12 May 2015
Series: The Kanin Chronicles #2
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
It's really hard for me to decide if I think Amanda Hocking is actually a talented writer or not. When I first read the Trylle series, I enjoyed it. Sure, the prose isn't majestic or awe inspiring, but the story is unique and the characters likable enough. But it feels like with each new series she starts, she gets further and further away from the things I liked about the Trylle, and her writing seems to center on the things that bug me.
So let's start with a little list of what I like and what I don't like about this second installment in the Kanin Chronciles.
What I Like:
- the world/environment Hocking creates
- the mystery at the heart of the plot
What I Don't Like:
- the juvenile prose
- the immature romances/hot-cold switches in an instant
- the Skojare queen (she is rather annoying)
- the Skojare prince (my initial impression of him is that he feels like a carbon copy from the Trylle trilogy... just take a guess at who I mean)
- the lack of real development in the plot/execution of the plot; though it progresses, it is extremely choppy. The prose is really missing an eloquent flow to make a well written novel.
And what is it with Amanda Hocking's female main characters and their eagerness to bang their love interests so easily? I didn't see it as a problem in the Trylle series, but definitely had the same issue with the Watersong series, which I was definitely not a fan of. And now we're here in the Kanin Chronicles, and I'm facing the same irritation. These characters haven't built any kind of relationship (besides having the narrator claim they have these forbidden feelings, which I really don't feel in the story), have only kissed twice, and spent the remainder of the time fighting with each other. But then she invites him into her bed quickly, effortlessly, and without a word. What? Have some self respect, my girl! It feels as if Hocking foregoes the plot just in order to get to the "juicy stuff", and even that is so cliche and weakly written that it's practically laughable. Their relationship is so bipolarly hot-cold with the snap of fingers that it's hard to find realistic at all. And their emotions/feelings change so quickly and dramatically, it's hard to believe they have any kind of any true feelings for each other. Plus, thanks to Hocking's writing, I don't even feel any chemistry between them at all.
I also face irritation with Bryn's narrative. It feels so weak at points, like it is written as a tween trying to act as a teenager instead of an adult trying to write as a teenager. I come back to the same conclusion I have had with a lot of Hocking's novels: that she has some rather unique ideas and plots, but her writing can definitely be weak, which can turn a promising plot into a flop of a novel. I'm sure I'll read the next installment, since she is banging out this entire trilogy in less than a year and it's slated for a few months from now, but it's not a series I am going to add to my collection unless she completely blows me away with Crystal Kingdom.