Monday, May 4, 2015

Review of Starborn by Lucy Hounsom

Title/Author: Starborn (The Worldmaker Trilogy #1) by Lucy Hounsom
Publisher/Date published: Tor UK, April 23rd 2015
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository

Goodreads summary: Death and destruction will bar her way...

Kyndra's fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age - powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.

Together, they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man's terrifying response. She'll learn more in the city's subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.

If she survives the ordeal, she'll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?

I was so hoping I'd love this, cause it sounded awesome, I mean, I'm all for characters going on a journey and learning about school and hidden powers and just yes, ok? I have a soft spot for this type of story. But sadly, it didn't fully work for me.

Starborn is a pretty big book, it was over 400 pages on my e-reader. And they were in teeny-tiny script cause my e-reader can't handle pdf for some reason (SO ANNOYING), so I really needed this to be interesting, cause there was a big investment as to squinty eyes and time. And it was really interesting at first, I mean, Kyndra basically destroys a relic of her hometown by accident and almost gets killed by an angry mob after that. So she flees and there is all this secrecy from the two people who rescued her from said angry mob about their powers and I kinda wanted to shake them and have them tell her what the heck was going on because UGH, you're taking her to a place where she's going to get all these answers, why not fill her in on the way and not blindside her? But yeah, I was intrigued, because this Starborn is a whole different class of Wielder and I think everyone will be able to guess that's what Kyndra is, so I don't think that counts as a spoiler. I mean, it's pretty much staring you in the face.

By the time we got the Naris, the secret Wielder city, things started going South for me. I mean, up until that time I was doing ok with Kyndra, we were bonding a bit and then she goes and does something that was so incredibly WTF-ish, I can't even. I mean, she's assaulted by three students (ok, one mostly watched, but still, you're just as guilty in my opinion), even sexually assaulted and then the next minute she's best friends with them? I mean, WTF? SERIOUSLY??? How are you going to trust these people who were mean and vicious and all of a sudden I'm supposed to believe they're actually really good people? I mean, WHAT?? Are you out of your mind? Report it and move on to people who won't attack you. There was not even so much as a real apology.
And then she's crushing on this dude that makes me go ewww, why you so annoying? I mean, he's obviously sketchy, I don't care if he's pretty, there's a reason the two good people in your life, who rescued you, don't like him. Grow a brain or something.

I did think that the magic system was pretty interesting, with there being two types of Wielders who aren't all powerful, cause their powers are controlled by either the sun or the moon and so the different parts of the day are their strengths and weaknesses. That was pretty cool. And I would have loved seeing Kyndra develop her power gradually and learn through trial and error. Instead we went from zero to ALL OF THE POWER and knowing how to control it in about 2 seconds. Yeah, I'm not digging that. And I know that there's a reason for that, but it's not one that I particularly enjoy and feels like it's a bit too convenient. I mean, wow, previous Starborns couldn't do it and she can when she's just gotten into her powers? Just. No.

Something that I did like were Kyndra's two rescuers. They were SUCH interesting characters and the relationship between them was just YES! SHIPPING IT! There's all this history and longing and just I'm in. When one or both of them were present I was very much enjoying reading Starborn, preferably with an absent Kyndra, but I'll take what I can get.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'm disappointed by this book. It could have been so much better than it was and there were just too many things that annoyed me.

My rating: 2 stars

1 comment:

  1. Very entertaining! The opening chapters have a familiar Wheel of Time feel, but then Starborn quickly finds its own path full of new and exciting places, characters, and fantasy elements. It also does a great job of keeping the reader guessing at different characters' motives, and who can or can't be trusted.

    Definitely recommend!

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