Never, ever cry...
Seventeen-year-old Eureka won't let anyone close enough to feel her pain. After her mother was killed in a freak accident, the things she used to love hold no meaning. She wants to escape, but one thing holds her back: Ander, the boy who is everywhere she goes, whose turquoise eyes are like the ocean. And then Eureka uncovers an ancient tale of romance and heartbreak, about a girl who cried an entire continent into the sea. Suddenly her mother's death and Ander's appearance seem connected, and her life takes on dark undercurrents that don't make sense. Can everything you love be washed away?
IMPRESSIONS: This book pleasantly surprised me.
I enjoyed the language of the narration and look forward to reading more of Ms. Kate’s books. I will have to check out the Fallen series… even though I’m reluctant to start a 5-book series considering how much is on my “to read” shelf.
DISLIKES: A few things felt incongruent with the overall style of this YA book.
For one, Madame Blavatsky’s death was overly gory. I was shocked by the images the author detailed. And, reading it before bed, it was slightly disturbing.
Secondly, the characters in this book were rather “insta-love” driven. I’m sure that’s to parallel some of the “Book of Love” story/Greek tragedy style. However, it did not feel very genuine for a modern setting. This story isn’t a fairytale or myth so much as a paranormal romance.
Third, why is Eureka’s step mother so mean to her? It seems the parenting tactics used by both her step-mother and her father were pretty poor. Wouldn’t you be more sensitive if your child/step-child attempted suicide? And why was Eureka’s dad is so distant from her? As a parent reading the chapters where Eureka interacts with them, I was bummed parents were so poorly represented. Its like they were following the parenting techniques from the movie “Frozen:” Conceal, don’t feel!
LIKES: Strong imagery and setting details.
I liked Eureka’s point of view as she observed things happening around her. She has a good imaginary descriptiveness. It helped me to connect to her as her actions most often were quite irrational. She seems to know better, but then forgets the “better” shortly thereafter.
I like Lauren Kate's writing style. She is able to quickly draw readers into the setting. She has some wonderfully quotable observations. I think Ms. Kate was able to keep the plot moving thanks to the diverse secondary characters who helped Eureka heal from the loss of her mother as well as Eureka discovering the meaning of the gifts her mother left her.
NEEDS DEVELOPMENT: What makes Eureka such a danger to the world? And what ties Ander to Eureka so strongly?
I really liked learning the story contained in the ancient book. I think the author structured it well in between Eureka’s storyline. The narration from Eureka’s book felt authentic for a work of ancient fiction. I think the next book is going to be amazing if we get to experience some of the Atlantis. However, near the end of the story, I had hoped Ander would read Eureka the rest of the tale. For some reason, that plot thread did not get tied up. There was a short summary of the tale, but I wanted more from Selene and Leander. So I was a little disappointed that we did not get more of Selene’s voice.
Along that line, I would have appreciated more time spent learning Eureka's unique ability and her connection to the mythical world of Atlantis, especially if Ander was there to help her understand those aspects of her bloodline. Then I might have gotten behind their Romeo and Juliet-like instant attraction. But the two love interests spent an extremely small amount of time together.
SUMMARY: There’s a lot of potential, and Ms. Kate is a very talented author.
I look forward to what’s next. I think with the depth of Ms. Kate’s imagination coupled with her lush writing style, an even stronger book 2 of the Teardrop series is on the way. Less teen angst and more mythology elements please! That being said, I’m excited for more.
"Descendants of Avalon"
Released via Inklings Publishing
("The Forgotten" volume 2)
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse