Top critical review
Honest Review of an Entertaining Read
April 28, 2018
So I enjoy the author's YouTube channel quite a bit and then I bought her first book and ...yeah I was not a fan but I decided to give this book a chance because I enjoy fantasy and the premise sounded interesting. I was pleasantly surprised by this book, it has lots of flaws in my opinion but it had good pacing, good structure, and I read it really fast because I was actually pretty entertained.
Plot: I think this was probably the strongest aspect of the book except that you could see the twist coming from a mile away. I saw that some people were complaining about the lack of world building but it didn't bother me too much. I mean...imagine yourself in a Roman/Greek world and I think you'll be okay.
Dialogue: Oh man, this was probably my least favorite part of the book and the reason for my 3 stars instead of 4. It sounded very unnatural to me and the author repeated the word "cock" so many times I don't want to ever read the word again...or at least for a few weeks. There are other words you can use to describe that feature...anyways another surprising word that annoyed me was "sour". One of the characters calls Tobias or describes him as sour SO MANY TIMES. Once was more than enough.
Another thing I thought was weird was they said "God" sooooo much. The region considered the Savior their god or at least that was my understanding and the author even capitalized She and Her every time someone was referring to the Savior so why are they saying God all the time? I mean it's a lot...almost every page and it was kind of confusing.
Another thing that bothered me and it's minor was that the men in the tournament talked about how handsome each other were all the time and it was kind of strange? It was the "straight" characters that were doing it too and just like casually calling each other handsome. I don't know... none of my guy friends or my husband talks like that but whatever.
Overall, the dialogue was pretty cringy IMO.
Characters: Hmmm this one is hard because I didn't hate any of the ones we were supposed to like. I did think Tobias came across as a little too "perfect" at times...I mean he's handsome (all the guys say so!), a sensitive artist, brave, has a good sense of humor, smart, strong and stands up for the little people! His flaw...uhhh he can't fight? But then he can! Oh and sometime he wears a SOUR expression. He was easy to root for but he just wasn't super engaging either. I liked him but didn't love him. Leila was kind of the same as Tobias. The side characters were fine. She had a lot of diversity and I thought the author handled it well. The antagonists probably could have used some more character building ...they kind of seemed like they were bad just to be bad but maybe there will be more explanation in the second book.
Let's talk about what I liked most and that is the challenges . They were really well written and suspenseful. I enjoyed them the most
The romance scenes were nice and steamy even though I wasn't totally in love with the romance itself.
I think this book could have been much better if the characters would have been developed a little better, a little more work on the world building , and A LOT of work on the dialogue.
I heard the second book is going to be the exact same book but from Leila's perspective? I really hope not...because I was actually interested in reading the next installment but I'm not sure how I feel about that...maybe if it's just the first quarter of the book and the rest of the book moves the plot along...I don't know . I'll see how I feel in a year.
Overall, the author has significantly improved, I think her hard work showed , and she should be proud. Just needs to work on a few things but apparently a lot of people adored this book so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about..which might be true .