Friday, February 28, 2014

eBook Review: A Matter of Fate

Chloe Lilywhite struggles with all the normal problems of a typical seventeen-year-old high school student. Only, Chloe isn't a normal teenage girl. She's a Magical, part of a secret race of beings who influence the universe. More importantly, she's a Creator, which means Fate mapped out her destiny long ago, from her college choice, to where she will live, to even her job. While her friends and relatives relish their future roles, Chloe resents the lack of say in her life, especially when she learns she's to be guarded against a vengeful group of beings bent on wiping out her kind. Their number one target? Chloe, of course.

That's nothing compared to the boy trouble she's gotten herself into. Because a guy she's literally dreamed of and loved her entire life, one she never knew truly existed, shows up in her math class, and with him comes a twin brother she finds herself inexplicably drawn to.

Chloe's once unyielding path now has a lot more choices than she ever thought possible

Firstly let me start off by saying that because I adored (to pieces) Lyons novel The Deep End of the Sea I decided to check out her other works.  The "Fates" series, which is currently at 3 books and 1 side story long (with another novel and another side story planned), appealed to me because  of the notion of "fate" and "destiny".

In some ways much of what I enjoyed in DEEP END were in this book--a romance that didn't make me feel as if it was shallow, secondary characters that were interesting and a resourceful(ish) girl trying to take back her life.  And the world itself was intriguing.

Where the book failed for me however was the character execution.  Chloe, Cora, Lizzie, Kellan, Jonah, Karl...I can see what Lyons wanted to achieve with them (individually and together), but at times they came off as too much caricature.  For instance when Karl first meets Cora and Chloe, and is explaining his mission, Cora is constantly interrupting, correcting and badgering him until he grows so frustrated he yells.  Chloe rationalizes this by saying that Cora is just being protective, and its true Cora is coming off as protective of Chloe's sensitivities...but it makes Cora look bad.

Instead of seeming like she's trying to get Karl to understand that Chloe is not just some future asset to protect, but a living breathing girl who at the moment needs to be related to as a person, she comes across as seeming as petty, bratty and obnoxious.  And Chloe often came across as a bit bipolar.  She'd lash out at her friends' legitimate concerns about her behavior then grow frustrated when they refused to help her.

My main problems though lay in the romance.  And this is all spoiler talk so avoid like the next paragraph if you haven't read:

[start]In the end of the book we're told why Chloe feels such a strong, insistent pull towards both Kellan and Jonah, despite having fallen in love with Jonah all her life.  And it makes sense.  However it didn't excuse her behavior and actually came off more as a cop out then an explanation.  Especially as Chloe spends most of the book lying to one or both brothers and I can only assume from reading the next book's synopsis that Lyons explores more fully how Chloe deals with the issue now that its out in the open.  So while its obvious Lyons wants to give us this love triangle (Square? Circle?) with no true 'bad choice' because their both equally the 'right' choice, I just wanted to smack EVERYONE involved because really. Why would anyone want that sort of "Connection" (aka Soul mate principle) if it has the ability to fuck everyone up?[end]

I'll give Jonah and Kellan credit though, the two of them do their damnedest to work through their problems once they're out there and don't play the victim blaming shit on each other or Chloe (unlike everyone else in Chloe's life pretty much).  It hurts, they hate it, but they understand its not something any of them can change so they just have to work through it.

This book also felt very very long--which according to GR its 550 pages o.o dear lord I've read epic fantasies that are shorter that's a lie...kind of.  I read this on my Kindle so I didn't see the page count that way, but that's really long for a story that probably could have been at least 200pgs shorter (to be fair it looks like the next two books grow shorter and shorter).

In all honesty I'm not sure if I'll continue with this series.  I'm not particularly fond of any of the characters and I don't want Chloe with EITHER of the love interests.  Want to defy fate?  End up being a super badass Creator without romance.  Or end up with both of them.