Day 81: Prophecy by Ellen Oh
Summary From Goodreads:
Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s bodyguard. She’s a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she’s their only hope…
Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.
Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.
Prophecy has many of the elements of a great fantasy novel but unfortunately it just can’t combine them effectively. Demon slaying, 7 different kingdoms potentially fighting one another whether in wars or political discourse and, of course, prophecies. All of those combined, well they’d likely make up a slightly different version of Game of Thrones, but Prophecy falls short in execution and fails to draw me in.
Let’s start with the characters. I didn’t connect with any of them. No, seriously, not one, not the MC Kira, not her siblings, not the “love interests” if you can even call them that, nobody. The main reason for this is they simply aren’t fleshed out enough. There is no reason to sympathize with them. Oh sure they go through a ton of crap in their lives, but a lot of people do, and without knowing enough about them and connecting with them there is no way to separate their plight from anyone else. Kira has many burdens she deals with, but while Prophecy seems to want to make you believe that she grins and bears them silently, or as much so as possible like a good little soldier, in reality she whines and gripes a lot. The love interests, if you even can call them that, have no spark. To top it off the little brother is just annoying, not compelling whatsoever. Blah.
While there could be plenty of world building and wonderful scenes presented considering there are seven kingdoms to develop and showcase for some reason Ellen Oh does not go that route. None of the scenery even manages to add to the book’s allure, or lack there of, as they are surface only. There could be so much done here but alas this story could be taking place in Japan or in Venezuela, you really couldn’t tell any differences in how the novel would play out.
As for the plot, I wasn’t engaged. I tried getting into it a few times, even going so far as to put the book down for a while (never a good sign) and then picking it up a couple hours later to see if it gave me a new feel or perspective. All it did was prolong my time getting through the piece. The battle scenes were akin to a hack and slash video game, one that is so repetitive as to get dull within the first half hour of play. I don’t care how trained or hyper sensitive Kira is supposed to be, she isn’t dodging every single attack at the last second in a realistic battle, especially when her and her group are outnumbered multiple times. Forget it. The pace is slow despite the action scenes mixed in and it just never piqued my interest.
I really had thought Prophecy would be a solid read especially after one of my best bloggy friends Annabelle gave it such a glowing review, but alas I just didn’t find the same things enticing as she did. Kira was a strong female MC but I don’t think that being a “badass” gives you enough leeway to be seemingly devoid of personality. Nor did I need to be reminded every other chapter about how everyone everywhere doesn’t like her at best or wants her dead at worst, I got the gist in the first few chapters, really. While Prophecy had plenty of potential (I did compare the elements it could have used to Game of Thrones after all) it wasn’t executed well in my opinion. I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the series. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 82!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #81/365