I have incredibly strong, yet mixed, feelings about this book.
The story is excellent and very well told. Tthe characters are wonderful, and the world building is great. The central character is vivacious and intelligent, and her position as someone who is highly individual in a world where conformity is prized is highly relatable for many in this day and age. Through the characters and events of the story, the reader is challenged to consider the complexities of life, loyalty, overcoming prejudice and being true to ones own identity and values.
There is nothing not to love about this book, except the ending. There is no resolution to the questions and complications of the story. It’s not a well-executed cliffhanger.
To be reading a brilliant story and then just have it stop dead in its tracks is most disappointing, to say the least. It’s fair to say that my disappointment at the end of the book overwhelmed and outweighed all the enjoyment I had derived from it, and left me feeling quite resentful and angry.
It was clearly designed for readers to progress straight to the next book, as one sometimes does with a series, and if readers chose to do so, then the nature of the ending probably doesn’t matter so much. The story is certainly interesting and engaging enough that readers might want to do that.
The problem is that many readers don’t read a series sequentially like that. I prefer to vary my reading across genres and styles, and I know I am not by any means the only one who does so.
When I buy a book, it’s with the understanding that I’m going to get a complete story with some closure and a proper ending. It’s actually enough to put me off buying the next book, even though I really want to know what happens, simply because I believe the same thing will happen again.
If you are a reader who is willing to move straight into the sequel, then by all means consider this to be a Gold Acorn review. Read this book and make sure you’ve got the next one ready to go at the end of it.
If you are a reader who will be frustrated by the absence of any decent ending or resolution, then no matter how good the story is, this is not the book for you.
There have been one or two occasions on which I have contemplated creating a Black Acorn. Today, I have actually done it.
Related post: Well, That Ended Badly…