The Rift by Andrea Cremer
I tried really, really hard to like this book but I failed. Then I tried to give it the benefit of the doubt but I failed. So then I started looking for redeeming qualities and well, I failed at that too. This book was just one giant stream of tropes back, to back, to back with inconsistent characters and the attempts at grappling with complex themes were so weak that it’s basically just a lie down and let complex themes fall on top of the story.
So, first the tale itself. Ember is the youngest child of Lord Marrow and resents her future as a bride in an advantageous marriage for her father. She would rather learn to fight with a sword with her oldest friend Alistair. This is why, when she’s claimed by Conatas, a mysterious clan from the north she’s excited to leave her family and enter into a life of …. honestly it’s too hard to make it sound like something excited is going to happen when she gets there. I mean, it’s probably exciting for her but from a reader’s perspective not so much.
She enters into a life of falling immediately in love with her mentor without realizing she’s in love with him, her mentor who is gruff, hard and brutal but we’d never actually know that if we weren’t repeatedly told because he’s actually flat, in love with her and motivated by annoyingly uninteresting things like being the perfect hero and in no way gruff, hard or brutal. She enters into a life where your horse claims you and you can learn to ride expertly in a single day, you get magical personal weapons made specially for you that immediately complete you. She enters into a fifteen second training montage that prepares her for the enter book, which takes place over about 10 days. She enters a life where they take her on a dangerous mission just 4 days after she arrives at her new home and she is able to do more to fight monsters then her entire squad of people while sustaining a serious injury.
Her dearest oldest friend goes from the affectionate joker to the aggressive lover to the affectionate joker to the jealous best friend to the man who sells his soul for a woman who he wasn’t remotely interested in until it was convenient to the plot. The other women are all kickass and epic until they get into a situation where it becomes hard to be kickass and then they give up and either die or go to the dark side. Barrow, her lover and mentor, is constantly described one way, and portrayed totally different.
Eira, who should be a tragic symbol of the corruption of a hero, is in actually a symbol of someone who was clearly lazy, bitter and not that heroic becoming lazier, more bitter and going evil. Without any of the complex feelings that could probably accompany summoning a devil because you know, why not?
Honestly, Ember was the “empowered female character” who was completely devoid of any actual characteristics fumbling her way through a story that had as many surprises in it as a box of crayons with a fellowship of sidekicks who invoke so little sympathy I actually don’t care what happens to them in the next book at all. And that almost never happens.
And it hurts my soul, ’cause if a book has a gay pair of characters in a normal, stable relationship whose sexuality is one of their many characteristics (or would if they had any) I really want to like it.
But I don’t.
Last movie I watched:
The Book Thief. The tears I shed for that movie, oh god, it was so beautiful
Last TV episode I watched:
Smash! Man, the first season of that show was great. I’m so sad that the internet tells me the second was the worst