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|Length: 327 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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Top customer reviews
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My Thoughts: Sometimes I think I read sci-fi/fantasy books because I wish it was all real. Therefore, I love reading books about people with supernatural abilities because I wish I had supernatural abilities. I could do without the drama though. As soon as I read the blurb for Outshine on Netgalley, I requested it.
Obviously I was interested in the story. Although I have to admit that it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. I got bored quite a bit, which was disappointing. All in all the concept was really cool, but the execution didn’t quite hit the mark. There were parts of the story that just moved too fast, almost like the author got excited and couldn’t write the story fast enough.
The characters left a lot to be desired. Too many of them weren’t even likable. Actually, the only character I truly liked was Gabe. Jessa was annoying and just when I thought I might like her, her annoyance ramped itself up another degree. Gabe’s brother, Watts, was an a**hole (that’s really the perfect word to describe him). Pretty much all of the adults were ridiculous caricatures of actual people (I hope to never meet someone who psychotic).
I suppose you could compare Outshine to X-Men, but I personally wouldn’t because that would only spawn disappointment. I really don’t like comparisons because Outshine is its own book, but in a very generalized way X-Men meets Brave New World really is the best comparison for what to expect (or maybe that’s a really weird comparison).
Overall, I enjoyed Outshine. I had a lot of problems with it, but I did like it. It is a stand-alone, which I appreciated. In the end, I would not recommend Outshine (except on a case-by-case basis).
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The novel is told from Gabe and Jessa’s alternating points of view, which helps to hear the stark difference in their approach to everyday life and their existence. Gabe is usually gloomy, having suffered from his “allergy” all his life and from his brother’s not-so-friendly abuse over the years. Jessa is a strong-willed girl, who is difficult to like, unless you are in high school and want to her best friends to be popular. The story certainly gains insight into the inner workings of these characters due to the first person narration, but as always, there are some drawbacks; some parts seem like a lot of telling, and not much showing. Still, the dialog is smart and snappy for the most part, and this is important, because the plot depends heavily on dialog.
The supporting characters could have been fleshed out more, especially Jessa’s stepfather, who just seems like a cardboard stand-in for the typical bad guy from any bad Hollywood film. It is also very difficult to imagine that Gabe and Watson’s mother knew about them, and allowed her husband to “experiment” on her children. Perhaps this would be a lot more believable, if this character was developed further.
When the big plot is revealed, I have to say I could not disagree with much of what Deacon is saying. Yes, humans will destroy Earth and Nature. Yes, they will cause lots of pain and suffering. I guess, I am always surprised that someone who feels so strongly about this does not think humans deserve it. I suppose, he believes humans deserve it, but Earth and Nature don’t deserve such horrendous treatment. But then why try to make new humans to re-populate the saved Earth? That part makes no sense to me, but I understand that it is a valid human reaction to the destruction of Nature. The combination of environmentalist discourse with eugenics-like “science” is creepy.
The one thing that I thought I would not like in this book was the romance. I am not a romance reader, and I don’t care much for teenage drama. But Decker does a good job of keeping the novel focused not on the romance, but on the inevitable chain of events, which make or break the romance. In the end, Jessa and Gabe find themselves primed for a major heartbreak, which I am willing to bet, is yet to come. But the complexity of their relationship builds throughout the book in a way that is organic and smartly done.
All in all, Outshine is a great, fast-paced read. I’ll definitely read the sequel.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital copy of the book in exchange of my honest review.
Most recent customer reviews
Outshine was such a fun and entertaining story to read with likable characters, a solid plot,...Read more
**I received a review copy from the author via Sage's Blog Tours**
A realistic and fresh new...Read more