Monday, October 20, 2014 20:15

Review 294. Sara Raasch – Snow like ashes.

17399160Title: Snow like ashes.
Author: Sara Raasch.
Pages: 432.
Published: October 14th 2014 by Balzer + Bray.
Sort: Snow like ashes #1.
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.
Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since. Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.
Rating:

I sort of liked it and disliked it at the same time. It’s hard to point out how I exactly feel about it. This book had crazy potential to be amazing, but instead it falls back into clichés and unoriginal storylines. I was mad after finishing it, but at the same time: I did finish it and it reads very quick.

There are several countries, like the four named after seasons, because that’s the only weather they have. Each of these countries have their own kind of power provided by the Queen. One day, Spring attacked Winter and wiped away the nation. The citizens are enslaved and their magic is stolen. A group of survivors managed to escape, consisting of the future king Mather and his friend Meira - who is training to become a warrior. They will restore Winter’s magic, no matter the prize.

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? The first thing you will notice about this book is the world-building. We are first thrown into a set-up filled with info-dumps, but gradually you will be immersed by her creativity. I loved all those countries and how everyone got their own traits. For example, Winterians have white hair, pale skin and they handled the mines. I wish the details were handled with more care, but the information was at least interesting.

Meira and Mather, the two important characters of the story, left me confused. Did I like them? I guess I did.. but I didn’t care about either of them and I missed a (realistic) character development. Mather pretty much stays the same. He whines a little about how useless he is for his country and he didn’t strike me as the leader-type. His character is bland and I don’t like how he treated Meira. You would think you would trust your best friend with important information about her life.

Meira changes, but in an unbelievable way. In the beginning it’s clear that she’s not good at close-combat. At the end of the book, without further training, she suddenly turns into a ninja who battles herself a way through a group of soldiers. I wish her character was more consistent. She wasn’t a bad character, but I will forget about her in a couple of days. The only one I really liked was Theron, who immediately charmed me.

The BIG twist was something you can see coming when you start the book. After a couple of pages I was 99% I knew what was going to happen; and I was right. I think this book will be more impressive if you don’t guess the twist, but it’s staring at you.

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I wasn’t impressed by it either. The book follows some of the basic storylines we see in fantasy and I expected more from it. If the author had put the same amount of work in the plot as she did with the world-building, it would have been mind-blowing. Now, I was underwhelmed. There is the traditional villain, an end battle and an heroin who finds out information that changes her life.
Still.. I can’t say I highly disliked it, mainly because of the quick writing-style, the world-building and Theron. I have hope for the sequel.
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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

32 comments:

  1. Great honest review Mel!
    I wish this had worked out better for you, fingers crossed for the sequel. This is one of my most anticipated books for 2014, hopefully I have better luck with it!

    Patty @ Bookish Wanderlove

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  2. I've been seeing so many mixed reviews about this book, I'm sorry it missed the mark for you! It's always so crappy when that happens. The premise is so cool, it's too bad it fell flat this time.

    Kristen @ One Chapter Ahead

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  3. Most of the reviews I've seen for this title have been really positive, so I always make a point of checking-out the negative ones too.The plot is kinda the backbone of a book, and even if all of the other elements are there, the reader can't help but feel like something was missing.

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  4. Thanks for your honesty Mel, do you think the hype got to you as well? Everyone has been just RAVING about this book!

    Great points you made, I don't like it when characters seem to develop overnight either. :/

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

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    1. I'm not sure. I knew a lot of people liked it, but I don't think I read this when there was a hype. I guess my own high expectations made it hard.

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  5. Great review, Mel!! I loved this one, I thought it was a great fantasy, despite having some similar plots. I commend the author for her awesome creativity and world-building though :) I feel like lots of things happened in this book, much more than I see in most fantasy series actually. I did guess the twist as well, and it stinks that it was spoiled for us in that way. I can see why you had all those problems though, wonderful review <3

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    1. Thanks Rachel, I'm happy you enjoyed it more than I did!

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  6. Oh! I hate when the twist is super obvious from the start. I'll go into this one with lower expectations. Great review!

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  7. Aw, from your review, I think this will disappoint me as well. At least if there was a great twist that was a surprise, I might be able to overlook the bland character work. But I'm glad that you are hopeful for the next one!

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  8. I'm nervous to see how I'll like this book. I put it on hold at my library because it looks like it would be a great book for me. However, there have been quite a few 3 star reviews coming out for this book :/

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  9. *sighs* Aw...I'm sorry you didn't like this as much as you hoped you would Mel, especially considering how up your alley it sounds! :( It's always annoying when a story uses the same old elements that every other book in their genre does (I mean, give me some originality please!), and that the plot twists were a bit obvious. :| I'm definitely going to still give this a try because I know quite a few people loved this one, but I'll definitely lower my expectations a tad.

