Friday, May 18, 2018

Book Review: The Girl Without Magic

Title: The Girl Without Magic
Author: Megan O'Russell
Genre: YA/Teen Fantasy
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

I feel like I just read the beginnings of three different novels and the end of one; and yet somehow they were all in the same book. Without a doubt The Girl Without Magic suffers from a lack of focus, plot, characterization and direction.

No Logical Tie-ins
Our story starts out with our leading gal waking up from the midst of a battle in a 'dark place' that eventually becomes what's known as 'Siren's Realm'. We go from there to her existing in 'Siren's Realm' before she ends up in another place (I'm not saying anything more here as it might be considered a spioler).
But here's the thing, right from the beginning, she doesn't seem concerned about if she actually 'died' in battle or wonder about getting back to Earth. She does't seem bothered by hew new existence in Siren's Realm and then when she leaves there to our third location she doesn't seem too caught up in how to return to Siren's Realm. It's baffling that a teenage girl would care so little about where she lives, resources, etc. To the point where for me this ruined the entire book.
Irregardless of the other issues (listed below) this was the crux of the problem for me.
I just don't believe that a teenage girl would care so little what happened to her friends, family, etc. on Earth, would accept her 'death' so easily, and not be concerned about getting back to stability. Sure it's implied in a couple spots that she's thought about it but zero emphasize or energy goes into these issues that I believe should be the dominant thing on her mind.

And the Hits Keep Coming
I could probably write an essay, as long as this book is, about all of the plot holes (or lack of plot at all!), dull characterizations, insta-love (oh yeah it's bad), and general flaws in this book. Megan O'Russell seems to address things that are burning questions (for me at least) to readers with offhand comments or not until 50 pages after.
A good example; our gal and her travelling companion fall (literally) into this new 'third' place and are captured by the locals whom they seem to be able to speak with no problem. No thought or concern about language barriers at all. About 6 chapters later our main gal mentions it to her (insta-love interest) and it's decided that it must be the 'magic' allowing it. This is easily the lamest and laziest reason that could possibly be given. O'Russell might as well written 'because the author decided she didn't want to deal with it'. Disservice to the reader and turns me right off.

Overall or The Irony
It's ironic that the dialogue and descriptiveness of the story was not terrible. This is the only reason I didn't DNF this (and that I wanted to finish a book!). It wasn't the quality of writing but the content of it that was frustrating (if that makes sense). I would compare it to Twilight in that it's an interesting enough idea and the writing is 'good enough' to read; but that the execution of the story, characters, plot, etc. was so awful that it ruins anything redeeming about the writing style.
And to think this is a series (and one that I could go on for eternity the way it's set-up as 'adventures' in new lands). Ugh.
I would suggest avoiding this book/series, and maybe even this author entirely. (Unless of course you think that Stephanie Meyer is the best writer of all time, then you might like this...)
I'm probably being far too generous to give it even 2 stars to be honest.

Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.

1 comment:

Leonore Winterer said...

What, you don't think Stephanie Meyer is the best writer of all time? What a shocker ;)
Again, this is an issue I get with a lot of books, although it's usually not quite as extreme as you describe it: crazy stuff keeps happening to the protagonist, and they just go with it without looking back, even when they do get a quiet moment. I know humans are supposed to be able to adapt to situations and circumstances, but not like that!
Also, that language thing made me laugh a little...coincidentally, that is also a 'problem' in a game I finished a bit ago. They claimed it was some microorganisms in the air or something (micro-babelfish?!), but it never was explained any further, and with a lot of other mysteries remaining resolved (so hoping for a sequel!), I am still not sure if it's just laziness or actually important.