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Presented by State Library Victoria

Viper (Isles of Storm and Sorrow #1) by Bex Hogan **SPOILERS INCLUDED!!!!**

Ehhh…

Read this one for the YA Circle book club and honestly I didn’t think much about it to begin with and it didn’t exactly thrill me by the ending either. Now my thoughts before reading this did not affect my reading journey. I thought that maybe I’d love it. It started on a good note to begin with and I was wondering whether I found my next fantasy read but unfortunately, that was not the case.

To begin with let’s start off with characters. Am I the only one who didn’t really like Marianne? I don’t know I just was really annoyed with her by the end and at the author for using the whole “Chosen One” clichéand look, I don’t mind the whole chosen one cliche but it just needs to be done well. This book like yes, okay there were superpowers and the whole “Royal bloodline” cliche but honestly? There was no progression in how she discovered how to manipulate her powers it was more of “IT WAS ALWAYS INSIDE YOUUUUUU” kind of thing. and that just annoyed me. And not even that I found that Marianne didn’t really DO much as a main character.
In a nutshell, the main character did nothing but kill a few people and run away and it just bothered me like at the end she gathered courage and ended up killing her father but for a good 200 pages it was just running away and trying to make up a plan along the way.

Romance was hinted at too in the novel but the book didn’t need it in my opinion. Good fantasy books without romance in it is so hard to find (please recommend on to me if you find any) and I was shipping Torin and Marianne more than her and Bronn. Also there wasn’t much done with the King after what he proposed to do for an allegiance between the Eastern and Western isles. Marianne still went with Torin for political reasons. And this just mucked up with my brain. And if you read the book you’d understand my logic here.

The writing is what made the book and despite everything the vibes of the book with the pirate mythology in the background was superb. I just wish there was more world-building. Just putting a map in the front doesn’t show you the world. There wasn’t much description on the islands or any of that and I was craving more backstory about Marianne but I think that it would develop in future novels.

All in all, good writing. I just didn’t like the characters, cliches, romance and thought there could be a bit more world-building.

ACTUAL RATING: 2.4 STARS

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