Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Reviews: The Winner's Curse & The Winner's Crime

Actual rating: 3.95 stars
Here's the synopsis of the novel from Goodreads:
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 
      One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 
     But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 
     Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I was really excited to get into The Winner’s Curse because I’ve heard many great things about it (and also the cover is just gorgeous). It was different from what I expected, which was a heavy but sweet romance. Instead, I got that but 100x more complicated and lots of politics. The main character Kestrel boosted my overall feelings for the novel as a whole. She's strong, smart, and courageous, making strategic decisions while using her heart. She is a consistently good character. I also enjoyed the extensive world building that built up the fantasy world. There was complexity weaved throughout the plot that was fascinating to think about.
While I liked this book a lot, my feelings were conflicted for most of it. There was something about how the romance first started that didn’t settle with me; it just seemed like Arin was mad a lot, which annoyed me. But I will for sure continue reading this trilogy because I thoroughly enjoyed the ending of the book. Kudos to the author for creating such a unique book when there are so many young adult novels similar to each other.

Actual rating: 3.75 stars (No Goodreads synopsis because that contain's spoilers and this is a no spoiler zone)

I felt like most of the book was just build up for the last book in the trilogy; there was only slow progress to figuring out a misunderstanding and moving on from there. There was a lot of inner conflict in both of the main characters’ minds, as well as, emotional conflict between the characters. I was hooked from the beginning because I had no idea what was going to happen, but by the last 1/3rd of the book, I felt that the problem in the plot had dragged out too long. I felt for Kestrel because she faced tough situations in her life; her actions and decisions made me respect her. Like the first book, the details describing the setting and people were vivid and well written. Overall, The Winner’s Crime had so much angst, which definitely made me think. I’m looking forward to see how Marie Rutkoski ties everything together in the last book of the trilogy and provide well-needed closure (which I’m really hoping happens). Sadly, it’s going to get published in March 2016.  

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on these books :) Can't wait to read them!