The Last of the Firedrakes (The Avalonia Chronicles #1)
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
What I Liked
- Rafe: My feelings for Rafe remind me of that pen commercial where the guy isn’t doing anything, but the girls still fawn over him. Rafe doesn’t do much in the story other than safe Aurora and yet I love his character. I love that he’s always there to save Aurora in the nick of time (like a superhero) and expresses his emotions in the most boy-like way (telling Aurora not to get into trouble while he’s away). Even though Rafe doesn’t play a large role in the story, just having him in Aurora’s life made Aurora do things that made me laugh. (Most readers probably won’t find the story funny, but I stopped taking Aurora seriously early on.)
- The end: At the 65/70% mark, the story begins to pick up. This is because the latter part of the book has a “big reveal,” the confrontation/fight scene, and details that set up the next book. However, if, like me, you pick up on the clues presented at the beginning of the story, the ending is pretty predictable. I think the only thing that drove me to finish the story was my desire to see my predictions come true. Additionally, the ending was good because it seemed to be a faster pace than the rest of the book. It doesn’t deviate far from the Aurora gets in trouble, is saved, gets scolded cycle, but it seems more interesting and slightly faster. Plus, the details that set up the next book have me waiting in anticipation.
What I Disliked
- Aurora: For the first 10-15% of the story, Aurora spends most of the time crying. Sure, there are parts that warrant a few tears. But she’d start crying at the drop of a dime, which became annoying quickly. The rest of the book Aurora spent her time making bad decisions that I just knew were going to blow up in her face. Again, once I stopped taking the story seriously the story became funnier because it was just a matter of waiting to see what went wrong next. Aurora’s behavior and actions are what caused the predictable cycle of the story. Besides continuously getting into trouble, I didn’t like Aurora simply because she didn’t give me a reason to like her. Every time she vowed to take responsibility and behave like the queen people needed, she would action in a way similar to before she promised to improve thus showing no improvement in her character.
- Writing style: My feelings about the writing style are all over the place. This is partly because the writing seems to change a lot. Therefore, instead of trying to write a coherent paragraph detailing what bothered me, I’m going to use bullet points to hopefully get my point across.
- Cliches: From holding a forgotten breath to miniscule pieces of time feeling like chunks of time to stereotypical physical descriptions, this book is riddled with cliches. Writing isn’t easy, but for once, can the protagonist keep breathing? Can seconds just feel like seconds? Does plain have to mean brown hair and brown eyes? (The last one is just me being picky because I have dark brown eyes and dark brown/black hair and I don’t want to think of myself as plain.)
- Tone: Aurora goes from a modern universe where smartphones and social media rule to an old-fashion realm where there’s no electricity and multiple kingdoms yet linguistically she transitions effortlessly. She has some trouble remembering the different statuses, but rarely is Aurora ever called out on talking differently.She credits some of her knowledge on previous internet research, but I think a more accurate portrayal of someone going through Aurora’s journey is someone who repeatedly stumbles over his/her speech as s/he picks up on that realms mannerisms. Again I’m being picky, but I just feel like the transition went too smoothly. I would have been totally freaking out and in withdrawal once it fully clicked that I couldn’t watch my favorite YouTubers or check my email anymore.
Overall, The Last of the Firedrakes isn’t a terrible story, but it’s the ending that has me wanting to continue with the trilogy. If not for that, I would give up on Aurora, the cliches, and the predictability.