October 24, 2014

Book Review - Illusions of Fate

Illusions of Fate
Kiersten White

Published: 9th September, 2014

HarperTeen, Hardcover, 275p.
ISBN: 978-0-06-213589-6

If I had stayed on the thoroughfare that day, not taken the alley, I would never have met him.  For some reason the though of never knowing him leaves me feeling restless and aching.

I sit, defeated, and shuffle the cards for the hundredth time.  I cut the deck, close my eyes, and draw a card at random.


I always draw fate.

What can I say?  I was so disappointed In Illusions of Fate that I just had to jump back onto the trusty laptop - it's now after 10pm - and put pen to paper so to speak, to decompress and let out just how disappointed in Illusions of Fate I am.

Okay, so a few minutes ago I uploaded this review on Goodreads:

I was really looking forward to this book, so when the postman dropped off a parcel from Book Depository I couldn't wait to dive in...

and instead of an amazing story I was left feeling very disappointed. There were a few redeeming qualities to this book - and the cover art is gorgeous - but not enough to make this live up to the hype that has been surrounding it.

I found the main characters annoying, stubborn and quite thoughtless and vain. For most of the book I just wanted to give Finn a really swift kick in the rear, and it pains me to say this, but my favourite character was the Crow that Jessamin finds herself befriending. What I read was only okay, but it had the potential to be so much more. Such a short book for the $15+ that I paid for the hardcover.

Oh, and a map would have been nice too!

I even begrudge this book the 2 hours it took to read it. There was so much potential here and all we got was a quick and predictable read. Jessamin, Finn, Eleanor, Kelen, Lord Downpike, Melei, Jacabo, and even Professor Miller - Jessamin's horrible father - are just one dimensional characters. They have no depth, and there is little to no character development. The ending was rushed. Jessamin, who has been hunted the whole book by our antagonist, finally confronts him yet the identity of the person she battles comes way out of left field! What the...?!! Then, when she is left to mourn what happened, it was over within a couple of pages. The ending was very abrupt and gave the reader no chance to get back on their feet after having the rug pulled out from under them in the previous chapter!

The few redeeming qualities, for me, were the use of Sir Bird - and his relationship with Jessamin - as well as the hints of political intrigue. However, once again it wasn't exploited as much as it could have been - and isn't that a shame.

For such a beautifully presented book - and the naked cover is also very striking - the contents didn't live up to expectations. I won't be recommending this book to anyone but a true YA Fantasy fan. And even then, borrow it from the library!

Until next time,