Sunday, September 19, 2010

B- for "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore

 B- for "Graceling" by Kristin Cashore

Graceling was an interesting novel set in a fantasy world where people are born with "graces" which are basically great aptitudes in a certain area. No one is shooting lasers from their eyes or controlling the weather, but you could be graced with fighting, for example. The main character is a standard "tough chick" who is being controlled but trying to make a positive difference in the world. The second main character is someone with a secret to hide, but I won't give away any spoilers. It was a quick read, and was fairly enjoyable, but I'm going to have to recommend this to a younger audience only. It's too much of a stock "finding your inner strength and finding love" story for my liking.

Characters: 6/10. They seem a bit too much like "stock" characters to me, although with some modifications.
Pacing: 7/10 Pacing was fairly good. Always some kind of mystery/conflict to keep you reading.
Plot: 7/10 A bit simplistic for my tastes, but still very well done and I'm sure it'll keep the YA audience reading
Worldbuliding: 6/10 I look for greater depth in worldbuilding. Some of the secondary characters are decently done, and the "magic" system is explained, I still wish I knew more about how the graces worked. I assume this will be coming down the pipes in later novels, but I still feel like the world was a playground for the plot to occur in, rather than a real, living, breathing, world.
Style: 7 Very simple style, easy to read. Good at avoiding violence, sex, swearing to keep it tailored to the YA audience and younger. Not as much conflict as I would come to expect from characters in their circumstances, but well-suited to its target market.
Total: 33/50 A fun read with some interesting, if not incredibly 3d, characters. Sure to please younger female readers with the tough little heroine, and a younger audience in general. On the other hand, it seems that many other people LOVED this book, so I'd recommend reading a few sample chapters first.

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