Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Wrath and the Dawn : Renee Adieh | Book Review w/ @sslluvsbooks

Rating: 65%
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn #1
Genre: Retelling, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Page Count: 388
Format: eBook
Source: Overdrive via Library

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Synopsis : One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad's dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph's reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she'd imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It's an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid's life as retribution for the many lives he's stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

Would I Buy It?
25% | Because of my mixed feelings surrounding this novel, I know I won't be rushing out to Barnes & Nobles any time soon to purchase it. Yet if a bargain deal came around... I couldn't help myself if the beautiful cover snuck its way into my collection.

Background & Backstory?
This is actually my second attempt at reading The Wrath and the Dawn because the first time, I completely spaced out in terms of focus. I knew my loan from the library would expire in five days and I knew my friend Alex from The Books Buzz would kill me if I didn't at least attempt to read this novel.

What Was My Reaction Upon Finishing?
Whoa! *waits a few minutes* My feelings need to get themselves together so I can write a review.

September 3-4 | There had been nearly relentless prepublication buzz surrounding The Wrath and the Dawn months before its release. I honestly don't know how marketing teams and publishers determine which books to pluck out of obscurity and hype up. Is it the "eye-catching" premise? The amount of money they've invested and hoped to dear god would pay off? I can most certainly see what people enjoy and I can agree on a few of their points. Nevertheless, it didn't knock my socks off and has made me wonder, what truly made Penguin go to such lengths to advertise this novel? Anyways, that's a topic for another day but the point you have probably gleamed is that The Wrath and the Dawn did not wow me.

Whittynovels provided a more in-depth review than I could ever compose and managed to scoop up all my tangled up thoughts to give readers a quite eloquent summary of her feelings. I've adored A Thousand and One Nights since I was little; Shahrzad has always stuck out to me because of the protagonists evidently strong will and the element of storytelling used as something that could save your life. Even though it's literal in Shahrzad, I strongly believe literature has the power to not only inspire, but save people's lives by showing them perspective that can completely turn their realities around.

Plot : Something I've heard critiqued upon has been the way Adieh just jumps into the action and the meat of the story, skipping the lengthy exposition and world building we've come to expect from kind of fantasy The Wrath and the Dawn proves itself to be. Personally, my problem with the story comes when we're scrambling as readers to keep track of all our characters and the wide scope Renee gives us. Something Whitney commented on was the fact that a ton of characters were presented but we were never given any second heads-up as to who anyone was and the role they played.

Characters : Shazi was quite admirable for her strength even if her motive was a tad confusing. Her personal vendetta against the caliph was quite obvious but we were never certain if it was because he killed her best friend, if she had the entire thing planned with Tariq, or if it's going to be a whole other over-arcing plot of political intrigue throughout the story. Khalid has been compared to a middle eastern Warner fro me Shatter Me Series and while I didn't agree with the comparison, I liked his character nonetheless. However, when we finally learned the reason for all of the beheadings and Shazi discovers some strings attached to that, I didn't see how probable it was that this other side to him was there all along. 

How Likely Is It That I Will Read Another Book By This Author?
60% If the question were about reading the sequel, that's a lot less likely. However, no one can deny the gorgeous writing and if Renee Adieh were to concoct another elaborate story, I know I'd at least have to give it a shot.

Conclusion: While the writing is extraordinary and the characters solid, I just wasn't hooked on the plot and the different perspectives as well as points in time were hard to distinguish. 

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