Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: The Astrologer's Daughter by Rebecca Lim

Title: The Astrologer's Daughter
Author: Rebecca Lim
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Magical Realism
Source: Text Publishing

My mother always called it the eventuality. Not the maybe, or the probably. ‘It’s going to happen,’ she would tell me calmly. ‘I even know when. It’s a twist in my stars. It’s written there, and we have to accept it.
My mother, Joanne Nielsen Crowe. She has a name, she’s not a was.

AVICENNA Crowe’s mother, Joanne, is an astrologer with uncanny predictive powers and a history of being stalked. Now she is missing.
The police are called, but they’re not asking the right questions. Like why Joanne lied about her past, and what she saw in her stars that made her so afraid.
But Avicenna has inherited her mother’s gift. Finding an unlikely ally in the brooding Simon Thorn, she begins to piece together the mystery. And when she uncovers a link between Joanne’s disappearance and a cold-case murder, Avicenna is led deep into the city’s dark and seedy underbelly, unaware how far she is placing her own life in danger.
Pulse-racing and terrifyingly real, The Astrologer’s Daughter is a stunning, original novel. It will test your belief in destiny and the endurance of love.
Review by Nara

To be quite honest, I went into The Astrologer's Daughter not expecting much. I'd read the first book in Rebecca Lim's series Mercy, and hadn't really enjoyed that, so my expectations were not particularly high. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find that I did end up enjoying this book somewhat, although I did have some issues, particularly in terms of the characters and pace.

I feel like the pacing was a bit off. Events seem to be thrown around, occurring very quickly one after the other, but instead of being exciting and gripping, it all had an air of being just that little bit too convenient. The climax towards the end was honestly very random, and didn't really go in the direction I thought it would. Instead of being shocking, the twist was just strange.

There is a bit of romance threaded throughout the novel, with our main love interest being the "brooding" Simon Thorn mentioned in the blurb. His character was actually very interesting, and I would have loved to see it developed and explored a bit more. Instead I feel we had slightly too much focus on action, action action. The characters, in general, didn't seem to be developed to their full potential, making them difficult to understand, and leaving them a bit one-dimensional. Particularly the villain. Honestly, I have no idea what the villain's motive was.

That being said, I'm glad the romance wasn't a huge focus in the book, because the main plot was the mystery surrounding Avicenna's mother. This mystery aspect was quite well done, with several subplots weaving together to reach the resolution. Despite the feeling of convenience, there were definitely sections of the book that had me enthralled. Enough so that I ended up liking this book, in any case.

Liked it

Overall: 6/10
Plot: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 4/5