My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is actually an interesting story, but it had a few strikes against it, at least for me. I’d probably give it a 3.5, if that was an option, but I hesitated to round up to 4 stars.
Something about the POV bothered me through the whole story. I think it was the frequent use of passive voice in present tense. Apparently I find that really off-putting, so much so that I couldn’t actually read the book without being frustrated. Instead, I listened on audiobook. That worked a little bit better for me, though I also felt like the MCs voice wasn’t always consistent either, which often threw me.
Or maybe that wasn’t it. It’s hard to explain. I’m finding it difficult to put my finger on what it was, or maybe it was several things about the POV I struggled with. Perhaps it’s just written in a style that doesn’t appeal to me.
Despite that, I kept reading, which is unusual for me, but that’s how interested I was in the actual story. And if it had ended on a less abrupt cliff-hanger, I would have rounded up to 4 stars. I don’t even mind a cliff-hanger. I just want some amount of logical resolution right before that. Instead, it felt like this was part of some larger story, and they took an axe and hacked it in half, right at the climax. I’d prefer to read a full story with something cliff-hangery in the resolution, rather than feel like I read that long to only get 3/4 of a story.
Otherwise, I found the world building and characters interesting, though I would not complain about some deeper character development. A lot of it feels surface level to me.
I’m uncertain if I want to read the next one. The lack of resolution makes me want to know what happens next, but I’m worried book two will also end awkwardly, which commits me to 3 books (or quitting at 2 and being equally frustrated). That would normally be fine, but with feeling so unsettled by the POV, I’m not entirely sure I want to commit that much reading time. I might try to borrow the other 2 on audio from the library and just listen in the car, as time permits.
If the POV doesn’t bother you, and you go in aware of being cut off at the climax, you’ll probably fare better than I did. Because, like I said initially, it is an interesting story overall. I kept reading despite the things about the voice and POV that bothered me, and I was frequently bothered.