Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Chasing Ravens by Jessica E. Paige

Chasing Ravens

By Jessica E. Paige

Blurb: Orphaned at a young age, 15-year old Anouk’s punishment for being too outspoken is an arranged marriage worse than any she could imagine. Fleeing on horseback, yet without a sense of where to turn, she stumbles upon an idyllic village where she finds safe haven. Could this be home?

When a curse threatens to kill the villagers she’s come to love, Anouk takes on the dangers of the natural and magical worlds to save them. Her journey takes her deep into the Dark Woods where she must draw on all her strength to survive, but will come to realize that these magic woods hold the key to discovering a gift she never knew she had.

Ultimately, it will lead her to confront the very face of death, yet amidst the danger and darkness, she meets a handsome woodsman and finds a glowing blue flower with power beyond her wildest dreams.

Inspired by Russian fairytales and steeped in ancient folklore, Paige’s novel is ripe with fantasy, love, and courage.

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication Date: December 16, 2014

Pages 183

Series: N/A

My Rating: 1 star

There's definitely a unique story somewhere in here; but it's hidden do the choppy and unrefined writing style. I just couldn't get into it, no matter how hard I tried. And trust me; I tried hard.

I'd been wanting to read Chasing Ravens for the longest time, you see. The story sounded so unique. But even though Chasing Ravens has a unique plotline, it didn't feel special to me. It didn't have that wow factor.

Reason numero uno for this was due to the major infodumps at the beginning. Alas, the main way of getting information across about Anouk's backstory was this questionable writing technique. And therefore, while Anouk's backstory could have been an interesting way for me to get to know her character and start to like her, it ended up simply being tedious.

The writing also seemed very rushed. Especially in the beginning; again, the story became tedious when it could have been a nice way to get to see what shaped Anouk's life. It skipped from scene to scene with only three asterisks as a lead in. As a result, it was hard to transition from the previous setting to the next.

As for the characters...meh. I never cared much for Anouk; she didn't have the spirit or the wit, save for like two scenes, that I like to see in my main characters. I'm not saying they all have to be insult-slinging assasssins with fiery tempers, but...I don't like boring main characters either.

Romance? Yippee. Not. It was tacked on later in the story, and if there is anything I hate in books, it's a romance thrown in for the heck of it. Which seemed to be what happened in Chasing Ravens. I'm having a hard time remembering the love interest's name; that was how exciting I found this element of the story.

The plot had the potential to be great; the lush Russian folklore was what initially attracted me to this story. *Cough* and the cover *cough*. But I never got immersed in it, probably because of all the other issues I had with the book. I will say, I did come away with a desire to learn more about the background for all of this story. It isn't like anything I've read recently.

So, this book is getting a no from me. I do think the premise was good, so I'd like to find another book similar to this one, but Chasing Ravens itself wasn't my kinda book.


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