So, I have some good news. I survived the Arctic Takeover of Chicago!! Yay!! And so did my dogs. They were not let out of my sight haha. What did I do while my city turned into Antarctica around me? Well, I kept busy. Did some laundry, worked on my bullet journal, worked my butt of on revisions and set pages to my CPs. Oh, and I read. Or in this case, tried to read.
“Wait, Kailey, you said this was a review.” Well, it is a review.
“But how can you reviews something you didn’t read?” That’s a fair question. A good question even. And one I will address momentarily. But first, some background on the book.
From the Barnes & Noble website:
An Ember in the Ashes meets Three Dark Crowns in this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.
That’s a hell of a premise right? And man that overview makes it sound so. damn. good.
I wish the pages measured up to the back copy. I wish so, so much they measured up. And they might to someone else! I haven’t really read any other reviews–none of my friends have read this one yet–so there could be a million reviews out there from people who love it. I hope there are! I want to be clear about this before I get into my reasons: this is not personal or in any way meant to be a negative reflection on the author or this book. I’m just stating my opinions her, and I don’t intend for them to be negative in any way.
This is not a negative review. I’m not giving the book one star, or two, or even three (my own personal ‘average’ scale). I’m not starring it at all. I DNFed this book after about 50ish pages and a few days of trying to get into it. I want to be clear that I tried. I tried hard y’all but I couldn’t do it. It’s not like there were a lot of glaring faults with it. At least, not that early in the novel. I wouldn’t know about the rest of it, you’ll have to read other reviews to find that out.
The writing was decent. The characters were okay. I just . . . I couldn’t connect with the story. For me it is absolutely necessary that I feel drawn in immediately. Even the smallest spark of connection is enough to keep me going. It’s sad, but I couldn’t connect at all to this.
So, what makes this a review when I didn’t even really read the ARC I have? Simple: DNF is a valid response. I feel that as long as I explain my reasoning, it’s a fair review. There’s this weird stigma around not finishing a book that makes it something to be ashamed of. Maybe that’s just my experience but I’ve always felt like I have to finish a book, even when I don’t like it or can’t get into it. But, that’s not fair. Not to me, and not to the book or the author. And DNF reviews are valid. Which is why I’m posting this, as pathetic and short as it is. Because my opinion and inability to connect to the book is fair. The same way anyone who loved and gushed and sang the praises of this book to the world, their opinions are valid.
Anyway this ‘review’ is over. Connections and lack of them aside your feelings about a book are valid. Explain them in whatever way you choose to but as long as you explain them. If you want to share your reasons they’re your reasons. In this case my reasons for DNFing are that i couldn’t connect with the material. That doesn’t make it a bad book or this a negative review. It just makes it a reason. I still 100% recommend reading other reviews, good and bad (from people who actually finished the book) and if you still want to pick the book up, great! I hope you enjoy it. I really, really do.
Anyway, it’s late, I’m tired, and I have to be up for work at 7am (ew). I hope my exhausted only somewhat coherent thoughts make sense. I’ll be back soon with better words on other things. Goodnight!