I’m still plowing through my Net Galleys, but this is the second last one before finally reaching a good enough percentage ratio *hoorah* After the next book, I’m going to be heading into a full Lunar Chronicles spiral. Please don’t mind my fangirling.
But before we get to that, lets talk about books that whisper…
*Not a good pun Rendz. Please just stop.*
The Book of Whispers by Kimberely Starr
Tuscany, 1096 AD. Luca, young heir to the title of Conte de Falconi, sees demons. Since no one else can see them, Luca must keep quiet about what he sees.
Luca also has dreams—dreams that sometimes predict the future. Luca sees his father murdered in one such dream and vows to stop it coming true. Even if he has to go against his father’s wishes and follow him on the great pilgrimage to capture the Holy Lands.
When Luca is given an ancient book that holds some inscrutable power, he knows he’s been thrown into an adventure that will lead to places beyond his understanding. But with the help of Suzan, the beautiful girl he rescues from the desert, he will realise his true quest: to defeat the forces of man and demon that wish to destroy the world.
The premise was very interesting, I will say. A knight from the crusades and an “ugly nun” who have to find a way to stop the terrorizing demons poisoning the minds of people everywhere. Add in a magic book and you have Rendz hooked. Yet there are various elements of the book and the style itself that just did not sit well with me. It could have been great, but I found it just okay.
What I Liked
Characters: Well this is more of a semi-like.
Luca: Your knight in shining armour? Nope. Just a rich kid who pities the fact that his daddy loves him. Kidding…that was a bit harsh. He is a knight, but his armour doesn’t shine. It’s rather dusty! *enough with the armour Rendz* Right, okay. He was an okay character. At first I thought he was really stuck up and selfish. I mean if you witness your sister almost getting assaulted, defend her, then forget your promise to tell your dad about it….you get knocked off my list as a decent person. He gets better as the book goes on, though. He is still kind of snobby and naive in my opinion, probably due to his “I’m the son of a Conte” upbringing. He goes through some rough patches on his journey which make him a little less “bow down to me peasants” and a little more “let me help y’all out”.
Suzan: Suzan…Suzan…Suzan…I was calling you Suzanna for half of the book! My bad. Umm…she was also okay. There was nothing completely remarkable about her. She grew up pretending to be mute and getting harsh treatment from mean nuns. She was ugly to everybody, for *reasons*, but I wish those *reasons* had been further explained or developed. The author just kind of said “Yo everybody says she’s ugly because xyz, okay!” I found her to be bright, intuitive, but also very “damn, the dude I’m working with is super dreamy, I think I’m in love”. Ladies and gents…they had just met.
The side characters were really side characters…nothing remarkable about them too.
The Book: The actual Book of Whispers (although cheesy) I really enjoyed. Written in a language that only Suzan can understand, but can only be opened by the hands of Luca. It was the most magical bit of the story, it had lots of ways of influencing the characters without being too present in the novel. I love it when the said book in a story has prophecies and legends and watching them unravel as the character goes through their journey, it is pretty awesome.
The Demons: It’s not that I liked them for what they stood for, but they added interest to the story. There was a variety of demons. All evil, but some more cunning and conniving than the others. They added humour, as well as a lot of darkness and deception to the plot. I really enjoyed reading how they affected the people in the pilgrimage. Something so holy, but wrought with evil.
The Setting: I’ve never read a book set during the time of the Crusades. It’s a rather dark and horrific time in history, especially for the church. Although the book was set during this time, Luca and Suzan didn’t see much fighting for *reasons*. But there was a lot of blood and gore, trust me. I like that the author didn’t sugar coat the time period. It showed how corrupted and terrible the minds of people were at the time (demons or not). She didn’t paint the crusaders as heroes, but gave them a variety of opinions as well. Some saw the wrongness of their plight, others didn’t. I thought it was done rather well.
What I Disliked
The Writing Style: Umm…it just was not my favourite. I don’t think some of the sayings used matched the time period. Like “girlfriend” is not something I think would be said in the 1000s. Just saying…I might be wrong! Otherwise, it was just the flow. For example, Suzan would say “I’m going out for lunch” and in the next paragraph Suzan is talking about that lunch which happened two weeks ago. I had to take a step back a lot of times, just to understand what was going on!
The Romance: It wasn’t that I didn’t ship the ship. It was the romantic tension. It started so early on! I get it that Suzan would be a little infatuated with Luca because how he is described is hot. But I mean….I wouldn’t let the angst start there. Then there was the whole “She’s in love with my bff, I have to let her go!” and “He’s engaged to someone way prettier and wealthier than me, I have to let him go.” Angst. Tension. Angst. Smooching factor was also very low. I’ve been having problems with smooching factors lately!
Anti-Climatic Ending: I was hoping for so much more. Especially from the magic book! But nada. I was left empty. It did serve its purpose in the end, but not as grand as I hoped it would! Plus, the connection Suzan had to the book was never really explained! She was just able to use it. Done. No further explanation. Sighhhhhhhh
Overall, it was okay. Not mind-blowing, but neither mind-numbing. There is a good portion in the middle where you kind of get sucked in. But there are other portions where I was just like “Move on with it already!”. It was okay. Okay. That’s all I really got for it!
Rating: 3 / 5 Stars
Recommend: If your into demons? Sure. If your not into demons, but wanna read about them anyways? Sure.
With this galley down, I’m diving into Scarlet! Tootles! Let me know what historical time period you would love to have a book set in!