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Mist & Whispers (The Weaver's Riddle) Paperback – October 26, 2016
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"The Weaver's Riddle is a fast-paced, glorious rainbow of a Young Adult fantasy. It strikes at the heart and stays with you long after you've turned the final page." Esther Dalseno, Best selling author of Drown.
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Anya is our hero, she is a sixteen year old orphan who is about to go on the adventure of her life in order to save a book shop that she loves so much. By the way I love it when a character loves books as much as I do, I feel like they are a kindred spirit.
One day these really old books are found and they get published. The world goes crazy the Weaver series, think a Harry Potter situation. During this time the book shop that Anya works at and is so in love with is closing because they just aren't getting the business. Somehow (I can't really remember) Anya knows that there are more books that haven't been found so she drags her friends on this journey and what they find is totally unexpected. They are transported to a new world that has magic and gods and fly horses (the don't actually say Pegasus but the horses are Pegasus).
Anya has a strong and feisty personality that I love. Even though she is little she doesn't let anyone boss her around. She is fiercely loyal to her friends and she wants to do right by the people that she encounters and you have to admire the goodness in a person like that. Along for the ride is her ex-boyfriend Micheal who can be a nasty piece of work sometime, Steph (her co-worker) who is light-hearted and carefree and her boyfriend Tim who is the brains in this group. All of who fight to save a kingdom from this evil darkness, making friends on the way and trying to find a way back home.
Overall 4.5 stars
There is fighting (trying to save a kingdom after all) and Anya kicks ass, there is mystery, danger and magic at every turn. Friends are made and lost and Anya finds a power in herself that she didn't know she had. What's waiting next for the group...well I really can't say. All I know is I will be getting the next Weaver's book when it comes out because with an ending like the one Mist & Whispers had, I have to find out what happens next.
I'm still in the process of reading it and can't wait to write a full review on this book. I would definitely recommend this book to readers that love the fantasy and magic genre.
Story starts out very strongly, in fact the first several chapters are the best written of the book. Anya's character starts off very clear and she begins as a sympathetic MC.
On the down side
Once the action moves from England to Virtfirth, the characters deteriorate badly. Anya loses her strength of character, starts whining a lot and not using her brain. Anya and Steph are constantly portrayed as screamers. They wail and cry and carry on whenever things get hard. Really? That wasn't who Anya was in the beginning of the story--in fact she tended to quietly take charge in emergencies-- so why is Lucas turning her into a sniveling girlie?
The whole story arc in which General Faust decides he hates Anya and the soldiers immediately split into two groups, the ones who like him and who ridicule Anya and try to hurt or kill her, and the ones who support Anya and friends is just ridiculous and unbelievable. First off, it's impossible to believe that Anya would resort to calling General Faust, 'Fausty,' no matter how unfair he's being to her. She's not in middle school, and he's old enough to be her father or grandfather. Up to this point, Anya has never treated older people with disrespect, no matter how difficult or condescending they are, so why would she start now? And the things he says to and about her are such cardboard villain speeches that it's hard to take him seriously. It's also unbelievable to me that all these soldiers in the king's army would openly attack someone the king has said is so important both to him and to the fate of the kingdom. Again, more a middle school dynamic than an adult one. Adults tend to be much less puerile and direct, especially adults who've led armies for decades.
Then there are these odd moments when Anya stops whinging about how incompetent she is, gets angry and suddenly has superhuman strength or magic out of nowhere. She just shifts instantly from whiner to bully, and Lucas doesn't even try to provide a reason, so it makes no sense.
Michael's character also acts much younger than he ought to be. If he were always as self-absorbed as Lucas writes him, there would be no reason for Anya to have been attracted to him in the first place. It's also not clear how old he actually is. If he's in high school, maybe that's one thing, but I got the impression that he's more in Steph and Tim's age group, so why was it okay for him to start going out with Anya when she was fifteen? (Lucas says they were together a year, and Anya's not yet seventeen when the story opens). The relationship seems questionable at best, and Anya even suspects that Michael wasn't supposed to come to Virtfirth, and that he or his presence might be problematic.
Too much of the story is poorly done, from the inconsistent characters to the cardboard villains to the standard riddle quest tropes. The book may be written for a younger audience, but that doesn't excuse Lucas's making her older characters act like middle schoolers.