Friday, 23 August 2013

Review: Chantress

Publication Date: May 7th 2013        
Publisher:  Margaret K. McElderry Books     

 “Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.

Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion...

Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic


Fifteen year old Lucy, is secluded on an nomad Island with her only companion and guardian, Norrie. Norrie's strict, and has a lot of rules,  but she's the only person Lucy has since her mother died years before when Lucy was 8, and they shipwrecked onto the Island.
Now, All Hallows’ Eve in 1667, Lucy starts hearing notes of music in the wind, calling to her, and she's lulled by it and despite the warning that she's always been told, “Sing, and the darkness will find you.” she sings. The music transports her back home, and she's lost Norrie in the process. But England is not how she remembers it either, though she doesn't remember much, and once she escapes the library she transported to, all she feels is fear.

The truth, and her fate is much more than Lucy ever wondered, and getting mixed up in what awaits her is beyond anything she ever imagined- and goes against everything she'd been warned about.
Hmmm. Where to start, where to start?  I'm 40/60 and don't know whether it's tipped the don't like scale or the, not half bad scale. I will say I didn't like the first 50%, I was expecting something bam and kind of got boof. It was a slow start, in the fact that nothing really happened, but it was fast in pace in the fact that we know pretty much everything within the first few chapters. Now, I like guessing what's going to happen, and I don't like when things start to drag out when it's pretty obvious, but Chantress...oh. It's a whole different kind of hate for me. The revelation was simple, a quick explanation and no anticipation whatsoever. It seemed a little bland, and I'm all for getting the set up out of the way and getting onto the interesting stuff...but there wasn't much interesting stuff.
Force fed information that lacked...something. It just was bland coming from the characters, mainly because they seemed a little stiff and bland themselves. For me, there was just something that irked there was no life. Nothing to bring the characters to life.  Although, since the world they live in is full of fear and darkness, I guess you could say they set the tone perfectly, if intended.

The setting and historical backdrop was interesting, and I'm really beginning to love these type of books, whereas before I just got tired of it, and the whole Chantress thing really was the only thing that kept me reading,(and the shout outs to the Merlin era, which is the only reason this is a 3.5 review. You obviously don't know how serious I take my Merlin) but there just wasn't enough of it. We had a bit of a background about where it came from and the power behind their singing, and maybe there even was, but I disliked Lady Helaine so much I pretty much didn't take in what she said. She was pompous, impatient, and since (spoiler alert) Lucy was her goddaughter, she really wasn't nice to her at all, she was insulting and degrading and overall such an highly unlikeable bossy pants and needed to take a chill pill. (I can't believe I just said take a chill pill.)
Lucy really needed to stick up for herself around her and others, to stop taking orders like a waitress and just stop being such a mouse. I swear, the poor girl was afraid of her own freaking shadow. Also, there's this.
"Where to begin?" Lady Helaine said. "This is what I have asked myself. You are foolish, you are impatient, you are shockingly ignorant- and your instincts are deplorable."
           I felt as if I'd been slapped in the face.
Truth hurts, kid. 

On the other hand...
My cheeks stopped stinging, though they remembered the slap. "I will do whatever you ask of me," I promised her.
Grow some balls, girl.
For most of it, I didn't find myself feeling sorry for her, and I didn't feel like sticking up for her myself. She was fragile, annoyingly so that it really grated on me. She needed to toughen up, and you'd think not having her mother around, temporarily losing Norrie, and the way the rest of the character were around her, that she would. And she did, eventually, but not without prompting, and not without there being nothing else but to do that. She grew towards the end, which was progress. The way she acted around Nat was cute, but ultimately I didn't get it at all, especially since she knew nothing about him, only glimpses. Maybe it's me, but logically, I don't get how you can start falling for someone, over months and not even really getting to know them, or their character. I wasn't into this romance, though luckily there wasn't much of it, but hey, at least it wasn't insta-love and it developed normally. 
Nat was an enigma, we didn't get to know him much, and like I said about, neither did Lucy.

Most of the other characters I don't have much to say, I can't remember half of their names anyway.
It picked up towards the end though, but it took that long for me to actually get into it, which is a sure way of me knowing that the books not for me,  as it shouldn't have taken me that long, and usually I know within the first 50 pages if I'm going to like it or not. By then, it was no point in DNF'ing, since I was almost finished, and I did actually want to see the outcome, just so it wasn't a waste of time.

What attracted me to this? I'm re-watching Merlin, am in love with Colin Morgan, and pretty much obsessed. It seemed interesting enough. Also, the cover. Thought it was a heart. How disappointed am I?

Will I read the next one? Probably not. Chantress finished clean cut with no cliff-hangers.
 Rating: 3.5/5