An ancient prophecy divides two sisters-
Who will prevail?
Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.
Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust.
They just know they can't trust each other.
First Look: ***** I expected this book to be awesome. Somehow, I liked the cover better before I read the book. And I'm really not sure what to think about Tamora Pierce's use of the word un-put-down-able on the bottom quote there. I might have to use that word in the future.
Setting: ***** I like historical settings. This one was kind of cool, but not one of my favorites. Just a few more details and I would have been on the verge of loving it.
Characters: ***** Eh. I couldn't figure them out. The back cover claims that "they can't trust each other..." Well, okay, I got that, but then suddenly the twins would just become friends for no apparent reason, then it would be gone again in a flash. People just don't work that way. And Lia never seemed to be afraid of the prophecy, or anything she had to do. What? I'd be terrified! She just accepted it way too calmly. It wasn't real to me. The other characters were just...okay. I didn't really care either way about them. I honestly would have liked this better from the viewpoint of Alice. She was the only slightly interesting one.
Plot: ***** Here was the big disappointment, right here. I love prophecies in books. They're usually so cool, and I love the characters' struggles to figure out their place. But I just wasn't feeling the urgency with this one. And I'm not going to come right out and say that nothing happened in this book, but, well...it definitely falls into what I like to call The Trilogy Trap. I shall have to post about that later. There was zero action, and the parts that could have been awesomely scary or creepy weren't. The author could have gone a long way with some of the concepts with the spirits and such, but none of it seemed believable to me. So Lia had never 'traveled' like that before in her life, but she can do it without any trouble the first time? And how did Alice figure this stuff out so easily when Lia could barely grasp the concepts? At the beginning, Lia was utterly alone, but then suddenly all these random people are popping up to help her? And at some points, I was just flat-out confused.
Uniqueness: ***** I guess I'll have to give it that much. To be honest, I've never read anything very similar to this before now.
Writing: ***** For starters, present tense just flat out bugs me most times. If my thoughts had been broadcast while I read the beginning, you would have heard screams of "Show, don't tell!" Do you remember the post from the other day, about the mirror cliche? Well, guess where I found it. Yep, this book. Anyways, I caught a few typos.
Likes: I did like the way the people talked. It was old-fashioned, and cool for some reason. I'm not sure why.
Not-so-great: There was no action. The characters constantly changed what they wanted. It got confusing at some points, and there is no doubt that this is the first in a trilogy because of all the exposition. My other problem with this is the Otherworld. I get it that her parents love her enough to stay there long enough to help her, but other than that...everybody there was too content. I mean, they could cross into Heaven at any time they wanted, but...they didn't? What? How could they resist? I don't know, call me weird, but the whole spirits/witchcraft thing seemed to give off atheist vibes (I'm a Catholic). Or at least, that's how I felt it.
Total Score: ***** I was debating whether to give this one or two stars, so I just took the average of the five ratings above (not including First Look because it has nothing at all to do with the actual content). I ended up with two stars. I wouldn't recommend it, unless you're really, really into the whole spirits thing. Otherwise, it was a dull book that had so much potential it didn't live up to. There was no action, no urgency, no fear. I felt like not much happened. I didn't care about the characters, and it had plotholes. And sometimes I was just plain confused. The whole prophecy thing was hard to understand. I wanted this book to be so good, but it just didn't do it for me.