Monday, January 5, 2015

Book Review: Anastasia (The Bolton Series Book 1)

Today's book is Anastasia, by Haven Lyanne Flores

From the "Back of the book":

"My family isn’t human. We are from a planet called Bolton. We moved to Earth when I was just a baby. After Earth fell apart my father decided to move back, leaving the only home I’ve ever known.
The people of Bolton have known of Earth for years. We’re the reason humans have nightmares, why they believe in certain things. We’re the creatures of the supernatural. The things that live under your bed go bump in the middle of the night.
We’ve lived in harmony until the powerful sorcerer, Daruka, started terrorizing the planet. Now we cower in fear, afraid of something more powerful than us. That was until I was born.
Anastasia had only known of the nomadic life caused by the third world war on Earth. The possibility of a permanent home never crossed her mind. When her family moves to a new planet full of supernatural creatures her life gets turned upside down.
Lost and afraid of something more powerful than herself will Anastasia be able to save the only place she has ever called home?"

Despite the bit of sci-fi in the opening, the book is solid fantasy.

The bad:

If the author didn't consult the fantasy cliche list while writing this book, the readers sure can re-create it while reading...
  • orphan who doesn't know his/her parents aren't foster parents
  • foster parents die
  • orphan is the "chosen one"
  • orphan isn't trained in any way until the moment of crisis
  • ... and many more!
There are also a handful of typos. Not enough to distract me from the story, but....

The good:

Really, the cliches are the worst part of the story. Once you get past them, the story is engaging, and the world the story is set in is interesting and feels "real." There are other stories that use the "earth fairy tales and myths are based on real creatures/aliens" plotline (that's why it's a cliche), but the core idea used here is solid, and I've read books with worse implementations of it.

Anastasia's character is both fascinating and dull. In the first quarter of the story, she's dull, uninformed, and completely unrelateable. After that, she seems to wake up, and actually experience some feelings, and respond to the situation like a normal person.

Overall, despite the stories flaws, I still had a fun time reading it... until the end. The end wasn't bad, in fact, it was quite good (it made me want to keep reading) but it hit a pet peeve of mine.


Yeah, spoilers here....

The book just ended. She finally arrives to the showdown with the big bad.... and that's it. Apparently, the showdown is going to be in book 2, instead of here, the culmination of the story where it belongs.


So... how to rate. The cliches and typos make some reviewers give a book an automatic one. I'm not one of them. I care a lot more about story and characters. While both had flaws, I still enjoyed reading the story.
I've read other books with none of these flaws that I was just so bored with that I just couldn't finish, so Anastasia should rank higher than that... but that ending...

Oh well, I'm a push-over, and as a whole I enjoyed it, so, three stars.

This is the place where I'd post an Amazon link, but since I've downloaded the book, I can't find it... anywhere... but I still read it, so I'll still review it.

Here's it's goodreads link

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