I was sent a review copy (ARC) of Raven Song by I. A. Ashcroft by Author Assistant.
This book was published on March 14th, 2016 and is the first book in the Inoki’s Game series. It has a rating of 3 1/2 stars on Goodreads, and I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, too.
First of all, I thought it was interesting how Ashcroft set up her world. It was another post-apocalyptic America where somehow people acquired magic. I’m not a fan of worlds like this, but if written well they can be quite enjoyable. Worlds like this remind me of other dystopian science-fiction books like the Hunger Games and Divergent. Now, these books aren’t horrible, I was obsessed with them when they first came out, but in my opinion, worlds like this are stale and limit creativity. How can you create fantastical science fiction stories when you’re limited to the resources found in America? It would be more interesting, since it has to be set on a dystopian Earth, to see this novel set in China or the Middle East! It would definitely add more excitement than what is exhibited. I believe that if this world was written better I could have enjoyed it more than I did.
The plot-line involving ravens and magic were quite confusing. It felt like the author was trying to find a way to show that a character had magic, but wanted add an “edgy tumblr” aesthetic to the story. I thought that it was confusing that only the ravens were extinct. If there was really a blight among the birds, it would have killed all the birds, right? Well, apparently not. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Jackson and his crew, but I feel like the raven trope is played out in young adult literature. All this being said, I would have enjoyed this book more if the fantasy aspects were either dropped completely, or better incorporated into the story.
The final bit of criticism I have about this book is Anna. Her character was extremely predictable. Every time there was a chapter in her point of view I felt like I was watching Futurama. I did enjoy her entrance in the novel, but after that she adopted the typical secondary female character personality trait: helpless. I was unimpressed by Anna, and I wish that she was more strong-willed! She had the potential to be a badass female protagonist, but she fell short of the cut. As someone who doesn’t read many books with male leads I’m very critical of how the female characters are written in these books. Usually books written in the male perspective are read by men, and the way women are portrayed in these novels affect how they will see women in real life. My point is that it is important to have strong female characters in male-lead books to show how women can be badasses too!
This is just my review on this novel. You could love it and you can hate it, but this is only my opinion. Don’t let my semi-negative review stop you from reading it! This wasn’t my cup of tea, but it could be yours.
My review of King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard will be up soon, so please stay tuned!
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