Finished listening to Graceling, re: last post. My thoughts didn't change too much-I like the world and the characters, but I also think they have much more potential than they're realizing. The exposition is really overdone and makes the plot sadly predictable in a way that's not okay because it's the type of book that's relying on plot to hold interest. The language is well done, but more simple than I would like at times.
I'd recommend the book to teen girls, but it's nowhere near counting as SFF Lit. Personally, I'm interested in reading Bitterblue, but not necessarily Fire.
18. Silver by Rhiannon Held
Silver was a quick read. I received it for review from Tor Original Paperbacks.
Andrew Dare is the enforcer of the Roanoke pack, i.e. the werewolves living on the East Coast of the United States. He follows the trail of a lone Were to force her to explain herself and expel her from his pack's territory if necessary. The lone smells of silver, a metal that is poisonous to Weres. Silver is used as punishment for misdeeds in European packs, but New World packs ban its use.
However, the woman he finds is not a perpetrator, but a victim. Silver has been injected into her bloodstream and she no longer remembers her own name, nor can she shift into her wolf form. She calls herself Silver, the name that Death, she says, has given her. And Andrew's mission becomes to find the one who did this to her, before her monster can destroy other Weres in the same horrific manner.
I have many of the same criticisms that I have of YA books in general here. The writing is slick and crisp, it doesn't stick in the mind, it practically runs over the pages. For someone looking for a relaxing beach read, this is obviously a boon. It's just not what I look for. The plot here is bare and straightforward. HOWEVER, I have less of a problem with this here, because Silver has a depth to it that holds interest in its own right. Held creates a convincing picture of the dynamics and interactions within and between werewolf packs, and all of these nuances appealed to me, I wished only for more of it. I also wished for more interaction between the werewolf and human world. While that is often where the crux of the problem is in urban fantasy, it barely figures in the story. Practically all the characters are Were.
I liked the two viewpoints the book is told in, Andrew's and Silver's, and how they are structured. Andrew's sensible view juxtaposed well with Silver's hallucinations and generally more abstract view. The latter could have otherwise been confusing, and I do respect that mix of a more offbeat narrative with a more formal one, so that you get the effect but still basically know what's happening. I think the author could have risked more with that, but again, this book is more geared toward light readers.
For fans of werewolves, this book takes a lot of interesting turns. For someone who wants a real quick, enjoyable read, I'd recommend Silver. But it is what it is and nothing more.