Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ravenstoke by Augusta Blythe

Title: Ravenstoke
Series: Universe Unbound
Author: Augusta Blythe
Previous Books in Series: Winterborne
Rating: 3.5 stars
Length: 3702 Kindle units

Note: This review is going to contain a LOT of spoilers from Winterborne, because there really is no other way to describe it. So if you don’t want Winterborne spoilers, stop reading now.

Refresher & Spoilers: Best friends Loie and Mia anxiously await their shared 17th birthday because Mia will gain supernatural powers. Except in the end we find out that they were switched at birth, and Loie is really the one with the powers. Also, Andreas, the boy they both like, chooses Mia.

I must confess that I was very disappointed in Ravenstoke. I really liked Winterborne; it was so emotionally powerful that it actually made me cry! My friend who read it said that he felt like it wasn’t a complete book, but I saw it as the reader really wanting another one at the end. Either way, the story seemed like it was only the beginning. So, of course, when I finished it, I downloaded Ravenstoke right away!

I think that what the reader definitely wants most from Ravenstoke is a love interest for Loie. Andreas is great and all, but his entire attitude is “No, Loie, I see you as the wonderful person you are, not just as Mia’s shadow. But I love her and not you.” And that, of course, is freaking depressing. So we are happy when Cian shows up and has no interest in Mia. Except the entire relationship between Loie and Cian happens pretty fast without nearly enough explanation of what goes on between “Wow, he’s a cocky jerk” and “OMG, I think I love him.” What happened to the emotional depth I loved so much in Winterborne?

The entire plot of the book is weird too, consisting largely of Loie skipping out on her class trip to England and traveling around with Andreas as they try to achieve something that really isn’t clear. At least, it’s not clear why Loie needs to be there at all, or why Mia can’t be. And when they get back to the states and reach the ultimate climactic moment in the book… Yeah, I had to go back and check if I missed a trigger or something because I still have no idea what sparked it or what, if anything, the resolution meant. Except that Loie has the power to do literally anything she wants, which seems to me like it reflects insufficient consideration of the mythology.

I have definitely read worse books in my time. But while Winterborne had me desperate to read more in the series, Ravenstoke leaves me wondering if I should bother. I might stick around for a third installment, but if the next book is not an improvement on this one, I probably won’t be picking up the fourth.

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