Friday, January 25, 2013

Prophecy by Ellen Oh

Prophecy by Ellen Oh ReviewReading Level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 320 Pages
Release Date: January 2, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Narration: Third Person: Kira
Genre: Mythology/ Fantasy
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge

The Dragon King Chronicles
Book One: Prophecy
Book Two: Warrior
Book Three: King

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms... is a girl with yellow eyes.

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.

My Review:

After skimming through a fair portion of not so stellar reviews, I was a little hesitant as to if I would like Prophecy or not. It seemed like one of those "Hate it" or Love it" type of books right off the bat. Although the cover did intrigue me with its undeniable allure, the synopsis wasn't very innovative at all. How many times have we danced this dance before? It seems as if all the YA authors decided to have a get together and had the oh so brilliant idea to write about the same exact theme. A Ancient Prophecy. A girl destined to save them all. Sound familiar yet? However, even though this plot doesn't catch my eye as much as it used to, I still enjoy it nonetheless! What I found in this debut definitely surprised me. Although it all revolved around the revered Dragon Prophecy, all of the fascinating Korean myths and legends kept my attention from straying afar.

In this particular era and region, girls are not allowed into the army and are treated as inferiors to men. This, added to the fact that Kira has unnerving, pierce your soul, yellow eyes and moves with a grace that isn't quite human, makes her a walking anomaly. Throughout her whole life, she was mocked, teased, and reviled for her peculiar features. But no matter what happened, she never let petty insults control her actions or decisions. What I liked best about her character was that she wasn't flawless. She had doubts and fears just like any other average teenage girl, even though she was a badass ninja with tiger like reflexes.The malicious words and difficult situations constantly being thrown her way affected her deeply, but she refused to let anyone else see the neverending sadness and simmering rage hidden just below the surface.

Taejo, Kira's charge and crown prince of Hansong, came off more like a indignant little peewee than a soon to be king. I felt that Ellen was trying her hardest to make him out to be some heroic boy who always did the right thing no matter how many people tried to stop him, but I never came close to those conclusions. It seemed like every single time Kira tried to protect him or tell him why they were executing a plan a certain way to save lives, he would stomp off and pull the "I'm the prince" card to intimidate people into doing his bidding. Yeah, I get that he's younger than most main characters, being all of 12 years old, but his temper tantrums and childish comebacks made me think him much younger then he really was.

The romance was mediocre at best. I wouldn't say it was bad, but it just felt unnatural and forced upon the characters. As if the author decided to just jam it in there as a afterthought, for the purpose of attracting a bigger audience of teenage girls. It wasn't what you would call a insta love connection, but the feelings both characters developed progressed just a little too quickly for my liking. Although you can't call the romance a love triangle just yet, the.....well you'll see. xD Don't want to give anything away. Curse you spoilers! I'll just put my five cents in to say that my spidey senses are tingling, warning me that one is underwraps and will soon be revealed.. 

I wasn't too keen with the writing style Ellen integrated into Prophecy. Even though I didn't hate it wholeheartedly, I could never become fully immersed into the story, because the sentences felt choppy, rough, and abrupt. A good portion of them ended with unnecessary exclamation points, which induced many facepalm moments, because it felt awkward and embarrassing.

With all the negative stuff out of the way, let's get onto the good part shall we? The action was by far my favorite part of the whole novel. I ended up reading this in one sitting, because I absolutely had to know what happened next. The worldbuilding and Korean mythology was another huge factor in why I enjoyed this book. The setting and overall atmosphere were described with just the right amount of details to interest you instead of bore you to tears, which I have experienced many many times throughout my life of reading. The intriguing terms and legends that were skillfully weaved into the novel were riveting as well and almost had me checking google just to learn more about it.

Although the "Warrior destined for greatness" theme is kind of old, Prophecy put a fresh new twist to it that I enjoyed immensely. This story had the potential to induce some fangirl moments from me, but the writing style prevented that from happening. Will I be reading the next two books in this trilogy? Probably. Do I recommend this for fans of high fantasy, fast paced action, and badass warrior protagonists? Definitely!

Heroine- 4/5
Romance- 2.5/5
Action- 5/5
Comedy- 2/5
Overall- 3.5/5

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your review. I was a "like" on this one, not a "love." Still interested in seeing where the story goes, though.


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