“You would claw your neighbor’s eyes out for a mouthful of dust. Yet dust is all around you. The whole world is made of dust, and always returns to it. There is nothing else.”
I was really excited to read this book! I thought the cover was beautiful and I love stories about faeries/the fae, so I was pretty hyped. And then, I started to hear some great things about the book, including people comparing it to A Court of Thorns and Roses (which, duh, I love).
Unfortunately (!), An Enchantment of Ravens was nowhere near as awesome as I expected. Nothing turned out to be as I expected, really, which resulted in a pretty boring, sappy, and basic story. Ugh! I am so disappointed 😡
What first really turned me off of the story was the writing style. I was not a fan of the fairytale-sounding, addressing-the-reader first person narrative that was going on. The main character Isobel was talking directly to the reader at points in the story, in an after the fact manner. It felt quite childish and distanced me from the actual story. It felt like I was not in the action as it was happening, but just being told how it happened from some boring girl in the future. I did not like that. Not to mention, the whole story had so much telling and basically no showing, which also made me feel removed from it. And beyond that, the actual sentence structure, syntax, grammar, and voice were very bland. Isobel’s voice was monotone and very simple. Some parts I felt were trying to be relatable or funny – the peeing scene, the naked spying, the kissing and weird riding scene, the pimple, and Isobel talking about how much she stank – but those just came off as really awkward to me. There were some pretty words strung together here and there, but it was not working as a whole. It takes more than some purple prose and nice imagery to make up for a hollow story about vapid characters.
Once I began to dislike the way the story was written, any interest I had in the characters and their journey pretty much died. The characters were terrible! Flat and one dimensional, cliche and boring. They started out with some promise. Isobel seemed to really care about her family, she appeared level-headed, and she was passionate about her painting. I thought those were all fantastic qualities. I never liked Rook as much, as he was in some parts an arrogant douche and in others an inquisitive child with no manners. He was a tad creepy, even from the beginning. Especially knowing that Isobel was seventeen and sheltered from the world her entire life, and Rook was an immortal faerie prince of unknown age and power. Ehhh I was not feeling that. However, after only two weeks of knowing each other (knowing each other = spending about an hour a day with each other while Isobel painted Rook) they were desperately in love. But who am I to deny true love?!? Even when it is extremely unfounded, obsessive, unhealthy, boring, borderline creepy, insta-love. Cue, eye roll.
Honestly, once Isobel decided she was in love with Rook and was struggling to accept her miserable life without him, her character shriveled up completely. It was super obsessive, unwarranted, unrealistic, and way too fast to be believable or to make me care. She had zero personality and spent the entire rest of the book pining over Rook, flirting with Rook, telling herself she couldn’t be in love with Rook, and then declaring her love for Rook. So. Lame. And he was no better! After he irrationally kidnapped Isobel from her home and dragged her through a dangerous forest, he suddenly declared that he was madly in love with her. And faeries can’t lie, remember! How romantic.
This then become the entire freaking plot! Rook kidnapped Isobel very early in the book and then they spend about a hundred pages traveling. Ughh, it was so boring! And such a transparent maneuver to get them alone together, in the woods where they need each other’s body warmth and have to wash in rivers. So cliche. There was basically no plot for the rest of the book, other than Rook and Isobel traveling through faerieland and being in love with each other. Nothing freaking happened! Sure, there was some semi-interesting sideplot about the Alder King and faerie court politics and corruption in the faerie realms, etc. etc. but did Rook and Isobel give a damn? Nope. Not as long as they could stare at each other for one more day. Seriously, anything even remotely interesting was sidelined in order to showcase the romance, which was a huge mistake, because it left the book feeling unfinished, underdeveloped, immature, and choppy. Nothing was explained! The Green Well and Astor, the Alder King, the sickness in the faerie realm, Isobel’s parents, the Craft, Gadfly’s backstory…no resolution. No follow-up. And the ending was so rushed and ridiculous, that I honestly could not tell you how everything was wrapped up. The little buildup there was was completely squandered and the story ended with a ton of plot holes still wide open. Oh well, as long as Rook still had his crooked smile and Isobel her in-between-plain-and-pretty face!
Overall, I was extremely underwhelmed by and disappointed with An Enchantment of Ravens. I got lured in by the hype and Charlie Bowater’s beautifully drawn cover (honestly, she rocks, so go check out her art!). And for anyone who is comparing this to A Court of Thorns and Roses, I just have to say, “Umm what?” Did you read the same book I did?? Because this is in no way on ACOTAR’s, Rhys and Feyre’s, or Sarah J. Maas’ level. That is just crazy talk.
What did you guys think of it? Did it live up to your expectations?
Thanks for stopping in and may you always have a book with you!