I started this book thinking I’d really be into it. Definitely one of the stronger openings I’ve read. The action was great, the world was interesting. The characters were okay. It was looking like an easy 4.5 stars. Unfortunately, the deeper I got into it, the more sighs and headshakes occurred. For a book with decent flow and even a decent plot, the characters didn’t match up and kinda left an underdeveloped feeling. That and technically some choices just didn’t make sense.
Tama seems okay, but her character ultimately just begun to bug me as things went on. Like she has a crush, crush doesn’t want her. Life happens. But she spends an annoying amount of time lamenting this and I gave up on her love life the moment she decided to interfere with her crushes love life. Like she honestly did not deserve to get that friendship back without a fight, but you know she’s the heroine so that’s exactly how it went down. She routinely gets mad at her friend, Masou for being a coward during battle, rightly so, to the point of almost losing that friendship. However, when both of her friends tell her not to rush into something, she of course does without regarding their feelings and almost gets all three of them killed, and not a single fight about her actions was had. Neither of her friends say anything to her. Lesson learned it’s okay for heroes to point out other’s flaws but when they mess up it’s a nonissue because they are the hero so learning to not be an a#$ is only part of other character’s character arcs.
Masou. I genuinely was team Tama. He did on multiple times, almost get them all killed. Basically useless. However, he has a reason. Instead of this reason making me sympathise with him I was just annoyed. They are going into battle, he has a very/extremely valid reason for his aversion to crazed animals, why would he not tell them this before getting them all almost killed? Both his friends would’ve probably helped him overcome this fear or at the very least fought in such a way that made him comfortable to fight with the abilities he had. And his arc, after all he went through to come into his own… well he deserved better.
Kachina, quite literally the same character from the first page to the last. Probably the least fleshed out of all of them so couldn’t quite get into her.
The problem with the above stuff is this story is definitely written like I am supposed to be invested in the characters but they aren’t really fleshed out that well. The only characters I could sink my teeth into were Tama’s parents. They rocked. I could definitely dig into the villain plotline. Nothing bad to say there.
Sometimes the wording was off. Almost like every few pages, the author would drop a word out of the synonym menu to make the story sound more literary when a simpler word could’ve been used.
I’m a fan of the fast pace in the end, but not the actual end. Like it resolved why too quickly. In just a few sentences the cast knew who the villain was. No thinking about it. No putting the pieces together. It could’ve been okay except for the fact that the entire end was full of no one knowing anything about anything. Not a shred of evidence. That and the one glaring flaw involving a certain cleaner. Suffice it to say if they weren’t coerced into doing what they did, becuse of this fact there is no way the villain could have known beyond a doubt their target would be where they needed them to be. So that kinda killed a bit of the believability because the whole end of the book hung on this and as it’s written it doesn’t hold.
I’m here for corrupted beasts, my problem was it gave the impression that there were no wild beast before the evil goddess made them. Are there really zero naturally dangerous predators in this world? Is that even possible in any world? Also, the insta-love was awkwardly placed. Like the relationship was going so well it actually felt better as it was and instead of it working, because insta love can work, it felt forced like the story needed a relationship. If anything Masou needed a love interest. Like a warrior or something. On that note, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like Liseli but she’s only a second act player, unfortunately.
Also, every world has maps. The headmaster’s daughter is quite literally from another country across the ocean. How did her father meet their mother? Is the headmaster even fully native to the land? If no why didn’t he and his wife move back to the land of ice together? It’s just hard to believe that there isn’t enough documented history of the other lands for locals to know about them, especially considering some of the ancestors have been to them including the headmaster. If his own daughter has documented so much during her travels and brought it back with her, did no one else do this the many centuries past before her time? It’s hard to believe this when it’s clear people do frequently travel by boat. They just apparently have never once, during their visits, brought books or artefacts or any history from where they visited. This explains Tama’s shock at there being other seasonal mages, and how can there be a word for winter mage and not its corespondents and if so how did Tama know what a spring mage was without an in-depth explanation the first time seeing as apparently there’s no word for it.
This story definitely started off with me all in it. I mean I was ready to love it. The pacing was good. The underlined plot was good. The world was entertaining, even with whatever flaws I found with it. There was so much good going on here, bucket loads of potential. Unfortunately, it read like a character-driven book and the characters weren’t developed enough to hold that. At 200 plus pages, there was enough time to sort out a lot of things that weren’t really dealt with.
Recommending this book… I’d say it’s a hard yes. The action was good, the overall story arc and how it progresses is good. The beginning half of the story is enough to enthral any reader. And if you’re into story’s where the plot is fairly solid, then this is definitely your kind of story. But if you’re looking for the characters to match that awesomeness, or a secret plot that actually has clues versus a one conversation that reveals all in the final act, than this one may not be for you.