Sunday, January 31, 2016

ARC Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

I received an eARC copy of Tell the Wind and Fire through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Clarion Books! 

eARC, 368 pages
Release Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Clarion Books

In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Celebrated author Sarah Rees Brennan weaves a magical tale of romance and revolution, love and loss.

Despite following Sarah Rees Brennan on Twitter for years, this was the first book of hers I've actually read. It was probably not the best book to start with. I can tell Ms. Brennan is a talented writer, since her prose was lovely, but my praise unfortunately ends there. 

Until around page 300, I wasn't that interested in the plot or the main character, Lucie. I don't think I would normally read through 300 pages of "meh", but I got this book for free in exchange for a review and thought I should therefore read the entire thing. Lucie spends the majority of the book going about her daily life, recounting her tragic past and obsessing over her boyfriend, Ethan. That wouldn't really bother me that much if the story was set in an unique world or if Ethan was worthy of obsession, but there wasn't anything special about the worldbuilding or Ethan. They were both rather... bland.

Carwyn was a much more compelling character than either Lucie or Ethan (and a motivator for me to continue reading). Unlike the other two leads, Carwyn had humor and an intriguing backstory, but Lucie spends the entire book hating him for, well, everything and anything he does. Her inner monologue made it hard to enjoy any scene with him.

The ending did save it from being a completely "meh" book. I read the last 60 pages in one sitting and got emotional during the final scene, so that's a plus for me. If Ms. Brennan had only added more action into the first 80%, Tell the Wind and Fire could've had me on the edge of my seat.

Would I recommend this book? Maybe, if someone wanted a retelling of A Tale of Two Cities

Would I re-read it? No

Would I read a sequel? There isn't going to be one, but if there was, probably no