Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Review: Nightspell

While I do have internet to get these posts up I also have a lot of family engagements which do take priority. So I'll be getting these up when I can, at the very least everything will be up this week. In any case, some people might remember that last spring I won quite a few books from a whole range of authors and my favorite out of the bunch was one called Mistwood and I was pretty excited to read the author's next book after it, and not just because the bookmark for it she put in was really pretty looking. On that note, I think I would have picked up the book regardless because of how pretty the cover is, lovely color scheme although I noticed that on the back they use the same image as a castle except blown up and, well, I'm rather surprised that such a pixelated image made it through quality control before it got to the printers.....

Nightspell by Leah Cypress

Summary: Year's ago Darri's sister was sent away from her family's plains to marry the prince of Ghostland but complications have arisen and Darri is sent to take her place with their brother making sure the deal goes through. Neither of them are happy about this however, like the name says in Ghostland the dead walk among and in places outnumber the living creating an uneasy truce with politics that neither are used to. But Darri is determined, if she marries the prince then she'll finally save her sister from this living death she doomed her to all those years ago.

The Good: As a quick note, I believe I saw the back of the book proclaiming it to be a companion novel to Mistwood but you certainly don't have to read it to understand this one (I'm not sure if there are even any references to it, if there were they were so small I missed them). Moving on, in Mistwood I really liked some of the aspects of the setting and the fairy tale feeling Cypress was able to invoke without using any "real" stories (that I'm aware of) and she's pulled off the same thing in Nightspell without feeling like she's just repeating the same story or idea. 

The Bad: I feel like Cypress chickened out on the ending here. At the climax the characters come to a tough choice and I felt like the choice that was made was rather out of character and Cypress didn't want to write something that ended in tragedy. I suspect that this choice was supposed to either show how Darri has grown and no longer has a one track mind or possibly that she is still young and scared for what this will mean to those close to her, which lets her consider the other option, but given her feelings for the entire rest of the story it just felt incongruent with her previous actions and that really bothered me. All three of the point of view characters bothered me actually but this I'm sure at least was on purpose, they're supposed to be flawed characters (and none of them realize that their flawed which was more than a bit cringe worthy) yet by the end I can't say that any of them truly developed which is what really frustrated me (and made it so hard for me to accept that the characters made the ending happen rather than the ending happened because the author wrote it so). In the end this story just didn't gel for me and I'm rather frustrated about it.

So just a 2.5 out of 5 for this book yet I do still want to see what Cypress writes next, it appears that while I consistently like her settings it's her characters who are hit or miss for me. Altough, a quick glance online shows that this book is from 2011 and Mistwood is from 2010, meaning that she hasn't had a new book in almost two years and that's never a good sign for a newer author, hope that her books didn't sell terribly and force her out of the business (this is pure speculation on my part, I had better not see anyone quoting this as fact as I've seen with one or two of my other posts).

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