Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halfway by Stephanie Void

Title: Halfway
Series: Wizards and Faeries
Author: Stephanie Void
Length: 1938 Kindle units
Rating: 3 stars

The Plot

Cemagna and Temet grew up with their mother Nessy in a house on a cliff, never interacting with others. But then one day Temet develops the ability to do magic and is taken away to live with the wizards. Desperate to keep her child, Nessy races to reclaim him but dies in the process, leaving Cemanga alone. Ten years later, Cemanga finally has the opportunity to seek out her brother, but she doesn’t realize that the magic in her blood can attract nefarious enemies.

The Good

Halfway had some interesting mythology in it. Cemanga and Temet are half human and half faerie, which means that they have the potential for greater magic powers than pure humans. The children grow up naïve of not only the value of their magic but also their own background and human society as a whole, so they cannot fathom all the things that unscrupulous men will want to use them for. These lessons are hard learned for them as they come to find out that, even when they cannot locate one another, the only people they can trust are each other.

The Bad

Halfway was very short. Short is not bad in and of itself, if the story can be adequately captured in such a space. Unfortunately, I feel that Halfway needed to be a lot more fleshed out than it was. I felt like the beginning of the book was going along all right, with Cemagna and Temet’s childhood. But then suddenly we skipped ahead 10 years, during which time nothing happened to Cemanga and a whole lot happened to Temet. Consequently, I was uninterested in Cemanga's boring life and didn’t know enough to be interested in Temet’s. So when a few exciting and climactic things happen to each of them, I haven’t had quite the proper build up to appreciate them. I feel like I read the beginning of a book and the end of a book but completely skipped the middle.

The Romance

So I have this joke that in my reviews, a rating of 3 stars means “At no point did the book make me want to kill myself.” This is clearly an exaggeration, as I have read a number of truly awful books without any suicidal tendencies. A more accurate description would be that 3 stars means “At no point did the book make me want to cry into my pillow.” And though I give Halfway 3 stars, I confess that the romance did have me pretty close to tears.

Cemagna doesn’t meet her love interest until over halfway through the book. She spends about two days with him, and then suddenly they are risking everything for the sake of their love. I of course have a rule that couples should not be doing over-the-top things for each other after only knowing each other three days, and Halfway is another demonstration of why that doesn’t work.

Will I read more?

Halfway didn’t really inspire any particular interest in me, so I most likely will not be picking up the next book in the series.

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