Hey all, Dani here.
I’m back with another review, and this time it is an early review. I haven’t done too many of those lately, but expect a lot more to come in the next month or so because I plan on reading a lot of my review copies from NetGalley. Actually, yesterday NetGalley announced that it was hosting a reading challenge, specifically a review challenge, but you kind of have to read to be able to review. Anyway, this challenge will go from July 22 until August 30, and it is called #Reviewathon. NetGalley will be hosting all sorts of challenges and other virtual events, so check out their social media accounts to keep up with the latest. And since I had already sort of planned to make August a catch up on NetGalley reads month, this works out perfectly for me.
So I guess here I am with my first NetGalley review for the #Reviewathon. Let’s get started.
Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.
If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…
With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?
Rating: 4 stars
I should also say that this was my YA read for the July session of #AGameofBooksathon.
I liked this book. It wasn’t a book that blew my mind or wow’ed me, but I still had a pretty good time reading it. Also, it only took me like two real reading sessions to finish it, so it held me interest well enough.
Here, I’ll just go ahead and say why I can’t rate this book higher than 4 stars. It was a short book, just barely over 300 pages (304 to be exact), and I felt like more of the story needed to be expanded on. I wanted more time getting to know the characters, joining them on this journey. I wanted more time with Maren training with the Aromatory. I wanted more depth during the travel periods. Things felt a little too simple and a bit predictable to me.
The concept is intriguing and I think the setup and the world and the characters have a lot of potential. The last 30 or so pages were especially interesting, which means that I’m very curious as to what will happen in the sequel.
What I did really like is that Maren’s relationship with Kaia is what drove her to go on this journey, because she wouldn’t have left her mountain home otherwise. Maren was fine being a plain and ordinary person, living in the shadow of the person she’s grown up loving. Through this journey I think that Maren has started to develop more, and she she is not just learning more about the world, but also about herself.
Part of that may include discovering her romantic/sexual identity. She loves Kaia and has pretty much always had feelings for her, but during this story she finds herself possibly having feelings for someone else, a masculine someone. So I’m curious to see if it develops into anything or not. Honestly I am cool whichever way it goes. I’m not so invested in one potential coupling or another, so it’s all okay to me.
Also, I kind of wish that there had been just a little more dragon in this one. There was barely enough, but I really like dragon stories, so more would have been awesome.