on March 1st 2018
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The one question that kept spinning around in my mind as I read Furyborn is “why should I care?” I didn’t like the characters, the story almost put me to sleep, the stakes were never high enough to get my blood pumping, and the sex scenes made me laugh (not in a good way). I dislike giving one star but there was literally nothing I enjoyed about this book.
It’s just too long, poorly-paced and oh so very boring. I feel like the author tried to channel Throne of Glass, which is also too long, poorly-paced and occasionally boring, but it still manages to somehow keep me interested. I need to break my notes down into points to try to make sense of them.
➽ Two perspectives. 1,000 years apart.
I’m not sure if I found it jarring and confusing because the book jumped quickly from one perspective to the next, not allowing me enough time to connect with either Rielle or Eliana, or if I found it jarring and confusing because these two different perspectives were 1,000 years apart, though the voices remained virtually identical and very little had seemed to change in that millennium.
If you compare it to our world, 1,000 years ago our world looked a little something like Game of Thrones but with disappointingly fewer dragons – how could so little have changed in that time frame in the novel? I sometimes couldn’t even remember whose chapter I was on.
➽ A little less action, a little more conversation. Please.
Okay, that’s decidedly less catchy. But I feel like this is a book of mindless action scene after mindless action scene. It lacked all the other things that give a story some substance– complex characterization and relationships, world-building, compelling plot. It is 500+ pages of almost constant action and it draaaagggs. If I don’t care about the characters or story, I’m just not going to care about the action.
➽ Bland characters.
You know what’s worse than a Mary Sue heroine? TWO Mary Sue heroines. Rielle is deliberately made to sound oh so baaaddd and uber-powerful but I just found her uninteresting. I think the author wanted her to be some kind of complex anti-heroine but instead she just rubbed me the wrong way with her all-powerful super specialness.
Eliana is pretty much the same. Super special cardboard cutout badass who is known as “the Dread of Orline.”
➽ What is the plot exactly?
I found it confusing to follow at times. I know what happened, but I really struggled to get a sense of what I should be concerned about, want to know, or root for, as I read. Rielle’s chapters offered very little tension to me, even though I usually enjoy books with magical trials. Perhaps it was because she was so special that it never occurred to me that she might fail.
And Eliana’s chapters were full of a lot of action but, again, I found it so dry and unexciting. It all felt like yet another forgettable YA fantasy bogged down by a bland romance and mindless action scenes.
➽ Romance, sex and bi rep(?)
It’s just weird, honestly. Sex-positivity is great, the normalizing of masturbation is great, but these characters often act like sex is the most important thing in their world. I felt like all Rielle cared about was banging Audric the bland. I also don’t feel like it always was sex-positive, especially as Eliana seems to use sex as a form of manipulation most of the time.
The sex scenes themselves are pretty nauseating and overwritten, with the earth shaking and mist rising (no, seriously) à la Sarah J. Maas.
I don’t know about you, but I was eager to read this for the bi rep. I’ve even heard this being touted as a “bi fantasy” which, having read the book, is a huge stretch. I’m gonna be honest and say I actually missed it the first time and had to go skimming back through the book to find it. The bi rep in this book is like two casual mentions of the MCs having been with women sexually. That’s it. Great.
➽ To conclude…
I was mostly just bored. I think the book has a great premise, but that is by far the best thing about it. There was so much talk of angel wars and fantasy politics and deadly trials, but all that got lost somewhere under everything I didn’t give a crap about.