Thursday, May 17, 2012

Review: The Sword & The Prophet by Missy LaRae

“Why'd Mama hate us so much, Tyler?" My head rested on his chest and his arms came around me. Tyler looked out across the tracks at the train station as we waited to find a train headin’ north and he sighed. It reverberated in his chest and into my heart.

"I don't know Lilybelle. Can't say why Mama’d love us one day, and hate on us the next. We just gotta find our way outta here and we'll be okay. I won't let nothin' happen to you."

Twins Lily and Tyler are bound together by a bond forged through an abusive childhood that neither can escape, and a closeness that defies explanation. No matter how far they run, the pain of their mother's abuse will still be there. Choosing to run fast and far from their mother, the twins head to Charleston, South Carolina, but everything is not what it seems, and they soon realize they may be in even more danger.

Having never been exposed to the light of the moon before, Lily sneaks out and dramatically changes into something that both fascinates and scares her. She has visions of a world she's never heard of, and her body changes over night. Desperate to escape the twins devise a plan, but are thwarted at the last minute.

With only each other to rely on they've got to embrace who they are, and ultimately, the destiny that has been written for them.

Set on Earth, and Amatia Prime, The Sword and The Prophet is the first book in a series that will introduce you to a fascinating new species that loves once, loves deep, and fights for who and what they are against any evil. With scarred hearts, Lily and Tyler must learn what it feels like to be truly loved.

So here's the good, the bad, and a little bit of the ugly...

The first half of the book was a beat down. I kept having to put the book down, come back, put the book down, come back, put the book down, get the point. Yes captain obvious, it got off to a rough start.

By the time the alien theme is introduced, it seems totally misplaced and completely random. We go from the abusive, troubled youth of two teens to pods and space crafts. I think the book would have definitely benefited from a prolgue giving us a small glimpse of the alien world instead of it smacking us right in the face several chapters in. The story's prose were also too technical for my taste. It reminded me of a book on my junior high/high school required reading list. My english teacher would have loved it, but I wish it would have had a more natural flow to it; key word being flow.

One of my personal quirks is prose that are written in accents. I love The Demon Trapper's Daughter, but Beck's dialect completely distracts from the story. It's the same with Lilybelle in The Sword & The Prophet. I prefer author's to tell us about the accent, but leave it to our imagination instead of trying to write it into the story; it's just so distracting!

I was dazzled and impressed with the author's ability to alternate the point of view, but there were too many POV's. I got to the point where I would skim over parts that were not Lily, Tyler, or Talon. I understand the need to explain some of the plot using alternate character views, but I wish the author would have found other ways to incorporate it into the story instead of deviating into another POV then another one and another one and...

What finally snapped me out of my mediocre daze was the addition of Talon in chapter 9!! The plot picks up, the flow does more flowing, and finally we get a hint of romance!! Just a hint, but at this point I'll take what I can get!! From this point on, the book was three star worthy with some four star potential. I was just starting to get into the book and then well, it ended.

I really hate to dislike a book especially when I think the world of the author, but I help no one by lacing a review with sugar!!! I saw something in this series that could be great. Hell, it still has that potential! The heart of a good story is there; the author just needs to find a way to get it beating! Will I read the sequel? Perhaps.


  1. Great review! Honest and very professional. I like the way you pinpoint the issues you had with the story and state exactly what changes would have improved your reading experience.

    1. Thanks Diana. Always hard to give a bad review, but's what I do ;-)

  2. Hi, Mollie. I found your blog through goodreads, where you're a friend of my former student Mary Reding Thomas. I was attracted by your moniker "Tough Critic." And I do appreciate your toughness in this review.

    The cover made me think of Jessica McHugh ... do you know her fiction? I met Jessica recently through NaPoWriMo, especially her bad poems. I haven't read her fiction yet, but this book cover reminded me of her novels.

    I'm just discovering your blog, browsing around. Come see mine if you're in a poetry mood. Take care.

    1. Thanks for stopping by!! I try to be as honest as possible because that's what I would want in a review. Not a huge fan of poetry, but will definitely check your blog out :-)

    2. No problem. Come by or don't. But do contact Jessica. Whether you review her books or not, I think you'll like her.