Title – ‘The Beholder’
Author – Anna Bright
Publishing – June 4th 2019 by HarperTeen
Pages – 435
Format – Hardback (Fairyloot Exclusive)
BOOK SUMMARY –
Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.
But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.
From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.
*WARNING – CONTAINS SOME SPOILERS*
WHAT THE HELL WAS THIS BOOK.
I did not get this book. Not one single bit. I just could not connect with it in the slightest.
Right.. let me start at the beginning. I was expecting this book to be a kinda strong self discovery kinda book with some really nice romance (plus it was apparently marketed as an ‘The Oddessy’ retelling… it wasn’t!)… it didn’t feel like that. This book felt very juvenile to me, I’m sorry but it did. I felt absolutely nothing for the characters, the plot or setting. The writing didn’t sell the story at all, this book was in 100 different places and trying to tell 100 different stories and it simply didn’t work!
Selah… oh Selah. Our main leading lady Selah was just so.. meh (and definitely not leading lady material). She just didn’t really have anything about her that made me want to root for her, she was very plain, very simple and frankly so incredibly naive for me to even comprehend getting behind her story. And don’t get me started on her ‘romances’… it just felt so fake. ‘I’ve fallen for the first guy but he’s misguided me so I’m going to hate him and fall for the second guy I meet in 2 weeks time‘… LIKE WHAT?! I just can’t. It felt so unbelievable and rushed and just odd. I genuinely don’t know how else to describe the romance in this book. It was beyond odd.
Literally the only character I didn’t actually mind was Selah’s first love interest Bear. It was the only time during this book I actually ‘felt’ for a character. BUT Selah’s reaction to the reveal of Bear’s ‘true identity’ just annoyed me to no end. Like god darn it girl your in the world of royalty and politics and countries and kingdoms trying to protect their own backsides. What on earth makes you think, as an 18 year old at that, that the world is pretty flowers and lounging around the garden all day. Surely… just surely you’d have at least some tiny inkling about the way a country is run with your father being in charge and all that. I mean, this girl is meant to be the upcoming ruler of her country but just throws her toys out of the pram when she doesn’t get her way or when she doesn’t like what’s happening. Not joking.
AND WHAT THE HELL WAS HAPPENING WITH THE PLOT?!
Like seriously… what was the main plot line of this story? Because frankly Selah just stumbled into the plot to be fair, not once did she ‘lead’ the story. Everything just happened to be happening around her. But honestly… you had the romance side of the story line and the odd talk of rebellions and evil armies and not wanting to go to this certain place (I can’t remember what it’s called..) because of the stories you’ve been told in relation to its evil queen or leader or something. And then don’t get me started on the ships crew and their little ending plot twist.
Seriously.. WHERE THE HELL DID THAT COME FROM?
‘Oh yeah by the way Selah I’ve been taking your ship at night to go talk to some rebels and we want to go to somewhere and get involved in something you literally know nothing about..‘… yeah… Selah becomes a rebel all of a sudden RIGHT AT THE FRICKING END OF THE BOOK! All this after she’s just had to leave the man she wants to marry and apparently loves with her whole heart 2 weeks after leaving Bear, the first man she fell in love with by the way, because one of her ships crew fell in love with someone he shouldn’t… confused yet? Yeah same.
And finally where the hell were we? Because I was so confused, we had a mixture of different places, which are actual real life places, and then some that aren’t but altogether they don’t actually look like a traditional European map they just involve bits of it (with England and Deutschland)… I think. A physical map would have REALLY helped because I honestly had no idea where we were half the time. Seriously the world building in this book was just not good. This book honestly felt like it was having such a huge identity crisis on multiple levels throughout the whole flaming thing.
Names of places were thrown around like no bodies business and it actually hurt to think about it. This is a quote from the book that I saw a GoodReads reviewer use that just drives home the point I mentioned; “The tsarytsya has done her best to break Deutschland. But her armies have met too much resistance. Yotunkheym is barely present in the Shvartsval’d now. The forest has grown wild, swallowed the Neukatzenelnbogen completely. The tsarytsya barely acknowledges Katz Castel.”
Also on a final note just to confuse you even more… no planes, phones, technology etc. This is meant to be an older setting… but we do have a radio and transmitters. Huh?!
WOULD I SUGGEST THIS BOOK TO OTHER BOOKWORMS?
Pfffft… I mean personally if you’re looking for something a bit more on the mature side of YA then no… because this did feel very juvenile.
AM I COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK?
Not even close.
WILL I BE READING THE NEXT BOOK IN THE SERIES?
Sorry but that’s a no.
[I rate this book 2/5 stars]