Read 158 out of 336
Received: ARC via NetGalley
This is a review for the third book in a series. DO NOT read this review if you haven't read the series. It won't make sense and it may even spoil things.
Haven't read the series yet? Check out my review for the first book The False Prince, which I still HIGHLY recommend.
Ok, so I'm barfing my emotions all over this review, and, like all barf, it ain't pretty.
It breaks my heart to DNF this book. I adored The False Prince. Sage was that perfect combination of cheeky and stealthy. The plot was brisk and always kept me on my toes wondering what Sage was really up to. Everything came together perfectly.
That is so NOT the case in The Shadow Throne. Where is the magic, wit, and cleverness? Why must I turn to words like "contrived," "silly," "predictable," and "illogical"??
Sage may have been awesome, but when he turned himself into a prince and got himself another name (Jaron?! I'm still not adjusting) he became a Mary Sue of epic proportions.
EVERYONE just loooooves Jaron. Everyone, that is, except me. See, Sage made me love him. Jaron just milks the memory of Sage without doing anything to make me like him, let alone love him. I actually found myself getting irritated with his stupid choices.
His antics are boring and juvenile. Jaron is an unreliable narrator, so of course he's going to pull some big twist out when we all least expect it! And knowing that really sucks any tension or peril right out of the story. I couldn't help my yawns and total lack of care whenever the "high stakes" were mentioned..again, and again, and again (how about a little more "show" and a little less "tell," hmmmkay?).
Plus, I mean, yeah, I get it, this is The War Book. I don't need to be reminded every other page. It's supposed to be epic and filled with awesomeness and danger, yada, yada. The war has only been dangled in front of me for the past two books, so I'm fully aware that it's Finally Here (and, yep, still ticked off by the detour that was The Runaway King).
Except it's all finally here and I could not care less. Characters I used to care about elicited not even the smallest of emotional responses. Mostly because it didn't feel like I was reading about the characters I loved but rather cardboard imposters.
It's like eating Domino's pizza when you've had proper NY pizza. It's so far from what it should be that the disappointing experience doesn't even warrant an emotional investment beyond mild disgust. It's so inherently lacking.
Plus, look, I get it, war is not pretty. Personally, I don't want to be in a war. But I DO like reading about wars. Reading about wars can be all action and battle and swords and fun stuff like that. So I really don't want to read a book about a war—a war for which, mind you, I have been wiggling in my seat in anticipation for the past two years—just to have Jaron yap on and on about how war is bad and stuff.
Sure he blew stuff up, and that was nice and all. I guess. But between all of Jaron's heel dragging combined with the totally incongruous and improbable Home Alone kiddie escapades, I just...I could not get into this.
The False Prince was fantastic. I could give that book to adults and make them YA converts. The Shadow Throne isn't going to win any converts.
The bar was set high with The False Prince. The Shadow Throne doesn't even come close.
Well, I know I'm in the minority here. Does the ending justify picking it up again?