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Number Eight

Just Finished?
Innocent Mage by Karen Miller (Fantasy)

Reason for Reading? I've been eyeing this book since it came out because, quite frankly, I really like the cover. For at least a year, I would pick up the book in the store, read the back cover, think about getting it, but ultimately find something else I wanted just a little bit more or decide to save my money. It's just that the blurb on the back doesn't make the book seem terribly compelling. It almost cancels out how compelling the image on the front of the book is. [Thank god I didn't notice the tagline on the front cover until I'd already started reading it. "They dreamed him - And he came"? Seriously? Yeah, that would have turned me right off.] I also hadn't heard anything about it, good or bad. But it kicked around in the fantasy section for so long, and so consistently that I thought there must be something to it, and so I kept considering it.
Then [livejournal.com profile] mirre put in a good word for it, and I thought "Well, why not?"
And then I asked for, and received, AWAKENED Mage, the second book in the series, for my birthday. Because I'm a moron.
Anyway. When I ordered my textbooks from Amazon, I just tossed in this book.
It sat on my shelf and looked pretty whilst I read Dead Until Dawn and when that was done, well. Here we are.

Was it Good? Yeah, it was. And it got stronger as it went along, so what began as something that was fairly amusing came to be something that I was quite emotionally invested in by the end, the strongest emotional reaction I had being to the scene that I made my new icon out of. *points up*

Why? There are a couple of reasons, but first and foremost, it's the characters. They're very much the sort that you can involve yourself with. There are characters that you can love (like Asher, Gar, Borne, Matt) characters you can hate or love to hate (like Willer, Fane, Zeth) and characters that annoy the piss out of you because you can't decide whether to love 'em or hate 'em (like Dathne, Darran), and you really do get drawn into their stories, their motives, sometimes despite yourself. I appreciate authors who can actually make me care about the characters.
The story also, in a fantastical way, of course, deals with issues of race and class, which is interesting, though-provoking, and the sort of thing that I tend to be glad that people are thinking about and being encouraged to think about. I'm not sure I always agree with how the author presents things, though without a reread I couldn't tell you why, but for the most part it's a very enjoyable read.

What's it about? It's about a fisherman and a prince and their unlikely friendship and the trials, small and large, that they undertake. It's about a prophecy that is en route to being fulfilled. It is about destiny. It is about friendship and sacrifice. It is about duty vs. love, and it is about big bad storybook villains vs. the forces of good.

Who's your favourite character? Gar. Mercurial as he might be (and I do love that trait in characters if not real people) he's the sort of person that is good in a way that I find terribly appealing.
My second favourite character is Asher, because he is highly entertaining. He's kind of a little shit, and I love that about him, since he's a damn smart little shit.

Favourite secondary character? It's hard to say. At different points in the book, it was Matt, Borne, or Morg, and all for very different reasons. Not sure I could pick one for certain.

Would you recommend this book to others? Yes. Absolutely. It's fun, it's interesting, the characters are great, and the world that they all live in is... kind of neat.

Anything Else? Karen Miller is a horrible person who goes all out with her cliffhangers. Damn her. I was going to sleep, but now I need to start Awakened Mage because the end of this book made me go "AUGH NO WHAT THE HELL" in a way that I haven't done since I was little and Dad read us Hardy Boys books one chapter at a time (In case you are unfamiliar, I swear that every chapter ends with a cliffhanger of epic proportions.)
I'll be honest, though - for all that I enjoyed this book quite a bit, I found some of the story surrounding the prophecy aspect of it to be... frustrating.
And I don't always enjoy reading accents, but I found Asher's to be charming.




Up Next?
Well, it's gonna have to be Awakened Mage, ain't it?

Why? Because Karen Miller is mean.

Hopes? That the cliffhanger bit is resolved somewhat swiftly so I can get to sleep at some point tonight.

Want to know who's read this book before you? Sure. I'm enjoying the duology, so I'd love to chat about it. Also, has anyone read any of Miller's other stuff?

Date: 2009-09-02 05:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aymaera.livejournal.com
Wow, this sounds really good. Must resist... too many books to read already... school starting...

Date: 2009-09-02 04:20 pm (UTC)
avictoriangirl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] avictoriangirl
Oooh, this sounds really good but I haven't even started the LAST book you recommended! Must. Resist. >_

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