Sunday, August 21, 2011

Witch Song, and the conflicted feelings it left me with

Okay, so first things first. I have to share a grievance that I experienced; just to get this all off of my chest: I had already written quite a long review for this book and for two others, as well. 

Now, my dear Goodreaders; for the sake of my anguish over all of this I'm going to assume that all of you are wondering, "well what happened then, Cait?" 

Well, my friends, my computer decided to be a prick and randomly turned off in the middle of finishing typing up my last review, so if you still aren't connecting the dots, they are all.....all gone. *hangs head* and now, I have to re-write them all. Sigh. I'm not exactly happy about it, but here goes my re-write of this review, hopefully it's as good as the previous one. 

Now I know I'm in a bit of a minority here with this book (with the average rating being 4.26, which is very high for this site and almost no reviews that I could see under four stars) but I didn't find this book all that special or even very enjoyable. Sure, there were things that I thought Argyle did well in this series, but it just wasn't enough for me to give it higher than three stars, and here's why: 

Brusenna, the main character of this book, was quite the annoying hypocrite for well over half of the book. She is so upset at her mother for hiding things from her and alienating people that could have helped them, mostly because of pride. So you would think that, when a situation arises where she has the opportunity to befriend someone or not be so secretive, she would grab at the chance to do so, but she doesn't. Instead, she does the one thing that she seems to hate so much, and pushes away people who are just trying to help her; even doing it over four times to the same person ( I will talk about this specific case later in the review) Then there was something even more infuriating; every time she sends someone away, she wails, "don't hate me, I can't lose you as a friend, too! I don't have many!" 

............ WHAT?!!? 

That is totally contradictory to what she is apparently trying to do. Of course they're going to be mad at you if they're only trying to help, and you send them away because of your damned pride, Brusenna! Maybe you'd actually make some friends if you don't tie them up onto a boat and put them in the damned ocean, or just leave them without a single explanation as to why you left! She was also very self-centered through the whole novel; she was soooo determined to believe that everything bad that happened was her fault, and that people shouldn't be fighting for her-even though said people clearly state that they aren't fighting for her- which she flat out refuses could even be a possibility. That state of mind almost got her killed about three freakin times. However, she did improve drastically at the last quarter, and grew a spine and a bit of a brain, but it wasn't enough for me to ignore the beginning, or what I'm about to say next. 

The whole book, the reason for its existence, really, was Brusenna training for almost two years to fight they big, bad, evil, witch who is destroying the world, and right before the big battle that occurs; you find out that Brusenna is an extremely powerful witch. So with these witches both being so powerful, you'd think that when they do get together that there's going to be some wicked-awesome explosions and huge giant, barbed, vines that explode out of the ground; hell-bent on killing you. 

Kind of like this, but with trees, and vines. 

The big battle comes, they square up, and I get excited. Like squirm-in-your-seat-and-squeal excited, because, by this point, Brusenna has become a lot more mature and less egotistical, and I have begun to enjoy her character a lot more than I did in the first half, and I thought that this kick-ass battle that was sure to come would push me over the edge from thinking that it was okay to really liking it. Okay, so back to the battle. They're pacing around each other, get their seeds ready, throw them, and.........hedges. They grow.....hedges. 

Not quite as impressive as the other picture, now is it. 

The battle was so incredibly anti-climactic that I re-read it to see if there was something actually exciting in that that I was missing. And it wasn't just the how they battled that was disappointing; the whole moment was extremely short as well. I mean, Argyle builds up this battle throughout the whole book as Brusenna's big moment, so it's not outlandish of me to have some high expectations about it. 

Oh, and there's one other thing I didn't really understand: there were witches of Earth, Fire, Air, and Water, but they are only able to control plants so........that doesn't really make much sense to me at all. Why not just make them all be Earth or Plant if that's all they can do? 

There was one character that I really did like through the whole book, though: Joshen. Not only was he swoon-worthy, but he was dependent, strong, caring, totally badass, and patient. Even when Brusenna sent him away tied up on a boat because she thought that she was making the right choice for him (ugh FYI Brusenna it's hislife, not yours), he took a job on a ship so that he could be close when he needed her, when I would have given that girl the bird and left her to screw up her life some more if she did that to me. And when Brusenna also improved as a character, I really did enjoy the relationship that Joshen and Brusenna had. It seemed really natural and was actually quite the strong base for a relationship instead of some insta-love. 

I'm also torn that there isn't another book after this. On the one side, I'm glad that it isn't because I won't have to spend more money on the next book, but, then again, I only really started to like Brusenna towards the end of the novel, so I would have enjoyed another one and have had (hopefully) a whole book when she was the decision making badass who didn't send her friends away on boats. Sigh. I'm very torn. 

Again, I know that I'm in the minority here, and you might love this book. I just couldn't connect with Argyle's world as well as many others seemed to be able to do. I guess I would say pick this one up, but do so knowing that it might not be like you had expected it to be.

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