My apologies for the delayed posting. I’ve been sick recently and basically got behind on, well, everything. Please don’t take the delay as a slight toward the book (spoiler alert – I enjoyed this one)! Let’s start with the usual info and then we’ll chat!
Storm and Fury by Jennifer Armentrout
Harbinger Book 1 of 3
6/11/19 Publication date
Amazon: 3,928 ratings; 4.5 avg
Goodreads: 34,445 ratings; 4.11 avg
Tropes: chosen one
POV: 1st person
Meet Trinity Marrow, a girl with an explosive secret whose hiding place has just been discovered…
Eighteen-year-old Trinity may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her gift is the reason she’s been in hiding for years in a compound guarded by Wardens—shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her to enhance their powers.
When Wardens from another clan arrive with reports that something is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to trust Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s jump into the most repeated criticisms in fellow readers’ negative reviews. Again, please note that this one also has high averages, but no book is for everyone.
Top negative comments:
–immature/ unlikeable FMC
–no chemistry between MCs
–Comparison’s to Cassandra Clare [cliché]
Immature/ unlikable FMC/ no chemistry
This is a first-person story and an unlikeable MC is often the reason I do not like first person. However, I liked Trinity. There’s definitely a teen feel but it is YA and I’ve read many more annoying fictional teens! 😉 One thing I liked about her is that she’s aware enough to know when she’s being an ass or whiny and admits it. She is an emotional character but I thought it worked well.
As for chemistry, I felt there was a good chemistry and interactions between the MCs. There was definitely a push/ pull flirt/ snark thing that worked for me anyway.
I will admit that this book isn’t heavy or serious though which lends to the younger feel. However, that suited my mood especially once I got sick. I liked that it was easy to read and moved rather well considering it’s a longish book.
I will also admit though that the reviewers aren’t wrong about the dialogue. It was somewhat weird to me. It almost feels more like a pure fantasy setting but then we get 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s references. I enjoyed those for the most part, but it was jarring and created a disjointed flow at times. One reviewer was particularly annoyed by a ‘fake news’ reference. Depending on your mood and what you like, the dialogue may be a deal breaker for you. Overall, I found it to be quirky and suited to my mood.
Comparison to Cassandra Clare/ cliché
I actually enjoyed the fantasy world-building portions…but I also haven’t read Cassandra Clare. I have some of her books on my bookshelf and did watch a few episodes of the TV version of Shadowhunters. I thought the gargoyles were cool and I liked that they trained instead of just being magically strong. As for being cliché, the young chosen one is a popular trope and as I love tropes that doesn’t bother me. It was unique enough for me to find it enjoyable.
There are two points I want to bring up here as a reader (though I’ll probably mention this in the writer section too).
#ownvoices – disabilities
The FMC in this book has a disability that the author is experiencing. There’s a author note at the end about it. The disability impacts sight and wasn’t something I’d heard of previously. I enjoyed seeing a character with a disability that didn’t define her. Her POV broadened my own and will hopefully make me more empathetic (which is something reading is supposed to do for us). There were negative comments about this though so it may not strike the same chord with you as it did with me.
Crossover series/ same world
While this was the first time I’ve read Jennifer Armentrout and this is book 1 in the Harbinger series, this book revisits an existing world of hers. One reader was unhappy about that and felt they missed out by reading this book first. I didn’t get that at all! I did feel the worldbuilding was thorough which makes sense as it’s an existing world, but I didn’t feel I missed out. It was obvious at parts who the previous book was about…and yes, I checked to be sure. There may even be other series in this universe. As I don’t mind spoilers, I’m okay reading out of order. Again though, not all readers are alike. If this is an issue for you, you may want to check out the author’s website and see if there’s a recommended reading order.
Overall, I’d give this one 4 stars! I liked the lighter YA feel and embraced the MCs and their world. I even enjoyed the longer inner dialogue passages which I’m known to skip. I’ll continue this series and am certainly open to reading more from the author! Now, I must share a favorite quote which I do think is symbolic of the book!
“At first, I didn’t hear anything other than the distant call of a bird or possibly a chupacabra. We were in the mountains of West Virginia; anything was possible.”
If you’ve read it or read others by the author, do feel free to comment. If it sounds like something you might enjoy, you’ll find an Amazon link at the bottom after the cat picture. Now though, it’s time to switch gears and consider this book from the writer perspective!
I’m going to start with the last two points above as those are things we haven’t discussed in the Book Chat yet. If you want more about POV, pacing, plot, world-building then do check out previous chats as those are familiar topics!
I am definitely for diversity in books and enjoy reading new perspectives and learning. However, I do know that’s a fine line to walk as an author. Whenever race or gender of authors are brought up in reader groups, you’ll have people immediately argue that it’s not relevant and is something they ignore. Some authors even use initials and hide their gender. I’ve also heard various authors share reviews which note race/ gender/ sexuality of characters in negative ways. Some use those same reviews as marketing tools to reach other readers.
I think our voice falls under our author brand and therefore must be part of our plan. Regardless of our choices, I think all of us should expect some readers to be unhappy. Again though, this is always the case. This is the second year of the Book Chat and I can always find negative reader reviews for even the most popular books.
I wanted to bring it up here though as it wasn’t something I thought of when I first published. Depending on where you are on your publishing journey, you may have already made your decision or it may still loom ahead. If you want to chat more, please feel free to comment and/ or reach out to me about doing a guest post.
Crossover series/ same world
My first series is a total of 7 books…and going forward, I’ll probably go for shorter works and even standalones. However, I do plan to write in my same world. I was surprised (though I shouldn’t have been) that a reader found it annoying that an independent series was part of an existing world.
Do you have a plan for your world?
Much like being a plotter who adjusts her outline, my plan for my Rahki world is ever-growing and changing. I like that though! I like that I know more about it than ever and yet there are still more stories to share.
If you have tips for writing in the same world or have questions and want to chat, please feel free to comment.
That brings this March Book Chat to a close, my friends! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Below, you’ll find the links to this month’s read and our next one so don’t be shy about joining the chat!