ARC Review: “Prophecy” by Ellen Oh

ProphecyProphecy (The Dragon King #1) by Ellen Oh

Goodreads | Amazon

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.

3 1/2 stars

Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for this eARC! This title will be released January 2nd, 2013.

Let me just say that I had only the HIGHEST hopes for this book. I mean, read that blurb. See that cover. There is NO WAY that this doesn’t look like the most awesome thing ever.

When I first started reading, I believed my hopes would be entirely acheived. Throughout the entire book, there was nothing more awesome then the setting and the descriptions. Prophecy is without a doubt a visual feast, especially for those people–like me–who like nothing more then world based on Asian mythology. (I mean, dragons and tiger spirits? YEAH.)  They did get long at points, but I didn’t mind because I WANT TO LIVE HERE. You know, when the whole world isn’t at war.

The world BUILDING, on the other hand, suffered a little. I was pretty confused for most of the book, with all the words and countries being tossed back and forth without much explanation. Having a map at the beginning of the book DOES NOT mean you can go away without explaining a bunch of stuff. Especially for those of us on cheap Kindles, it isn’t easy at all to jump back and forth from the front map to the back glossary to where we were in the story. (And if it is and I’m just technology-impossible, someone help me out.) In general, though, it seemed like world building was sacrificed for world description, and it frustrated me sometimes.

In the beginning, I thought the cast of characters for this book would be way too many. I was very impressed how Oh mananged to keep the number of characters “on screen” down, and keep the main characters in the forefront. Still, with that said, something about the characters felt off to me. We were certainly given enough reasons to feel sympathy for the characters, and we were given just enough backstory to connect with them but I … never did. Kira and her friends stayed flat to me, despite all the death and action around them. Other characters, especially some background ones, just seemed characterized. I’ve never been especially character oriented, but even this felt lacking to me.

Where I always focus is the plot, and there I also found issue. To be fair, it rarely stopped moving. Within chapters of the beginning, Kira is an outcast, betrothed to a pretty psychopath and then on the run with the crown prince. They LITERALLY don’t stop moving. They go through like three countries and numerous moutains, temples and castles. For 336 pages, they cover a LOT of ground.

Which I guess is one of the reasons the plot seemed so choppy.

The only way that Oh could have hoped to fit everything in is by cutting out parts of the journies, and that’s what she did. Still, this made the book seem like it was jumping around, especially when this happened in the same chapter. Characters were suddenly dead, cities were suddenly taken by the enemy–and these weren’t small characters or cities. The characters and the cities that were being attacked by the enemy had huge impact on the main characters, but this impact was never explored. All of the sudden it just happened, sometimes with no explanation. I just kept moving with the flow, but the bumps in the road were definetly there.

Also, huge plus: romance takes up like 2% of this book. So the female main character ACTUALLY spends ALL her time kicking butt and not batting her eyelashes. Personally, I find this fantastic.

All in all, I did enjoy this book. It was an interesting premise and I loved the setting. The characters were flat to me, but they weren’t dislikeable by any means. This book is definetly one for those people who are looking for more high fantasy settings with female heroines who certainly kick butt. I do look forward to reading the next book in this series, because I think it can only go up from here.

Book 2, Warrior, is due 2014. Book 3, King, is due 2015.

Mid-Winter’s Eve Giveaway Hop

midwinters eve

It’s time for another giveaway hop, this one hosted by I’m a Reader, Not a Writer and Oasis for YA! If you’re interested in checking out the almost 180 other blogs in this with me, click HERE.

And now for the giveaway!

I’m giving away a copy of Renegade by J. A. Souders and TWO Prophecy by Ellen Oh bookmarks (not pictured)!

RenegadeGoodreads | My Review

Interested? Click HERE to enter! The giveaway is US only and ends at 11:59 PM on December 27th.

Stacking the Shelves #12

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews!

Okay guys, not going to lie. This is a Stacking the Shelves a MONTH in the making. So it’s going to look like an avalanche of books. …it still kinda is.

FROM EDELWEISS

Mila 2.0Taken

Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza ~ Taken by Erin Bowman

Mind GamesProphecy

Mind Games by Kiersten White ~ Prophecy by Ellen Oh

Through the Ever Night

Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

FROM NETGALLEY

Model SpyGravity

Model Spy by Shannon Greenland ~ Gravity by Melissa West

Shadowhunters and downworlders

Shadowhunters and Downworlders by Cassandra Clare and others

PHYSICAL ARC

The Rogue's Princess

The Rogue’s Princess by Eve Edwards

BOUGHT

VenomBlack City

Venom by Fiona Paul ~ Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Vienna WaltzThe Night Circus

Vienna Waltz by Teresa Grant ~ Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

GIFTED

Nemesis

Nemesis by Lindsey Davis

Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

I’m fairly certain this entire topic lives to hurt my soul. ONLY TEN? ONLY TEN? The only way I could even CONCEIVE of doing this was by going by month and just picking the first 10 off the list. I’m ridiculously lucky I made it to March, and that was only through severe jumping of hoops.

1. Prophecy by Ellen Oh

You HAVE read this blurb, right? Because DROOL. I won a giveaway for bookmarks and a phone charm a little while ago, and I love both of them dearly. 😀

2. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never Sky didn’t thrill me to begin with, but it really won me over in the end. (See my review!) Now I’m hooked, and I NEED to know what happens next!

3. Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (due out January 15th)

I don’t know what it is about this book (well, besides the awesome cover and the freaking fantastic blurb) but I’ve been hooked on it ever since I first heard about it. I feel like it is going to be SUPER fantastic.

4. Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton (due out January 29th)

GUYS. GUYS IT’S THE THIRD AND FINAL ANGELFIRE BOOK. GUYS. I ALMOST CAN’T HANDLE IT. (Don’t miss my review of Wings of the Wicked!)

5. Asunder by Jodi Meadows (due out January 29th)

JANUARY 29TH IS GOING TO BE THE BEST DAY IN EVER OF EVER. YOU ALL SHOULD REALIZE THIS. (You did see my freak out in my review of the first one, right?)

6. Prodigy by Marie Lu (due out January 29th)

Okay, that’s it. On January 29th I’m going to die of happiness. (Even if Legend didn’t entirely thrill me, I still loved it.)

7. City of a Thousand Dolls by Miriam Forster (due out February 5th)

This was my Waiting on Wednesday a few weeks ago, and for good reason! I can’t get over this book blurb and cover!

8. Sever by Lauren DeStefano (due out February 12th)

This is one of the most interesting dystopian ideas I’ve yet to read. This is also the last book. AGH THE WAITING. (I reviewed both Wither and Fever on the blog!)

9. The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead (due out February 12th)

Have you missed my freak outs over Mead’s Vampire academy series? Bloodlines? The Golden Lily? BECAUSE I LOVE HER BOOKS AND OHMYGOD ADRIAN AND EEEEEK!

10. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare (due out March 19th)

GUYS. HAVE YOU NOT SEEN ME FREAK OUT OVER THESE BOOKS BEORE BECAUSE I FREAK OUT LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS AND I JUST CAN’T HANDLE MYSELF AND– Ahem.