Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Central by Raine Thomas

Title: Central
Series: Daughters of Saraqael
Author: Raine Thomas
Previous Books in Series: Becoming
Rating: 4 stars
Length: 5970 Kindle units (includes preview for next book)

Refresher:  Amber and her newly discovered triplet sisters learn that their father was the member of a race called Estilorians. They must travel to an alternate plane before their uncontrollable otherworldly powers destroy the earth.

Becoming was the first book I ever reviewed, and at the time I was iffy about whether I wanted to read more in the series. But now that I have committed to reviewing a sequel every seven days, I decided I would go back and read Central and Foretold, the other two books in the trilogy. The series focuses on a set of triplets, so you will be unsurprised that the first book was about Amber, the oldest, and Central is about her middle sister Olivia, while Foretold will focus on the youngest, Skye. The book covers and hair of the three girls are even color-coded!

There is a lot that is good in this series, and I liked Central more than I liked Becoming. The first book had to get through a lot of bizarre mythology to do with transitioning between planes, which got kind of creepy with them leaving dead bodies behind. And, really, it’s still best if you don’t think too much about the details of the mythology (I’m still confused as to why Gabriel was able to travel between the planes at all), but on the surface it’s interesting. The Estilorians are a race of “higher” beings who live on another plane, but they have found that they have lost their capacity for emotion. Thus, they are looking to the half-human sisters to reintroduce them to feelings, which seem to spread from the girls like a kind of virus. Meanwhile, there is a subset of bad Estilorians who think they are superior to humans, and they hope Amber, Olivia, and Skye can help them travel back to Earth, where they can live as gods. Clearly defeating them is on our list of priorities. Ooh, or maybe reintegrating them back into society in an unbelievably sappy Lifetime-original-movie-type way.

In terms of bad things, I would say that my biggest complaint is that the love stories are a little bit too sickly sweet to be especially satisfying. There really isn’t any romantic conflict. Olivia’s only romance option is James, and he’s not even anti-love or, like, emotionally scarred or anything. He’s just part of a race that is not used to feeling emotions at all, so he just has to figure out what he’s experiencing. Other than that, the book was a little boring, mostly made up of the sisters training than any kind of plot, and I think quiet, studious Olivia is the least interesting of the sisters. But overall, I have read many worse things in my time.

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