Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Review of The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
Title/Author: The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze
Publisher/Date published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 1st 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads summary: "Happily ever after is a thing of the past.
A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.
When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year-old Princess Eliza manages to escape.
Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope — and to love — once more. Now she must risk everything to ensure that she not become... The Last Princess."
So you know how I have a slight obsession with anything to do with English royalty right? And I'm a huge fan of dystopians/post-apocalyptic novels and don't even get me started on princesses. So I read the summary for The Last Princess by Galaxy Craze and went: NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!!!
And seriously, how awesome is that penname? I assume it's a penname. Right?
But I'm sad to report to you all it has left me feeling... disappointed.
While reading The Last Princess, I found myself actually asking myself if I could have a wonky e-ARC, because it genuinely felt like I was missing pages. Like information that should have been there had been chopped away to make the book shorter. But I don't think my e-ARC was significantly different from the finished version based on what I've heard other people say about it.
I felt like I was floundering around in this story, everything seemed to be happening at once and there was no time to just take a breath and focus on what happened or to get to know the characters or even to figure out how much time had actually passed. I was lost. And I don't like feeling lost while I'm reading a book.
One thing I always try to take away from any book I read is a sense of the identity of the main character. After finishing The Last Princess, I'm still not entirely certain what I should say of Eliza's. And that's a big problem to me, because it's her story and I should have gotten a feel for her as a person. The same goes for her love interest. I should be able to describe him as more than just his physical qualities.
And then there's the romance. While I usually cheer at any romance added in a story and though I can enjoy a book without it, I'm always more happy when it's there. This time it was not the case. I just didn't work for me. I mean, seriously, you cannot tell me that after being together for the GIGANTIC PORTION OF TIME OF ONE DAY that they're in love and defying all to be together?? No. Just no.
For all you sensitive souls out there, a warning: there is a lot of violence and cruelty and if you are particularly prone to staring openmouthed at animal cruelty (like I am), be doubly warned. At one point I found myself going: when will they just stop hurting animals??? This is not meant as a negative point, but it's just something that I thought should be mentioned.
The cruelty of the army of this 'ruthless revolutionary' (which he is, ruthless I mean) is mindblowing and crazy and I would have liked a bit more of an explanation for it all, how did it start? Why are people following him and acting this way? TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE SEVENTEEN DAYS! Because that's apparantly what started it all, color me interested.
Also: **SPOILER, LIGHT UP TO READ**
With all the killing going on, I thought some of the miraculous survivals were a bit convenient. I mean, I could have handled either Polly or Mary surviving that last fight, but both seemed a bit too much seeing as they both seemed pretty mortally wounded. They had to look EVERYWHERE to find antibiotics when Eliza got tetanus, how did they manage to fix these girls up? And Caligula, how actually does a horse survive a lance in the side?
The premise of The Last Princess has me all excited, flailing around, going this could have been SO good! But I would have just liked if there had been, well, a bit MORE of everything. More getting to know the characters so I could start to care about all the horrific things happening, a little more time to fall in love with the love interest and for the romance to develop, more backstory. More actually reading about what was happening when now chunks of time just passed and all I had to show for it was 'two weeks passed, it was horrible'. Because that just didn't work so well for me.
I always enjoy a good sibling relationship and I adored the little brother, all amazing endearing boyness of him. I originally thought this would be a standalone, but the ending has me thinking that it will be a series. Does anyone know anything about it? I'm curious to see if a sequel will answer the many, MANY questions I still have.
So while The Last Princess wasn't exactly what I wanted from it when I started reading it, I'm still considering picking up a sequel (assuming there will be one) to see if it manages to live up to the potential of this premise.
My rating: 2 stars