Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review: The Vyne: Mystery of the Hidden Ember

Author: Daniel Walls
Publication Date: January 3, 2011
Genre: YA Steampunk
Copy provided by: Teen Book Scene
Summary (via Goodreads):

A chilling, heart-wrenching tale of colliding worlds and forbidden love, The Vyne reinvents steampunk-fantasy for a whole new generation.

Why I read this: It looked like an interesting new YA steampunk novel, a subgenre that I've really been getting into lately.

Plot: Probably the most solid part of the book was the plot. There's a slew of characters you follow throughout the book, but overall it is a love story with the backdrop of a steampunk world that has just been taken over by a man who has his army of cloned forces that hold little human emotion. And it's mainly about a boy named Ash who has special powers, one that finds a girl who calls herself Scar that is not so human and falls in love with her. But she is a wanted criminal to the minds of his small village and he must leave with her in order to save her. Scar is one of those supposedly mindless clones, who has gone rogue and starts to show more and more human emotion as time goes on.

The hunt is on for the pair and what will the evil man behind the human-less yet human-like army that is terrorizing the land. There's a lot more to Ash, to his past, something that may link him to this man as well.

Characters: I think this is where I lost the book a bit. I didn't really like Ash, he's quite different, yet arrogant enough not to want anyone to see he is friends with a younger boy. He falls in love so easily with Scar and she really acts quite suspicious when they first meet. I'm not sure I clicked with his character and actually enjoyed the sections that did not involve him until they finally embarked on the adventure which brought along more colorful characters.

Scar was hard for me to understand as well. She's not human... not really, but she really starts acting it. There's still that offness about her but I felt too quickly she became so human.

I really loved the wife of the crazy guy and wish she had appeared more in the book. I loved the bad guy the most as well - he's just so obsessed with this thing that tells him what to create. He's a really really awesome bad guy. Clever and witty, yet totally obsessed!

Relatability: I think this really would have been a better hit with adults. The romance between Scar and Ash is awkward at best and really doesn't seem to be making an impact on what is happening in the world around them. I'd rather would have liked more about the kingdom and the plotting.

Cover Commentary: Very interesting, definitely helped me envision the evil lair of the madman. If I were evil I would love a lighthouse lair.

Rating: 4/5 Roses

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1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I don't know that I've read any books that can be classified as Steampunk, although I am getting more and more interested in the genre.

    This one sounds fairly good, but maybe not the best to start with? Any suggestions for great introductory Steampunk?


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