TIME. She doesn’t stop it. If she were like Piper in the Charmed TV show, then I would have liked her power and her at the same time probably much much more.
The writing was good but the dialogs didn’t feel natural. And we don’t get a lot of personal information or memories about Kai when that is normally how I get to connect with the main character and get invested in her story…so I didn’t. At first, yes, but then it slowly slipped away.
Finally, I think it could get better, as for the sequel being better. It has potential, if only the world-building was more detailed, the romance more present, Kai’s powers evolved to a point where she can do many other things with ‘time’ and if it had more action.
If those things really are applied to the sequel, I probably would enjoy it more than this one.
Oh and, please, a more coherent explanation for the gargoyles’ existence because now I just want them to be exterminated and make a forgetting potion so everyone would forget about them so it feels like they never existed so the world-building makes more sense.
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