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    1. Yes, it sounded like a book I should really enjoy :(

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  10. Well, I don't think I'll be reading this book, then. I had high hopes for it because the cover and the synopsis made it seem really awesome. Ugh oh well, another book that I don't have to read. (trying to make my TBR smaller haha). Great review, Mel!

    - Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

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  11. I had written notes on scraps of paper because this book annoyed me to no end! I didn't want to forget the feeling or my thoughts so I grab whatever scraps of paper I could find two write pretty much what you've perfectly expressed.

    Thank you!

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  12. This book sounded as if it had so much potential.The synopsis and the world building sounded interesting, so I was looking forward to an amazing book.But after reading a lot of reviews around the blogosphere, I've gathered that the book has been disappointing so far.
    It feels so sad since I had high hopes for this one.

    Mishma @ As the page turns

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  13. Fabulous review Mel ^^ your thoughts seem to line up with other reviews for this one that I've been coming across lately. It's funny, at first, the buzz seemed only positive(which always kind of worries me...too good to be true and all that), but now reviews seem to be more fair and balanced. I do wish this one had blown you away with it's awesomeness though, it seems like it certainly had potential there for a bit but blew it with a predictable twist, too-familiar tropes and some inconsistent characterization. :( What a bummer! I had high hopes for this one but now I don't think I'll rush into it right at the moment. Thanks for the insight ^^ I hope your next read improves on this one!! x

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    1. It's such a shame of a good potential :( with the right execution this book would have blown me away.

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  14. I'm not 100% sure if I will pick this one up or not. I've heard a LOT of people compare it to Throne of Glass and while I know it likely doesn't resemble ToG, I hold ToG too close to my heart and will likely make the same connections they do.

    I might read this though as I've heard pretty decent things about it. I wish the character development promised consistency but alas. This might be a to borrow for me! Great review, Mel. <3

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    1. Hmm, I don't really see that comparison, because TOG is SO MUCH better, haha.

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  15. Great review Mel!
    I was really looking forward to this book and I haven't read it yet, and I've been hearing a lot of mixed reviews coming from it, so I don't really know what to think of it yet :/

    I completely get what you mean when you say that the book wasn't that enjoyable because the plot twist was really predictable. I've read so many books like that and they are really groan-worthy!

    I've been hearing a lot of things about Theron lately! Is he swoon-worthy? ;)

    Maisha @ Books Equal Awesomeness

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  16. Meh books are the worst. I have heard good and bad things about this series, so I'm not really motivated to check it out. The different kingdoms based on the seasons sounds cool though, but infodumps are not my thing.

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  17. I agree with the staring-you-in-the-face thing! SO predictable. The similarities to Throne of Glass kind of brought the story down for me, too. But the imagery rocked, so like you, I have high hopes for the sequel!

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  18. Aw :( I'm so sorry you didn't like this book, Mel. <3 But I do not blame you. I have heard people love it, but also heard many not love it :( and the bad things? They would bother me too. Hmph. I'm not sure when I will read my copy. One day. Probably :D Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

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  19. I'm sad this one didn't work for you! Honest I either see these reviews going mad raving over it...or else people are somewhat "meh". I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO THINK. I hope my library gets it so I can try reading it and be cautious. hehe. The names Mather and Meira are really close though. Gah. I hate when mainish characters have names that start with the same letter. I read really fast, and I always mess people up.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it more than I did. I sometimes struggled with those names too.

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  20. Great review! Although now I am really nervous to read this. I have seen so many glowing reviews and was sure I was going to love it. I haven't had the greatest luck with well loved books recently though. So I am scared I might not enjoy this one as much. I hope I don't guess the twist, but now I know there will be one I will be looking for it.

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  21. It's such a pity you didn't enjoy this much- I'm desperate to read it!! I just love the idea so much so I hope I like it much more than you did. Great Review though! I've heard so many good reviews, it's nice to see a not so good one to get both sides of the story :D

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  22. So I agree that this book has its faults. I too found it to be predictable, I didn't like the psuedo love triangle, the info-dumping at the beginning, etc. but I found the book to get better and better as I read and I had a lot of fun with the story nonetheless. I REALLY liked Theron and I liked Meira too although she was a little wishy-washy. I'm excited for book two and I hope it is more to your liking ;)

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