26 December 2011

Book Review: When Copper Suns Fall

When Copper Suns Fall, by KaSonndra Leigh (e-ARC provided by the author)
Series: Copper Suns book 1
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Paranormal, Dystopia
Published:  November 2011
Pages: 381
My rating: 

In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected.
Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories?
With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease.

After eyeballing this book for its gorgeous cover and appealing contents, becoming Facebook-buddies to KaSonndra Leigh and shamelessly offering her my review in return for a free copy of ‘When Copper Suns Fall’, KaSonndra was kind enough to indulge me with an e-version of her book! THANK YOU once more for that, KaSonndra. And good luck on the book sales!

Let me start off by saying that digital reading and I will never, ever become friends. I find it harder to feel a connection with characters, kind of like the same way chatting to someone on your computer makes you feel. You know it’s them you’re talking to, but it’s not as good as the real thing. Something personal is seriously lacking.

Maybe that’s why it took me a little time to get into the story, but once I did, I really did! KaSonndra’s writing strengths truly lie with action sequences, because these happen fluently and believable. Her story-telling skills are great. Exciting plot turns, fencing scenes which made me hold by breath (unbeknownst to me) and mysterious boys slowly being unravelled. The plot has been given much thought and the story has a good build-up towards the climax. Great potential exists to develop this whole world even more in further books. I was confused many times though, about who the good guys were, and the bad guys. Which in my opinion does make things even more realistic: in real life there (usually) isn’t ‘just’ good or evil, there are so many shades of grey in between!

For the biggest part this a very fluently written story, it reads away easily in an agreeable, but sort of poetic prose. Some beautifully written, poetic comparisons are easily woven throughout the entire story:
Or maybe they thought I was a little bird waiting to be given an award for staying quiet.
Feelings however, are kind of suppressed -or get repeated in words (‘telling rather than showing’) several times. Also, sometimes there are (tiny) jumps leaving me confused and wondering whether I missed a bit. Then there were times descriptions of some things were lacking, like the depiction of the other world beyond the graveyard. Also, I stumbled across some wrongly written referrals which made me wonder who edited the book before it was published.
The romance between Chela and Faris, much like the time they spend in the other world, evolves rather quickly. Too quickly. They share some time and memories together and somehow out of the blue, a kiss happens. Without really reading about Chela’s change in feelings. It felt shallow somehow. 
Overall Chela is an easy-to-sympathize-with-character, as are the other characters. There’s some growth, some struggle. They’re not cardboard cut-outs, but they’re not the best-written characters I’ve encountered either.

I realize how hard it is to write something original, something nobody has thought off yet. Everything has been done already. And most of this story was very original in its plot, setting and time. But there were many details that felt familiar to me (you can play a guess-game if you’d like), like the fencing, body-tattoos, paintings that come to live, the mansion where kids with special abilities are being trained, the other world not susceptible to normal persons’ eyes, etc.  
Of course, no author owns the rights to any setting unless it’s a world they created themselves, so there’s nothing actually wrong with KaSonndra’s choice of having an important part of this book take place in an amusement park… So what if it happened to play a big role in the 'Hush, Hush' books too? (Which, by the way, dealt with angels also...) Mind you: since ‘When Copper Suns FalltrumpsHush, Hush’ on various levels, there’s no loss here, only gain.

All in all I enjoyed the story in itself, but it felt like a draft version, still rough around the edges. It definitely has potential, it’s a promising story, but it needs some more editing and tweaking. When Copper Suns Fall’ deserves those extra pages to improve the story, in my opinion! So it can truly shine like a copper sun, not fall...

~Have a nice 2nd day of X-Mas (and nice Holidays maybe?)~

P.S. By finishing this book, I finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I read 20 books this year. It may not seem much, but I only started counting from July, so... ;) How about your 2011 reading list, and 2012 Reading Challenge?

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You're amazing, thanx for your input! :)