Grave Mercy by Robin Lafevers Book Review

Review by: dancingonrain.

Ismae, a seventeen year old girl, escapes her arranged marriage to an abusive man by seeking shelter at the convent of St. Mortian.  Here, the sisters serve the Death God and are trained in his secrets to become assassins, handmaidens of Death.  In order for her to live at the convent, she must learn to destroy the lives of others marked by death.

This leads to her most important assignment at the high court of Brittany, a mission she is heavily under prepared and under experienced for, especially when the convent orders her to deliver Death’s vengeance against the man who has stolen her heart.

Even after I finished reading this book, I still haven’t made my mind up about it.  While there where some entertaining scenes, I also found myself bored at other parts.   This book had been recommended to me by a friend who wanted to know what I thought about it and now that we’ve discussed it, she was in the same boat as me.

While this book was fairly predictable and I think had too much of a happy-esque ending that didn’t seem all that realistic, it still did have its suspenseful moments.  But despite that, some of the prose brought me out of the story, especially some of the dialogue.  I realize this is set in an earlier time, but while I was reading, I couldn’t help but feel like normal people wouldn’t talk like that.  It wouldn’t have been as big of a deal if the older dialogue and prose had been consistent, but it wasn’t, which made it feel choppy whenever it used dialogue that didn’t seem realistic.

While this book wasn’t particularly my cup of tea, I’m sure there is someone out there who would enjoy it.  My advice would be to sit down and read it at a store or library before you decide to purchase it.  I’m not sure if I’d buy the second book in this series, but I may read it at a library or a store if I had free time, but it probably wouldn’t be any time soon.

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Legend by Marie Lu Book Review

Review by: dancingonrain.

 

 

Day is a fifteen year old boy and the Republic’s most notorious criminal living in the slums.  He keeps a watchful eye on his family from a distance.  June is a fifteen year old girl and is the prodigy of the Republic’s wealthiest districts.  She has been trained for success by the Republic’s highest military circles.  It is possible that these two would have never met under different circumstances, but one day June’s brother Metias is murdered and everything points to Day as the culprit.  June seeks revenge and will stop at nothing until the murderer is found and dealt with severely.  Day wants nothing more than his family to be safe.  Over a series of events these two discover that what they want may not be as cut and dry as they had originally thought.  Read along and watch their game of cat and mouse unfold.  And when a crucial truth is discovered, can these two figure out how to work together despite the pain they’ve caused one another to defeat a threat bigger than themselves?

It has been a while since I’ve read such a well-constructed young adult novel.  I feel a lot of books out there, specifically pertaining to the young adult genre, have lots of action and despair, but they leave out the emotional part and the reflection of events the characters would feel or go through, especially for the male characters even if it’s inside their heads.  You can only bend a twig for so long before it eventually snaps.

A strength of Legend is the character’s reactions are believable.  When Day is hit with a traumatizing series of events, the author doesn’t have him hide it, which, in these cases would’ve been inhuman.  Lu has him react as anyone else put in that situation would have.  She shows how devastated he is whereas some other novels or stories would have glossed over his losses.  I found myself not really paying attention to what the characters’ actual genders are and just see them as human beings.  As people.

I also feel like some novels out there forget how old their characters actually are.  Day is only a fifteen year old child; he’s not going to be able to handle all of his emotional and physical trauma (and there’s quite a lot) alone and yet some authors out there write a teenager as if s/he is a full grown adult.  Even full grown adults would struggle to deal with the type of trauma he went through and is still going through.

I never once question Day or June’s motivations.  Some of the minor characters were less understandable, but they were also presented in a way where you knew something was off, but you couldn’t quite place your finger on it.  As the story ended, it left openings for other characters motivations to be explored more in the next two books: Prodigy and Champion.

One thing I wasn’t sure of was how easily Day trusted June again after something she’d done to his family.  I feel like something of that nature would have made him keep his distance from her as much as he could, but I also know this is explored a little more in the next two books.

I would recommend this book and series to anyone.  I think most people will enjoy this series if you like action, adventure, conspiracies, and betrayal.  This book was fairly fast-paced and you could probably finish it in a day (or less, if you have time).  The other two books are already out so you don’t have to wait months to find out how the story ends.

Happy reading and remember each new day is the start of another twenty-four hours, a new start where anything can happen.