Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The Lost Prince (review)
I hate to do this to a Julie Kagawa book. Against my normal tendency, I really enjoyed The Iron Fey series, especially loving when she switched to the male POV with the last book. Then against normal tendency again I liked her vampire novel The Immortal Rules.
I was excited about her new book. Set in the Iron Fey world and with a male protagonist I felt sure I would love it. But I just couldn't connect with The Lost Prince. The first couple of pages, where Ethan is all brooding, moody and with a few piercings I was excited. Then as the book went on I became less and less invested. I've spent a few days trying to understand why this book frustrated me so.
For me the problems started when Kenzie was introduced. She's little, cute and spunky. Normally I like spunk. But this just felt like a "try too hard" spunky character. She's the intrepid reporter trying to interview the new troubled kid, everyone in school loves her, she's smart and always calls Ethan "tough guy." Really when all that's added together it feels a tad like a Mary Sue. Sometimes characters are just so perfect that they're more of a caricature than a person and that's the case with Kenzie.
Ethan is supposed to be this brooding troubled youth. But almost immediately when he meets Kenzie his heart starts fluttering. He continually talks about how small she is, how he wants to protect her, his slim body against his, etc etc. It just got obnoxious. I don't like the emphasis on Kenzie's petite frame or Ethan's need to protect her. Even though it's not instalove, the relationship doesn't have the build up or emotional resonance that it needed. It's just kind of there annoying me through the whole book.
The foreshadowing felt a bit overt in this book. There were "twists" that I picked up on almost immediately while Ethan spent nearly the whole book oblivious.
As always Kagawa writes some of the best fight scenes in YA books. That has not changed. The problem is the characters have. Maybe that's why the Iron Fey worked and this did not. It had a humor and levity brought by Puck. He makes an apparence in this book, but it's way too brief and too much of a reminder of why this book doesn't work. I know a lot of people will like this book. But Ethan and Kenzie fell completely flat for me.