I recently signed up to netgalley and, as I'm sure you can imagine, I was super excited when my requests started being approved. Which is why I'm so gutted I can't give a glowing five-star review to the first book I chose ):
From the blurb, this book sounds like it has so much interest and potential. Unfortunately, the blurb is the best written thing about the book. I found so many things wrong with it that I'm having a lot of trouble narrowing them down just for this review.
The story is about 17 year old Thea, who recently lost her parents in a car crash which she miraculously survived thanks to a bright light. She's moved in with her best friends family, is having nightmares about the crash, and is deciding what to do about her best friends feelings towards her.
When walking with best friend Eli to meet the bus for her first day back at school, they're attacked and Thea uses some unknown power to help protect them both.
Now, I knew from the moment I started reading I was going to have issues with this book, and the first couple of chapters just reiterated that. Thea's priorities and reactions don't seem realistic at all, especially when Eli is explaining that she's really Elfin royalty, her parents weren't her real parents, and that he's going to take her to elf-land now.
Also, there's a "how old are you line". Yup. A fair dinkum "oh no, going to freak, he's not really 17 oh no" paragraph.
I'm going to go over a few notes I made while reading, in dot form, so I can cover everything I'd like
- A few chapters in and we already have insta-lust (which quickly turns to insta-love) and a love triangle.
- Some aspects of the plot were really confusing. Thea's already had a few attempts on her life by someone in charge of elf-land, and yet they're taking her straight into this guy's clutches, saying they can't do anything about him because there's no proof he killed her royal parents or tried to kill her.
- The good guys seem to have absolutely no remorse for killing, probably because the enemy is portrayed as pure evil. Sure, they're bad guys, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't feel something other than glee about killing them.
- One thing that really got me was when Thea describes the Great Hall as being approx. 1000 yards long. Now, I'm no good with measurements - but that seemed like a lot. So I went ahead and converted it to metres (approx. 900), then googled the average length of a cruise ship (400m) and football field (100m).So the Great Hall is twice the length of a cruise ship, or approx. 7 football fields long. That seems pretty extreme to me.
Throughout the entire book, I had a lot of trouble believing that they were in a whole different world to earth. A few things that can be found in elf-land that seem very out of place for a magical world are:
- Human-type piercings and human fashion styles (I understand they can travel to earth, but for a fantasy race I expect a little more culture)
- Joggers (the shoes)
I really don't understand the subwoofer. Is there electricity in this world? Do they have power plants? Powerlines? Or is there some sort of magi-tech that isn't mentioned? Honestly, most of the time it felt like they were in the human world except when the author wanted to mention pretty scenery or something. As well, the elves didn't really feel like an entirely different race. They were pretty much humans except when elemental magic was required.
I had so many other issues with this book that I can't even begin to mention them all. I definitely think that it needs a lot more work before it's published, but I can't see that happening as the authors already onto the next two books. And it's a crying shame, because the very core plot has so much potential. But as it is, it falls completely flat.
So, Enlightenment gets 1 star from me - for the core plot, and the blurb. I can't really recommend this to anyone, and would only suggest you read it if you can get a free copy.