October 26, 2017

The Tearling is in My Trash


The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

Release Date: November 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins | Harper
Pages: 478 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover
Series: The Queen of the Tearling #3
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Sumamry (from Goodreads)
In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has grown from an awkward teenager into a powerful monarch and a visionary leader.

And as she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she has transformed her realm. But in her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies - chief among them the evil and feared Red Queen, who ordered the armies of Mortmesne to march against the Tear and crush them.

To protect her people from such a devastating invasion, Kelsea did the unthinkable - naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne. So, the endgame has begun and the fate of Queen Kelsea - and the Tearling itself - will be revealed...

Thoughts on The Fate of the Tearling
Several years ago, I read The Queen of the Tearling and fell in love with the unique world and powerful heroine. The The Fate of the Tearling went in an unexpected direction, but I still loved it. I was sold on Johansen's creativity and the way she wove multiple genres together. When The Fate of the Tearling came out last year, I'd planned to read it right away... but never got around to it. Since so much time had passed, I recently decided to re-read the first two before finishing the series. And that's where my problems started.

I did an audio re-read of The Queen of the Tearling and was surprised to discover that a narrator I'd previously liked just didn't click with the series. I've enjoyed everything else from Katherine Kellgren, but something about this book left me wanting more. There were times it felt like she was yelling and the forcefulness of her narration was off-putting. But I knew I'd finish it so much faster on audio, so I stuck with it. I still cared about the characters, but I wasn't as invested in the story. So, I changing my rating to So Enjoyed It.

Then, I started the audio for The Invasion of the Tearling. Davina Porter narrates that one, and I was immediately annoyed by the change. Although I didn't love Kellgren, I'm not a fan of mid-series narrator changes. Porter has a lovely voice, but she didn't fit the series either. Kelsea is a teenager, and Porter sounds so much older. The book isn't written in first person, but it still didn't strike the right tone for me. This is when I started to realize that re-reading really was making me like the books less. Things that I'd found creative and surprising on my first read felt weird upon re-reading. The pace dragged, which made me feel like it was taking forever to finish it. And by the time I did, I realized that it was just a So Liked It.

And finally, The Fate of the Tearling. Y'all, I HATED this book. I was so frustrated by:

1. The NUMEROUS plot holes.
2. The unnecessarily convoluted storylines.
3. The glacial pace.
4. The weird changes to several characters.
5. The horror movie demon spawn (because obviously this series needs one more genre added to it).
6. The anti-climatic "who is Kelsea's father?!" reveal.
7. The completely depressing tone.
8. The nonsensical way magic works in this world.
9. The super offensive anti-religion themes.
10. THE ENDING.

Y'all. I am so annoyed about numbers 1-9 on that list, but all of it pales in comparison to my utter rage at the ridiculous ending that invalidated the previous books. I want to talk about it here, but it would also be major spoilers. So, I'll be a good blogger and avoid them. But honestly, I think I might have preferred an ending where everyone died and the theme was essentially "utopian societies will never work because of human nature." Yeah. Everyone dying ranks higher on my wishlist than what actually happened.

WHAT A WASTE OF MY TIME. Can I rescind a recommendation? Because if so, that's what I'm doing. These books no longer have a place in my home. They're not technically in my trash because you better believe I want to get some credit at the used bookstore for them so I can rise from the ashes of this dumpster fire and buy myself something better as a consolation. I know everyone loves the phrase "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all," so just pretend this review had no words if that's how you want to live. 

2 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear a series you liked in the beginning ranked so bad in the end! I have the first 2, and I’m honestly not sure what I’ll do. I have a million other things to read first anyway :)

    But speaking of Davina Porter... I know you’ve read some of the Outlander series and she is FANTASTIC for those marathon audios! I was up to book 3 for a reread sometime after my son was born and felt stalled because I didn’t have the time to sit and read such chunksters... reread 4-6 on audio and it was a great experience. Now I’m stalled again, undecided if I’ll do print or audio for 7 & 8 because it’s my first time for those :)

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