“The world is black and white and all the shades of grey in between.”
― Mindee Arnett,
I am heading off to Vienna tomorrow morning for the week, and I just wanted to post a quick review for you guys as I had a pretty strong opinion on this book. It’s a little short and to-the-point, but it’s better than nothing, hey?
In my May Fairy Loot box our mystery book of the month was Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett.
With it’s black sprayed edges and stark white nakedness under the sleeve, it’s fair to say this was a sexy looking book. I was most attracted.
But, as often happens in life, just because something looks good on the outside it doesn’t mean the inside matches.
This book had the personality of a teaspoon.
I normally wouldn’t feel okay with reviewing a book that I ‘DNF’ed, but as I managed to slog through until roughly 150 pages from the end, I definitely feel as though I have read enough to give an honest review.
And what does that say in itself? When I have to ‘DNF’ a book merely 150 pages from the end. I couldn’t even bring myself, after a couple of weeks time invested in this book, to push through that last little bit. This is how insanely bored I was.
They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. But it’s this magic that she needs to keep hidden, as being a wilder is forbidden, punishable by death or exile. And it’s this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by nightdrakes in broad daylight—the only survivor her childhood friend, her first love, the boy she swore to forget, the boy who broke her heart.
The threat of drakes who attack in the daylight is only the beginning of a darker menace stirring in the kingdom—one whose origins have dire implications for Kate’s father’s attack upon the king and will thrust her into the middle of a brewing civil war in the kingdom of Rime.
I really struggled to follow the politics of this kingdom. It was extremely ‘info dumpy’ at times and reading through it felt like a chore. Never at any point did I feel nervous or excited. My heart didn’t race and I didn’t crave to be reading it at times when I couldn’t read.
Although there really wasn’t anything of note wrong with the characters, for some reason I struggled to connect.
This is a personal preference of mine, but I don’t enjoy a romance story line that doesn’t start at the beginning of the romance story line… am I making sense? Before the book has even begun, Corwin and Kate have been childhood sweethearts, fallen in love and split apart. So nothing is new, it’s just a lot of ‘lusting after what was’. I love a slow burning, will they/won’t they romance, so this just wasn’t doing it for me.
I have to say that I did enjoy Dal as a character, he was probably the only reason that this book didn’t fall 100% flat on its face for me. But again, I can find a better version of that ‘Dal’ character in most of my favourite books.
I think there was just too much going on in one book. There were so many major and minor plot lines going on that it was hard to get fully invested in any of it. I could tell that this book was put together methodically. If anything, it may have been too neatly put together. It lacked that bit of freedom and ‘rawness’ that sucks me in.
I would recommend Onyx and Ivory for anyone who enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone as there are some similar themes of magic oppression and rebellion.
It’s a shame, I really wanted to enjoy this book and I did go in with high expectations. But it just turned into a slog fest and I couldn’t waste anymore time finding out what happens in the end. And, unfortunately, I really don’t care…
This was a wah-wah for me
Quote © Mindee Arnett 2018