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War of the Seasons: The Human Paperback – June 8, 2011
"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
About the Author
Janine K. Spendlove is a KC-130 pilot in the United States Marine Corps. In the Science Fiction and Fantasy World she is primarily known for her best-selling trilogy, War of the Seasons. She has several short stories published in various speculative fiction anthologies, to include Time Traveled Tales, Athena’s Daughters, and War Stories. Janine is also a member of Women in Aerospace (WIA), BroadUniverse, and is a co-founder of GeekGirlsRun, a community for geek girls (and guys) who just want to run, share, have fun, and encourage each other. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Janine loves pugs, enjoys knitting, making costumes, playing Beatles tunes on her guitar, and spending time with her family. She resides with her husband and daughter in Eastern North Carolina. She is currently at work on her next novel. Find out more at JanineSpendlove.com.
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Top customer reviews
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With Story, her heroine, I thought Spendlove did a good job of striking a balance between believable and heroic—she’s strong and decisive while retaining her vulnerabilities. She's struggling to deal with and accept unfamiliar and often dangerous elements of this new world while also carrying the weight of a traumatic loss. Her soon to be partner-in-crime, Eirnin, is also a fun character and the snarky but respectful relationship they develop as the book continues is one of its more enjoyable elements.
Soon after her arrival in this strange world, trouble finds Story in the form of not-so-mischievous fairies and a rather unfriendly elf. She’s soon off on a quest to discover why parts of this world (and her strange dreams) feel so familiar, making allies and getting entangled in the world’s problems while dealing with an antagonist of the most insidious sort— Morrigann, Prince of the Fairies. As the chief obstacle on her journey, Morrigann is both seductive and dangerous, and I liked that he had clear reasons for opposing Story. From the perspective of the fairies, Morrigann might even be a hero, and that’s always a sign of a good antagonist. He often shows restraint when opposing her and is even, in some cases, sympathetic.
There’s also a good bit of romance in this book, and Story (as one would expect with a young woman inexperienced with love) does spend a decent amount of internal dialogue debating the merits of drawbacks of a relationship with a particular boy. This is another area where I thought Spendlove struck a good balance. The object of Story’s affections is on her mind quite a bit, a common element of YA fiction, but never in a way that mitigates or sidelines her as the heroine. Story remains the person driving her tale, an equal partner in her budding romance without ever being defined by it.
My subjective critique would be that there were several places in the story where I felt Story’s role in defeating the threats that faced her was too passive. I wish she could have done more to help herself rather than needing to be rescued. While it is realistic that someone faced with unfamiliar dangers would fall victim to them, I still wanted Story to have a larger hand in saving herself on several occasions. While this did not detract from my enjoyment of the book, I did think these were missed opportunities for Story to shine and do something heroic and clever. I would have liked to see her save herself as an active member of her team of her allies, rather than being reliant on their efforts alone.
The only other issue I encountered was the naming convention for the elves, which play a large role in the book. Many of their names start with the same combination of letters (Ei, Ea, etc) and I found it difficult to tell them apart at a glance, especially in scenes where there were many on a page. While Eirnin stood out (being a central character) I believe I would have had an easier time differentiating among the elves if their names weren't so similar. Characters intended to contrast instead blended together in my mind, forcing me to stop and check to make sure I understood who they were.
As the first book in a trilogy, The Human does conclude with a very obvious set up for the next book--but I still feel the central conflict was resolved to my satisfaction. As a trilogy introduction should, it reads like a complete story. Story is far more connected to this strange world than she realizes at first, and I liked how these reveals occurred and enjoyed the additional layers they added to the book. Finally, I really liked the importance of Story's family connections, which played a big part both in her existing motivations and in driving her journey. This is a fun book and I look forward to reading the next.
Fast forward to MidSouthCon, and Janine, and more copies of this novel, and I didn't hesitate to buy one.
I got home on a Sunday and had this read by Wednesday or Thursday - I can't remember the last time I couldn't put a book down. Had I known it was this good, I'd've arm-wrestled my friend for the last copy back in October.
So, the story centers around a girl named Story. Her family is dead, she has one friend, and they go exploring a cave one day when she disappears. The next thing she knows, Josh is gone and she's in some mystical world dealing with all sorts of creatures that only existed in legends and fairytales.
All she wants to do is go home, but she soon realizes that she has a greater purpose there, and decides she's up for the task. And, while she's at it, she may have done a fool thing like fall in love.
Not only is Janine an amazing writer (no matter what I do, my sentences will never be as beautiful as hers), but she has a knack for giving us enough details - but not too many - so that we can visualize these places, understand these people, and get lost in it.
No, she's not perfect. I need to admit, I'm not a big romance fan, and there were lots of moments where I really wanted them to get on with it already and get to Ailionara like they needed to. And then they'd kiss. Again. *sigh*
Also, there were a lot of things I wanted to know, but the limited point of view stopped us from knowing - for instance, what was Josh doing all this time? Eventually she tried to get him a message, but we don't know if it got through, and it was too little too late (way near the end of the story).
Plus, there was a naming trend of everything starting with the same letter depending on what type of creature or place it was. There were times that I had to stop for a sec and differentiate in my head who we were talking about. At another time, a couple people were being called by a different name, and I wished there had been an explanation. (Later, I think it turned out to be a clan name, but at the time, I had wondered if there was something about the dual names that we didn't know.)
Still, the pros greatly outweigh the cons and I would recommend this book to anybody who reads fantasy, YA, or romance, and I can't wait to get the second in the series.
The second book to this series is to be released this month, i will read it mainly because I am curious to see how the author could possibly continue this story line.
Overall though this was a quick read, nothing memorable but something light and fluffy. I believe its less then $5 in the kindle store so you get what you pay for.
Most recent customer reviews
I love :D it was amazing and I think Anyone will love the different world