Vivatera is a young adult fantasy about Naomi, a young orphaned girl with no insight to who she truly is, her self-discovery, her magic and her importance to the world.
The premise is so, so promising.
And in some respects, it pays off. The magic is interesting, somewhat unique and beautifully described at times. Almost sentient, playful or moody things inside the wielders. The world building in places is full and interesting as well. There are a lot of intriguing mysteries laid out that pull you along.
However, the book just wasn’t what I’d expected.
The pacing is rushed rather than fast. So rushed it’s jarring and the story becomes entirely unbelievable and confusing.
The romance was lack lustre. No intensity, no build up. We are told they are in love but not shown. There’s no discovery or growth to it. No chemistry.
And unfortunately, while the characters were likeable and interesting at points, I just could not feel invested in any of them. It might have been the rushed, sometimes confusing amounts of characters pushed into the small amount of story or the fact that it was often difficult to picture them, get a sense of their age, their stakes in anything that happens around them. I left the book feeling like the characters were strangers and that, for me, is the worst part since I put a lot of weight on character and relationships – more so than plot oftentimes.
The story could have benefited better with some build up and increasing pace rather than jumping immediately into the thick of things, especially with the scale of the story and world Thomas seemed to be reaching for.
*I have received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
– 1/5 Interesting premise and some beautifully written qualities let down by overly rushed yet overly full plot and unbelievable romance.