Thursday, 10 May 2012
Witchlanders - A Book Review
Much like a Magpie, I'm attracted to shiny objects. This is the main reason I picked up Lena Coakley's Witchlanders. The cover is truly beautiful, is it not? Lately it seems like I've been reading copious amounts of dystopian YA, mixed with paranormal. It was a bit of a relief to pick up a high fantasy for a change. It was refreshingly devoid of unnecessary romance and whiny girl characters. In fact, the cover - though beautiful - is slightly misleading. The narration rotates between two males from opposing races.
First, things I liked: Lena Coakley's writing is beautiful. There is no questioning her ability as a writer. From the description of the farms, the fields of hicca and the snowy surroundings, to the underground catacombs. The world she has created will come alive for you. It was also lovely to hear the story from a male perspective. It seems truly rare in YA these days. There's also no doubt about the originality of the story. I love the idea of singing being a form of magic. Truly unique. And the old fashioned, roll-the-bones witches were great as well. I also appreciate the lack of ridiculous romance. So many young adult authors can't help themselves, they have to stick some hair-brained romance in there, regardless of what's going on the characters will pause from fighting or running for their lives, to have a little snog-fest. No such ridiculousness happens in Coakley's book. And for this, I thank her.
Things that didn't do it for me: The pacing was incredibly slow. So slow that I put down the book a few times and actually debated picking it back up again, since there are other, shiny new books waiting for me. Whispering my name. Okay, there was no whispering, but they are shiny, dammit! My problem is that I have the inability to only go halfway through a book that I've purchased. I feel a strong compulsion to finish it. I walk around all day with that feeling. You know the one. Like you've left the stove on or something. I get all twitchy. So I made myself continue reading it, and it did get more exciting. Things happened, people got attacked, good guys turned out to be bad guys. In general, it was a satisfying ending, though it does leave room for a sequel.
I'll give this seven out of ten on my book shelf. If you're sick of reading nothing but the paranormal romance we seem to be pumping out lately, sit back with this book and enjoy something really different.