The idea about reincarnation is beyond awesome and adding such things as dragons and other creatures drew me in easily; let alone that cover *sigh!* Oh graphic designer of HarperCollins, you have gone above and beyond with it! Kudos to whoever you are haha. Anyway, this book was interesting. It left me uninterested at some points and other times excited to keep reading. Less the latter for a good chunk of the book sadly. This was one of those highly anticipated reads I had on my list for 2012. One of 5 books I had expectations for this year. I didn't really start to connect with this book till about Chapter 15, which for myself alone, is a bad sign. I felt like the protagonist was just there, not there "there" in the world (I know tongue twister). She felt more as a background voice to the story than a leading lady is suppose to for a novel. But don't think I hate the character, I loved Ana, just that she didn't find her voice in the world till the end of the book, so that was a relief.
So by Chapter 26, that's when I felt the book finally took a hold of me! Ahhh gotta love surprises that sneak up on you. I love how things progressed by this point. It felt more fluid with the writing, the emotions of the characters, and the plot overall. It was too drawn out early on with the details of how it arrived here, which is okay because there are some stories I've had to read for class in college that were super drawn out (thankfully I haven't seen anything like that in YA literature yet lol). But I felt some thing should of just been wrapped up early on and resolved or something to that extent. Felt like I was going in circles, which isn't enjoyable at times.
As I reached the last three chapters of the book, I was blown away! This is the most important part, because so much is finally answered, well not every big secret, but the ones that needed to fill in blanks about Ana, about Janan, and Menehem. I'm glad this was left to the end of the book, because it wouldn't have worked as well if it was in the middle. I'm not a fan when authors do that because it takes away the suspense and that curiosity of a good unraveling of a mystery.
Now about the characters….
I was drawn in by Sam than anything else. He is compelling and made me want to know him increasingly more than the main character, which I also find as a bad sign too. I wish this wasn't the case.
Anyway, the connection between Sam and Ana seemed to lack in certain ways the first 15 chapters in. I just felt like that spark that unites two people together, whether forbidden or not, in literature is something that lingers in the air to let you know it's fueled with passion. Not so much for these two. I could understand with the position Sam is in, but the way they both handled it really didn't sit well with me. I just feel like with how "old" Sam is, wouldn't he at least have one really good romantic bone in his body at this point? That's all I'm asking and that's all I'm lacking.
Also it was are tug and pull on the romance too. Do they kiss, do they not kiss? This was silly. I can understand since Ana had no experience whatsoever with the opposite sex in that manner, but jeez! Sam was such a tease to her. Yet in light of the situation they were both in, I could also understand. I just hope in the sequel this doesn't happen too much.
I do have to say that I enjoyed the creatures of this world, A LOT! They were some of my favorite parts, especially the Dragons. Hands down, really cool in how the author put her own unique spin on them (i.e. they spew acid, which kills people and eats through everything!)
Now for the sylph, good character to add, but I felt they were too flat. Either they should have been way more evil or some twist should of happened to make it a more rounded creature. I wanted to go further into such a malevolent situations when Ana came across them. I actually craved for something more intense. But couldn't find it with these. That was my only real let down of the book. It needs more incriminating versions in the sequel.
Overall, I've enjoyed this book. It may not be entirely for me, but I do feel others may enjoy it more. I will however read the sequel, because I've got this BIG feeling that it'll go deeper, give us more action, and a more passionate romantic scenes that the characters deserve. I also sense maybe something way more cool brewing. I can't wait to see what Jodi Meadow brings to the table and what's in store for Ana and her friends.