Stars: 2 out of 5.
DNF at 60%
I tried so hard to like this book, or baring that at least finish it before I reviewed. I struggled for the last 10-15% of the story, hoping to get some answer or that the story would get more interesting. Unfortunately, it didn’t, so I am calling it quits.
The beginning was really promising, though I wasn’t a fan of the dual storylines. McKenzie’s story in particular was a little bit too YA for me. I am not a fan of YA, so getting through her parts was a struggle. It was especially hard and off-putting because of how intermingled these parts are – you have several paragraphs with Spider and the family in the Cirque, then we jump to McKenzie for a paragraph, then back again with no warning, no rhyme or reason.
The desert storyline was intriguing enough to keep me going though. And I wanted to know how the two stories tied together. Unfortunately, the answer to that question was rather blah. Also, the book went downhill once the two stories merged. There were too many questions left unanswered and too many deus ex machina moments. Also, nobody communicates in this family. Everyone withholds information for no other reason but to keep the mystery of the story. It’s infuriating.
These people are supposed to be a family, and the author mentions several times how much they love each other. Yet for some reason they all despise Hugo because he is “entitled”. Well, I’m sorry, but I haven’t seen anything entitled about him in this book. He’s been nothing but helpful and self-sacrificing throughout the story. The reaction of the other family members makes no sense. Same with Spider’s constant suspicion towards Noor. Like dude, why don’t you two talk it out, like normal human being would? And why are your so-called Elders speak in riddles and never answer any questions? And why do you constantly just let it go? It’s a life and death situation you guys are in, but Spider would be just like, “cool, you won’t answer me about why I should explore this city, so I will just go away and do something else.” Really?
Also, with such a big cast of characters, it’s sad when the only well-defined and interesting one is a camel.
And this book is way too long. It sits at a hefty 600 pages. So I made it to about 350 by the time I called it quits, and the story hadn’t given me any satisfying answers yet. Nope, I’m out.
PS: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.