Review: The Prophecy by Erin Albert


Rating: 3 stars
Pub Date: November 14, 2013
Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ebook, won in a giveaway
Status: First book in the Fulfillment Series


Summary:
Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.

Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?

Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.

When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.

Review:
This book came highly recommended by some of my best blogger friends so I was really concerned when I hated the first 40 pages or so. Really. Concerned. The good news is that things do pick up, and I went from hating the beginning to really enjoying the middle and the end, and I'm even looking forward to reading what happens next.

Let's start off with what made me enjoy this book. In a word, the characters. The Prophecy has a decently large primary cast, lots of people to keep up with (which is pretty typical for a fantasy), but each character was an individual and had his or her own unique voice, and I grew to care about them. Layla, Nash, Wil, Vespa, Grant, Samson, Mars, Sansolena, Rex... I wanted all of these characters to be successful in their various endeavors. I also like that Erin lapsed time a few chapters in, which allowed the characters to bond over weeks instead of a more immediate connection (there was that too, but time passing always helps to strengthen those initial relationships).

I also really like the setup of the world, once it is introduced. The idea of two warring nations, one with physical strength, one with mental, is really intriguing. I also like that Erin did not ignore the concept that very easily, either side could become overloaded if they were to train themselves in the art of the other nation.

As for my complaints, first, I hated that there was very little exposition. I don't want an info dump, but with fantasy, some introduction is nice. Instead, we're shoved into the middle of a celebration that goes quickly awry, and then BAM! new country. My head was spinning in a distinctly unpleasant manner. After about page 60, things settled with plenty of action and also plenty of explanation. I'm glad I kept reading. In my experience, you can't always judge a book by the first few chapters. To this day, I hate the very first chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and even though The Host is one of my favorite books, I find even the first 100 pages on the tedious side.

I'm going to warn you, this next paragraph is going to be rife with MAJOR SPOILERS.

My second major complaint is that although the story is interesting and the characters sympathetic, Erin went a little wild with the clichéd "twists." There's a Chosen One AND the CO has special eyes and hair. There are a whole host of familial issues such as "surprise! we're related!" news and siblings dating siblings (no, not incestuously. Siblings of family 1 are both dating siblings of family 2) and fathers either loving or hating their sons. There are TOO MANY BOYS trying to be with Layla. And then, at the end, there's a moment that I think is supposed to be a cliffie, but it just doesn't deliver the punch it should because it's honestly expected. Also, solutions to all these problems present themselves a little too readily and perfectly. The only way someone gets what they want is if someone dies? That character dies. One prince is not good enough to inherit? Oh, look, here's a spare who just happens to appear at the right moment. Two characters are magically bound together? Oh, we'll just break that bond through a little-known ceremony that someone found through seemingly little research. TOO. FREAKING. MUCH. I might be able to accept some of these solutions if the book were longer OR if some of these conflicts had been presented in later books. All of it happening simultaneously beggars belief past my point of willful suspension of disbelief. Seriously, there's just too much happening, and it again made my head hurt with ALL THE THINGS.

Okay, you can come back now.

Is this a favorite book? No. Too many aspects of this book bothered me for it to be a favorite. Will I read future books in the Fulfillment Series? Yes. The story is pretty cool, and I do love the characters. I think Erin has some strong, unique concepts going on here, and I think her writing will strengthen as she continues to work on the series. Do I recommend this? Eh...sure, I guess. This is a quick read, and it's a fun new fantasy. You should give it a shot to see if it's to your liking. So far, The Prophecy has received mostly positive reviews. Maura the Whimsical Mama, Crystal in Bookland, and Christina of Ensconced in Lit all rated it FIVE STARS so you should check out their reviews to see why they love it so much.

Book Links:
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About the Author:
Erin Albert is an author and fitness trainer. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police." In her free time, Erin enjoys acting, running, kickboxing, and, of course, reading and writing.

Author Links:
  

5 comments:

  1. It's funny because I read through your list of issues with this book and I'm realizing that they are all valid issues that should have bothered me - in fact, in another book they probably would have. But for some reason, I hardly even noticed them when I was reading The Prophecy. I LOVED it! I think that I was just so enchanted by the characters that I didn't mind a few convenient twists (I actually enjoyed most of them), but I can see the points that you're making. If you'd like to see my 5 star review of this book, though, you can find it HERE!

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  2. I actually just started reading this earlier today! I had heard amazing things about this book from Christina and Crystal, though I didn't read their reviews (I just know they were 5 stars), so I thought it was really interesting to see your review of it. I haven't had any major issues with the story yet, though I can see the potential for the whole not fully explaining or showing the whole world first, but I don't really mind it, at least for now. I can't wait to see how my thoughts compare to yours.

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  3. I'm with Nicole on this one. Those things should have bothered me and in other books they do. I don't know what it is about it, but I just loved it! (: I still hate it wasn't all that for you. Hopefully The Outlanders (I think that's the set title) will be better for you!

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  4. Honestly, I had a feeling. To me, this screamed the next book that gets a load of 5 star ratings that don't justify the content. *sigh*

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  5. Good review. I have never heard of this book. But I see some of the problems you had with the book, this might not be a great book for me.

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