Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

16000044About The Book -
(Description from Goodreads)
Love, power, and magic collide with war in the second book of the Falling Kingdoms series

Auranos has fallen and the three kingdoms—Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia—are now united as one country called Mytica. But still, magic beckons, and with it the chance to rule not just Mytica, but the world...

When the evil King Gaius announces that a road is to be built into the Forbidden Mountains, formally linking all of Mytica together, he sets off a chain of events that will forever change the face of this land, forcing Cleo the dethroned princess, Magnus the reluctant heir, Lucia the haunted sorceress, and Jonas the desperate rebel to take steps they never could have imagined.

Spoiler alert! (This review may contain spoilers from the first book in this series Falling Kingdoms)

Review -
Let me start off by saying Rebel Spring was definitely better than Falling Kingdoms but there were still things that annoyed and irritated me about this book.
Plot wise this book was solid for the most part. I love the world in this series, I love the magic, the elementia, and the battle between the lands. I even like that unlike al lot of books like it in this one it's not about stopping a king from invading, that already happened in the first book in less than 100 pages, but now it's about taking the kingdom back and I like that more, though again it did make the first one feel more like a prologue. Also, I felt that the plot should have progressed farther than it did in this book, some characters should have woken up and started fighting back, things with the Kindred should have progressed farther, just more should have been accomplished. And then some random things are thrown in like Prince Ashur from the kingdom across the ocean, that's barely even mentioned in Falling Kingdoms and then it's like it's supposed to be this big shock and everything when he comes into this one but NOTHING really comes of it. The main problem, though, with this book is the same as with Falling Kingdoms, and that's the characters.
Characters -
Cleo - Cleo gets better in this book and I like her more and I feel I understand her more but the main thing that annoys me is she spends a lot of time in the beginning of the book basically feeling sorry for herself and while get why she does some of the things she does in this book it still annoys me that for most of it she sits back and does nothing. On top of that Theon is barely mentioned, and when he is Cleo will cry but it doesn't feel real, I still don't believe she ever loved this guy and then for a very brief period it seems like she likes Jonas and then maybe she likes Magnus? This is a theme throughout the whole book it's like the author wants all the characters to be in love with each other at one point or another and it's pointless and annoying and leaves you feeling like it wasn't real at all, because she doesn't spend enough time on any of it to make it seem as if these two characters actually love each other. It's like they hate/tolerate each other then bam! Insta love and then bam! they "love" someone else, I think? Because you're never quite sure what any of them actually feel about each other.
Jonas - Jonas remains my favorite character because he is still the strongest, you know this character, you know what he wants and you know he will actually go after it, you always know what this character is feeling and you don't have to guess every step of the way. But again with the whole "romance" aspect. I really enjoyed it when he was falling for Cleo but you never quite know if he actually likes her and then towards the end it seems like he randomly releases he "loves" Lysandra(another rebel) which is stupid and like you can only use the randomly realizing this character loves this other character thing so many times in one book series! I liked it much better when Brion(another rebel and Jonas' best friend) was in "love" with Lysandra, why did you have to go and mess that up!
Magnus - Oh, I feel so bad for Magnus. He thinks he's evil, he thinks he's just like his father, and so he acts that way, but he's not! I do feel for Magnus but I also feel I would have liked him more if he started thinking for himself before the very end of the book and even then you don't know if he has finally figured out that he is better than his father or not and it's like I just want to slap him and tell him to snap out of it already! I do like that he seems to grow in this book, at least where it concerns Lucia but still mainly his character just frustrates me. One thing I will say for Magnus is he is the most unique and interesting character even is it makes me want beat him.
Lucia - I don't feel like she was in the book enough. I feel like I still have no clue who she is, maybe even more now. I don't really have anything I specifically don't like about her but again I don't think you get to know her character at all in this book, it's like she's multiple people and I was looking forward to seeing her kinda come into her own in this book, but that never happened.
The Watchers - I loved that the watchers were in this one more and they actually had a part in this book but it was all kinda vague and I get that it's supposed to be mysterious but there is a deference between mysterious and confusing and this book definitely walks that line. I do like all the myth about the watchers but as for when they actually come into the book, and you see things from their POV I feel like it was unnecessary, I think it would have been mysterious to not have those parts beyond the dreams that some of the characters have with the watchers.

Besides the character flaws honestly there wasn't much bad about this book. It keeps a nice steady pace so that you don't get bored and loss interest and the overall story is solid, I love the premise of these books it's just characters are what makes a book, and great relatable engaging characters and relationships are what these books lack. I will say even with the frustrating "love" octagon thing the author is really good at making you want whoever it is at the moment who are in "love" to be together, she can make you fall in love with them but then it's all pointless because five chapters later those characters are in "love" with someone else(that was a slight exaggeration, but still). I honestly rather there be no "love" or "romance" element in this book besides the "love" the author describes isn't love it's lust.

In conclusion -
This book definitely has more action than Falling Kingdoms and some character growth but honestly it's still not great. I hate that I feel like if only the characters were a little more relatable and the "love" and romance wasn't all over the place, I would love this series. I understand why the author has written the characters the way she has, but I just find them annoying and if I don't like the characters then I don't like the book. The overall plot is great, I love the idea behind these books, I love everything about the war and about the magic and the watchers but the lack of great characters is what brings this book so far down in my opinion.

Do I recommend this book? Yes. If you like this kind of fantasy book then I say it doesn't hurt to try it, I know a lot of people that love it but personally I don't relate to the characters and at parts I hate them, but if you like the premise then you may as well try the first book, just maybe borrow it.

Will I read the next ones? I will, because I really hope that they will continue to get better and despite all the problems I find with these books they are far from the worst thing I have ever read and they do leave me wanting to know what happens next, which proves if nothing else that the author is a good writer.

Click here to see my review of Falling Kingdoms

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  1. What a coincidence, I posted a review of Rebel Spring this week too! I found it a bit slow, and it had too many characters narrating. It felt a little disjointed. I think my fav character was Brion. He was just so adorable.