First Lines: Sara Carson didn’t believe in fate, she didn’t believe in magic, or reincarnation, or any form of life after death. In fact, if there was no empirical evidence to support its existence, then to Sara Carson it did not exist.
I was asked by the author to read and review this book. It’s been a few months (eep!) but I finally got around to it. I didn’t know too much about it besides that it was a high fantasy, which sometimes are quite great. (*cough* Girl of Fire and Thorns *cough*)
Sara Carson had no way of knowing that she would die today. Now, she’s ascended to a parallel world known as the Afterlands where she is Whyte ascendant, the first in over one thousand years. Now known as Rose (and with no memory of her former life), she’s entered a land in turmoil. For one thousand years since the Great Dragon War and the destruction of Lord Ka, there has been peace in the Afterlands. But that peace has been shattered. An ancient prophecy foretold that a Whyte would ascend and be the only hope for the Afterlands. It would seem that Rose is that girl. Can she save the Afterlands?
I have greatly condensed the summary here to hit the highlights without going into too many details. However, if you’d like to see the full summary, go here.
Alright. So, as a general rule, I do like fantasies. But high fantasies…those are hit and miss. This one was a miss.
I will say that there are some really cool aspects to the story. The characters all have some kind of magic, which is fun. And there are some really adorable characters in the mix. (I was particularly fond of the goofy Ash.)
But…it just never clicked for me. It was a chore to keep reading it, especially when I really needed something to unwind with after a long day at school. The first couple of chapters are incredibly confusing as you’re thrown in to the world of the Afterlands. Just trying to understand everything took all of my concentration. There were so many names and slang and terms thrown at me. I just couldn’t keep them all straight. I mean, I understand. It’s a fantasy, set in a world that isn’t our own. Still doesn’t mean I wasn’t royally confused.
Also, I was never gripped by the story. There was suspense–I think–but there really weren’t any moments where I went, “I have to keep reading! Just one more chapter!” I think part of it might be because of the narration style. It’s kind of a roaming third person narrator. It jumps from random observers to minor characters to Rose and her friends. It never really settled on one or had a set pattern. I didn’t really feel a connection to Rose, which did not help the situation. There weren’t any characters where I wanted to keep reading it for them, to learn what happened next. I didn’t care. And that’s really weird for me.
I thought it was a creative attempt at a story and there were many good elements, but it just wasn’t for me. Something didn’t work.