Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Foretold by Raine Thomas

Title: Foretold
Series: Daughters of Saraqael
Author: Raine Thomas
Previous Books in Series: Becoming, Central
Rating: 3.5 stars
Length: 8310 Kindle units

Refresher: A set of half-human, half-Estilorian (read: kind of like angels) triplets transcend to a higher plane where they must teach their Estilorian kin about the importance of emotions

Becoming was the first book I ever reviewed for my blog, and I was iffy about whether I wanted to read more of the series. Eventually I decided that I may as well, mostly because I was desperate for more sequel material. I have to confess, though, that it was really a struggle for me to get through Foretold, not because it was bad so much as it was just implausibly happy all the time.

Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors, but I hate reading the last books in her series because I know she is going to wrap everything up in an unbelievably happy way where the bad guys realize that they have always been wrong and all the good characters marry their soulmates. Reading the Daughters of Saraqael series is like reading a Meg Cabot ending all the time.  Foretold basically tells the story of how Amber, Olivia, and Skye travel through the Estilorian realm and demonstrate to all the different classes how awesome they are at everything after just a few months training. About a third of the way through the book there was some brief drama involving torture, but then we were right back to weddings and teambuilding softball games. (Until the giant battle at the end.)

My other issue with the book comes from the English major part of me that likes to step back and look at the underlying themes of a book. Lots of people like to play this game with the Twilight series – popular messages there are that you should try to kill yourself if a boy leaves you and that it’s okay if he hurts you so long as he doesn’t really mean it. But Twilight also had at least one good message in it, which is that even if you are obsessively in love with someone, you aren’t going to agree on everything. Several times in the books Bella and Edward have to reach compromises when they both want different things.

That message is totally not present in the Daughters of Saraqael series. Once the girls and their bodyguards decide they are in love with each other, they get married almost immediately and then cease to have any problems whatsoever. I’m probably forgetting a few things, but I can only think of one time in Foretold where the girls disagreed with their husbands at all. For the most part, the six members of the family magically get along with no conflict.

This is not what most disturbs me about the novel, though. By the time we reach the end of the trilogy, the girls have been out of high school somewhere between 6 months and a year. In this time, the three girls have learned they are higher beings and transcended to a higher realm where their new bodies are completely identical. They have also all gotten married – two of them to boys that they met after their high school graduation – and are pregnant. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that married and pregnant a year outside of high school was the ultimate goal of most of the girls in my graduating class. And I’m not thinking that we should be holding them up as role models.

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