Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Title: Reign of Shadows
Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.
Review by Nara

You know, to be honest, I'm not sure why I keep trying Sophie Jordan's books. I don't think I've actually really liked any of them, or if I have, the max I've given any of them has been 3 stars. Actually you know what? I'm lying. It's because of the cover. She gets such awesome covers that I can't help myself.

The novel gets off to a shaky start, where I wasn't too sure where the story was set. I mean, is this a fantasy? Is this a dystopian/sci-fi? It was a bit hard to tell because of how shitty the world building was. There were a couple of other things that bothered me on a scientific level, one of which was how the hell are there plants (not just moss, actual trees) in a world without sunlight?

The main character Luna was naive and "kind" to the point of stupidity. So she finally leaves her tower on a journey for the first time since she was a baby, basically, and the first thing she does is chatter away to her travelling companion, completely ignorant about basic travelling-in-a-dark-forest-with-scary-deadly-creatures rules i.e. be quiet so as not to attract the attention of said creatures. Later, when she comes across a literally dying man, she gives up half her precious water (with no idea when she can refill her supply) saying it's a "kindness". OH MY GOD DO YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO DIE.

It also really annoyed me that she was blind- not that I have anything against blind characters, but she saw way too well to be blind. She could apparently dodge arrows fired at her, and could tell that a character was naked because of their "scent". I mean, come on, people. That's just ridiculous. The blindness basically did shit all to her capacity as a "strong independent woman" and she may as well have not been blind.

Fowler, our other main character, wasn't as annoying, but he was also quite poorly developed. He's the typical bad boy with a hidden secret. To be honest, I didn't predict the secret at all, but that's mostly because I cared so little for the character that I probably subconsciously erased the facts I had on him from my brain. The romance was pretty mediocre as well- it was difficult to see why the characters had a supposed connection.

Despite a lot of huge flaws, I didn't hate the book, which is why I've given it an "it was okay" rating. I mean, I didn't DNF it, so it at least had some degree of appeal.

It was okay
Overall: 3/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: 2/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 1/5
Characters: 1/5
Cover: 4/5