Thursday, February 18, 2016

Truthwitch » Review

I can't believe what I'm about to write. Truthwitch was possibly THE most anticipated book of the winter YA publishing season.  It was THE book at BEA last year and has been getting buzz, buzz, buzz for months.  I could not WAIT to get my paws on a copy.

But there were signs.

I read the first few chapters on NetGalley.  I had some problems, some issues, but I patted them aside. Lie at rest, issues, I whispered.

Then the book came out and I read it.  Well, I read about 60-70% of it.  Then I just... stopped.


I was frustrated, yeah, but I also didn't care.  And I honestly wanted one of the main characters to die, just a little.

But seriously, I just could not get behind characters who were such petty, selfish, BRATS.

One of the best pieces of writing criticism I've ever read mentions how we, as readers, learn so much from the actions of our characters when we're introduced to them. When we meet Safiya and Iseult, they're robbing someone, something they do frequently.  When I first read that, I thought, what for? It turns out, they just want more money. Okay, whatever.

But then, the characters consistently acted like douchebags.  They trashed the property of their friends, they stole horses from their owners, they ran those horses down into the dirt like they were sports cars in an action movie, not animals.  They would douche-ely yell things like "sorry!" and "I need this!" to the people they stole from as they ran away. Assholes.

Safiya in particular was intolerable.  She was vain and temperamental on top of being selfish. There was one part of the book where she admires herself in a silken dress, or whatever, and it's SO vain and stupid that I simply couldn't take it.  Me and Safiya couldn't be friends after that point.

I realize that I'm writing about these characters like they're real.  I understand that they're constructions of Dennard's.  To which I can only think, did she intend for readers to have a totally different response to these characters? Or what?

The only character I liked was the bloodwitch, Aeduan, not because he was a saint, (quite the contrary), but because his motives were realistic and valid.  To that, he is SUPPOSED to have a villainous tint to him, and that made him appealing to me instead of gross.

On top of the characters being problematic, I shied away from the writing.  It was written in a cinematic style, and by cinematic, I mean B-movie.  Guys whip of their shirts just so the female can shudder over the manly breadth of their shoulders. Maybe I'm a-romantic, but that shit is so silly to me. And the fight scenes. The fight scenes were like that part in Daredevil when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner fight on a seesaw. It was ridiculous.

As for good aspects, the political intrigue had promise, Iseult's character is salvageable, and Aeduan is creepy awesome. Everything else was — sorry — stinky garbage.

I'm sorry.  I'm just so, so sorry.


  1. Ugh. The hype machine is why I have trust issues. Thanks. Definitely giving this one a pass!

  2. So many disappointed hopes for this one. You called it though. I'll be much more wary of hype from here on out.

  3. No no no no no, DON'T be sorry. I am so relieved that I'm not the only one who didn't "get" this book.

    I didn't hate it, but it was just... OK. There was nothing particularly unique or enlightening or surprising about it, I guess? With all the hype, my expectations were just WAY too high, maybe?

  4. My expectations were Graceling-high. That's a lot to live up to!!

  5. The premise for this sounds awesome and I still want to try it, but from all I have heard it doesn't sound promising.