Monday, April 7, 2014

Descendant by Toni Kerr

Author: Toni Kerr
Publisher: Self-Published
Pages: 333
Release Date: December 15th, 2013
Source: Received a free copy from the author in 
exchange for an honest review.

For 15 years, Tristan has tried to cope with hearing the thoughts of others. But that was child's play compared to what he must do now. When an old woman appears with a murderer hot on her trail, Tristan is thrust into a world of trickery and manipulation. 

With secret societies tracking his every move, Tristan must find the possessed emerald he was destined to protect and learn to control powers he never knew he had. Only, Tristan never was any good at doing what he was supposed to and the consequences for screwing up now could cost him everything he's grown to love..

I debated for a long time what to rate this book. Sometimes I liked it a bit more than others, and by the end we had a bit of a lukewarm relationship. I didn't hate it, but I'll be honest, I spent most of the book feeling really confused. The writing was fine, but the plot, organization and general structure of the story left me a little uncertain.

I understand that sometimes as a reader, you're meant to feel the characters disjointedness. When they don't know what's happening, you're not necessarily going to. But this whole book felt like constant unanswered questions, and I found it hard to keep going at points. For me, I need to go into a new world with a rule book: here are dragons, dragons can do this. There was no rule book here. It was just lots of mystery, and it all leads into book two.

This world was just really outlandish, and while I love originality, I didn't feel like everything was really explained. Why can Dorian talk to plants? Is just this island special? Can other people in the world do these things? What are these secret societies? What's with the emerald and the map? What happened to the quest? I'm okay with a few things being left for sequels to keep the reader going, but by the time the book was over, it still felt like nothing was answered. There were just loose ends hanging everywhere, and when I was connecting dots, I wasn't even sure if they were the right ones. 

On top of that, Tristan keeps doing all kinds of new things, but we never revisit the older abilities he displays. The book starts with him hearing peoples thoughts, but that pretty much goes away about midway through the book, as the 'newer and shinier' powers come into action. It felt a bit like a superpower roulette, you just never knew what would show up next.

The older abilities weren't really expanded upon either, we just sort of migrate onward in the story. I felt like the author was really trying to maintain a sense of mystery about who Tristan was and what his role in this world really is, but I needed more than what was provided. When I reach the end of the book, I want to feel satisfied. I felt a little starved with this one.

The dragon element was different, but at the same time disappointing. Theoretically, Tristan may be part dragon, but at this point in the story it felt like dragons were their own unique race with the dragon name slapped onto them. I didn't feel anything really dragon-like in this story. 

Most of the chapters were really short. The time Tristan spent on the beach felt like it was chopped up unnecessarily.Dorian's viewpoint sort of vanishes near the end of the book. I'm not really sure why. 

Sequential books could prove promising, but I don't really feel that desperation to know what comes next. You know that feeling when someone tells you they'll pick you up by 5 and you look at the clock at 8, gradually coming to terms with the fact they aren't showing up? That was me during the last few pages of the book. I just felt like I got let down, waiting around for something that never showed.

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