Grade: 4 Butterflies
Series: Chantress Trilogy
Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: Hardcover, 336 pages
Lucy, shipwrecked on an island at 8, is forbidden to sing by guardian Norrie. On All Hallows Eve 1667, at 15, she sings, and is swept into darkness. She wakes to hear powerful men hunt Chantresses who sing magic into the world. At the Invisible College she finds sanctuary, plots to overthrow the evil Lord Protector, and distrustful scientist-apprentice Nat. Only a Chantress can overcome the Protector, and Lucy is the last in England.
I had seen this book on a few Waiting On Wednesdays and was interested in the concept. Fast forward a few months and I finally got around to reading it. To sum up this book in a few words, it was interesting and enjoyable. The concept really grabbed my attention and the plot overall was enjoyable to read. However, I had a few problems with it as a whole, the biggest one was the writing.
This book starts out with our main character, Lucy, and her guardian Norrie alone on the island they got "shipwrecked" on seven years ago. This book's plot instantly starts off. Usually authors take some time to introduce the characters and allows the readers to get a feel for their personalities, but that wasn't the case for this book. Within the first 20 pages Lucy 'sings' herself and Norrie back to England (this isn't a spoiler since it says this in the summary). This gives you an idea in how fast this plot was. It was so fast paced that if I had time I have no doubt I would have been able to read this whole thing in a day. The plot was just really captivating. You need to know how it ends and what happens, and you just need to know how this book goes.
Why it was so captivating was because of the concept. Within the first page this concept demands your attention. The whole idea that some women have the ability to sing objects into existence and do all of this other crazy stuff really was interesting to read. This unique concept really set it apart from other YA books. However, I felt it could have been executed better. This goes with one of my problems with this book, and this is the writing style. I felt like the author didn't give enough sensory details, or just details in general. She told us what was happening and explained a little bit on what Lucy was feeling, but I felt like she should have put more details in. This concept is just so unique that you can' gloss over it and say "I song the chantress song, which felt light and airy, and then the candle lit itself" that just isn't enough for me.
It wasn't just when she was explaining when Lucy was singing, it was all these other little details that she didn't put in. She didn't explain what anything looked like, so it was a little difficult to see what was happening. She was wonderful at writing and setting the mood and tone of a place. When I was reading this, it felt like I was in England during the industry revolution, I just couldn't see England. She would write a sentence like this "I walked into the room and sat down on the bench besides Nat" (this isn't a real sentence from the book, but it echos a lot of them). Okay so how big is the room? Where is the room in relation to the house? Where was Nat sitting, by the door, away from the door? what does the room look like? I just wanted more details from the writer.
I also felt because of this the character suffered. The characters in this book where okay. They did't amaze me and I don't think I will remember them. Although, I think that's because I didn't feel any connection to the characters. I was interested in how the story went, just not that it was their story. I didn't care if any of them got hurt or died, I just cared to see how the story ended. I think this was because they didn't feel like real people. They just felt made up, which they where, but I felt like they had the potential to be better if the author gave them more little details.
However, even though She skipped a lot of the small, sensory details she was full on with the plot ad world facts. She knew why this happened, why that was happening. I felt like she really took time to think about this world and its story. Although, again, I felt like the world building could have been executed better. There was just a lot of info dumbs. Every other chapters someone would be explaining something to Lucy and it would take up half of the chapter. The author just didn't space the information out as she should have.
I felt like most of this review was about this things I didn't like about this book, which makes it seem like I didn't like the book. I did. I really thoroughly enjoyed this book. Even with the writing style and the info dumbs I really liked the story and the concept. I liked it enough to order the next one from the library. I would recommend to anyone who wants an enjoyable and fact paced read, especially since half of my problem with this book was just a personal annoyance.
This book got....
Beloved, This is a really good book.