Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Book Review: Eight Rivers of Shadow by Leo Hunt

Teen Pregnancy is gonna happen one way or another in this series.

Luke Manchett used to be one of the most popular boys at school.

That was before his necromancer father died and left him a host of vengeful ghosts that wanted him dead.

Now everyone thinks he's a freak.

To make matters worse, the mysterious new girl at school is actually the daughter of his father's deadliest enemy...

And she's out for revenge

This is the sequel to 13 Days of Midnight, while I enjoyed the first book, I had issues with it that have carried on to the next book. Most of them have doubled.

The plot was still strong but was too reliant on the sheer stupidity of the protagonist. It could be augured it's is naivety but at this point he's straight up not learning from his mistakes.The world building while interesting, it didn't compensate for the characters this time.

Luke and Elza are giant clichés. A popular jock and a snobby goth are the most unlikable stereotypes that you can find in a Teen Medium without a immediate threat; it becomes clear how characterless they are. I had a problem with the romantic aspect of their relationship in the previous book and in this one it rings even more false for me. This is a big issue as a lot of the novel is their relationship being tested and I'm just in the corner thinking you should have broke up by now, like Big Brother contestants do when they come out the house. Their bonding is experience is over and has been for months at the start of this book. Friendships are valid and in high school you be friends with people if you have nothing really in common except being outsiders and lonely. You're less likely to question your differences in friendship than a romance. Their high tolerance for each is never explained which we just know how they annoy each other.

Also both Luke's mum and Elza's parents are completely fine with them staying over at each others' places over night without a discussion. There's at least an awkward sex talk in there. That's never discussed in the book and they are just teenagers who both lucked on parents that up for having grand kids in 9 months. All of the parents are involve and actually care about their locations. This is odd absence of responsibility is just weird extension of the absent parents trope in YA. A world without consequences.

The new characters in this book are bland and American meaning their actions have little emotional consequence to the story. But I like them more than Luke and Elza so problematic again for the plot.

Random Fact: Luke has disdain towards having his Dad's last name, but he's 16 years he can change his name to his mum's (or anything) if he wants. Its the 21st century and lots of people decided to do that. If it's to show disdain towards his father, I think the back story does this pretty clearly and if to explain his mum different last name, why bring her last name up? No one actively calls her by it and the story is told completely by Luke. If meant to show Luke still wants a connection with his dad, how many people would question one line at the the start of the book this much.

I give this 2.5 stars for Ghost Fights. I like the world of this book, but the characters really let the book down. I'm not all invested in them at all after two books. Last time I said I didn't think of I would read the sequel but who knows, probably wouldn't buy it. I think I would definitely read a spin off or future work from Leo Hunt. If you a more plot person than a character person then I would recommend it to you.

I got this off NetGalley for review and is being published by Orchard Books

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