Monday, October 8, 2012

Borne by K.A. Tomasovich

Title: Borne
Series: Fireborne
Author: K.A. Tomasovich
Length: 2734 Kindle units
Rating: 4 stars

The Plot

After the deaths of her parents, Marija and her brother Matt go to live in New Jersey with a grandmother they’ve never met and a strange cousin Jakov they’ve never heard of. As she adjusts to living under “The Dragon’s” rules, Marija notices strange things happening around the house: Jakov disappearing in the night, the howling of strange animals, and news of a dead aunt she never knew existed. And through it all she has strangely realistic dreams of flying over the land at night…

The Good

Overall, Borne was a well-written story that kept my attention throughout. Marija’s story as she deals with the deaths of her parents and adjusting to a new living environment are compelling. She remains a likable heroine as she struggles with her grandmother’s strict rules and the cruelty of the girls at school. I found myself interested in the strange things that were going on in her home and wondering how they all fit together, and her relationship with her only friend Cayne was interesting and compelling.

The Bad

It’s kind of a given with teenagers in stories, but sometimes Marija seemed very unreasonable. She seemed determined to focus on her grandmother’s bad qualities and was uninterested in giving her credit for the good things. When mysterious things began happening around her, instead of asking her grandmother about them, she complained that her grandmother was keeping secrets. In most of these cases, someone did point out to her that she was jumping to conclusions, but she didn’t take this to heart as well as she might have.

I also felt that the ending to the book was kind of rushed. Borne was quite short, and I felt like we got the mystery part in great detail but that the part where we got the answers was very short. The big reveal of who the villain was seemed to come out of nowhere, particularly because I wasn’t that aware that there was a villain to be looking for. I imagine that we will get more details regarding the mythology in the second and third books, but I would have liked to have it made a bit clearer here.

The Romance

As in so many young adult books, when Marija arrives in her new town, she immediately meets the most striking boy she has ever seen. As is uncommon in YA books, Cayne is the ugliest and scariest person Marija has ever met. She nonetheless manages to get over her fear of him, and they become friends, to the point that she no longer notices how unattractive he is and finds features like his eyes pretty. This is, of course, reminiscent of Kelley Armstrong, where all leading males are ugly or sociopaths or both! Nonetheless, it is nice to see characters who defy the stereotype of “most beautiful boy in world” and “girl who does not know she is beautiful.”

That said, there isn’t actually any romance between Marija and Cayne in Borne. So it’s entirely possible she’s going to meet the most perfect boy in the world in the second book. And he will insist that she is beautiful, and they will leave Cayne behind. But that would make me kind of sad.

Will I read more?

I don’t have any strong feelings about whether I read any more of the series. Borne was interesting enough, and it read smoothly. However, at no point did I find myself getting totally drawn into the story. I felt like it could have been any other young adult book with mysterious family secrets. This isn’t necessarily bad, because I like young adult books, but there was nothing about it that stood out as remarkable about it. I didn’t find myself thinking about it when I was away or anxious to get back to it, and when I picked it up each night, it was a brief struggle to remind myself of what I had already read. So Borne was good, well-written, and compelling enough, but I don’t think there would be any skin off my back were I not to read any more.

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