Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett – Book Review

Rating: 2/5onyx and ivory

Genre: YA, fantasy

First published: 2018

Author: Mindee Arnett

Synopsis: They call her Traitor Kate. It’s a title Kate Brighton inherited from her father after he tried to assassinate the high king years ago. Now Kate lives as an outcast, clinging to the fringes of society as a member of the Relay, the imperial courier service. Only those most skilled in riding and bow hunting ride for the Relay; and only the fastest survive, for when dark falls, the nightdrakes—deadly flightless dragons—come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: she is a wilder, born with magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals.


Animal magic and horse riding feature predominantly? Plus DRAGONS? I was excited. Sadly, I can’t say a lot of good things about this book, except that the author clearly knows about horses. Which as a horse lover, I enjoyed.

The concept was really cool. There was a cool world and cool magic. But the story was boring, mediocre and tropey and so were the characters. And I feel like that’s something very common in fantasy, particularly YA. People have these great ideas for a setting/magic system. But don’t have a good story to tell. If you don’t have a good story to tell, if you don’t have compelling characters, it doesn’t matter how cool your world is. It’s just going to be meh. It’s so obvious that the author didn’t really have a solid story to tell. So many things happen that make no sense. Characters do things, or don’d do things just for plot convenience. For example **minor spoiler ahead, if you want to avoid, skip the bold text*** Kate can control animals. She has always been able to. It’s second nature to her. She has also worked for some time as a relay person. And yet, it takes her most of the book to even think of trying to control the dragons that have been trying to EAT her throughout her entire relay career. That’s something that literally anyone else would have done instinctually. It was so obviously for plot convenience. 

Then there was, of course, the romance. Which wasn’t insta-love. I’ll give it that. The characters had a past. But it was otherwise so bad and clicheed and just uuuuuggghhh. I hated it especially that it just took over. And that’s another thing that happens when fantasy authors don’t have a solid story to tell. The story just becomes a romance masquerading as a fantasy adventure story.And I feel betrayed every time. Especially when it’s just not a good love story. It’s a boring one that I’ve read hundreds of times before. Instead of focusing on it, it could have focused on the dragons and on the cool tid-bits of the world that we got to see. Even just that would have made the book a lot better. It still would have lacked any substantial story, but at least I would have read interesting, unique filler, instead of a tired romance that I could not have cared less about if I tried.

I read this book quite a while ago and only just got to reviewing it. I intended to make this a mini review, but clearly I still feel very strongly about this book and how much it disappointed me, so it turned out into a full-length review. But yeah, to summarise, cool concept. Terrible execution.

Series I Won’t Finish – Part 5

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these and since then, I’ve started some more series that I’m just not interested in continuing. I will obviously not be mentioning any of the series I mentioned in previous posts, you can check those out if you’re interested.


Caraval by Stephanie Garber

caraval

I have not been shy about how much I hate this book. It was just not a good time for me, I didn’t enjoy anything about it. I have a spoiler free review and a spoilery rant about it. Check those out if you want to know my thoughts, but I have 0 intention of ever continuing with this series.

Legacy of Orisha by Tomi Adeyemi

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Read Children of Blood and Bone and it was just such a disappointing book. I didn’t hate it exactly, but it was so mediocre and boring and just not well written. Which is a shame cause it had so much potential. I have also reviewed this. So I have no intention of reading the upcoming books in the series, I even unhauled this one.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

the hazel wood

Same as Children of Blood and Bone, I just did not enjoy this series. I thought I would, I was excited by the synopsis. But it was so underwhelming for me. I just didn’t care. I unhauled it as well. There’s a sequel coming out next year and I just have no intention of picking it up.

The Rime Chronicles by Mindee Arnett

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I got the first book Onyx and Ivory in a Fairy Loot and I read it and was completely underwhelmed by it. I could tell that the author knew about horses, which I enjoyed. But otherwise it was just a lot of meh and wasted potential. The next book comes out this June, but I’m not going to pick it up.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch

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I have tried reading two of Sara Raasch series and they both fell really flat. Her story ideas are always so cool, but then the execution falls flat for me and I don’t feel compelled to continue. I don’t remember whether I mentioned Snow Like Ashes in one of my other posts, but that’s her other series that I’ve tried and just have no interest in continuing.

Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart

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Again, this book was completely underwhemling. I don’t care in the slightest what happens to the characters. I just… meh. I don’t care.

 

May 2018 Wrap Up

I thought I hadn’t read many books in May. It feels like I’ve hardly read at all. But looking back, I actually read 7 books. I mean yeah, to be fair some of these I’d started before May and one of them is super short, but still. I’m surprised.


The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy

First book I finished in May and it was hilarious. I’d started reading this book years and years ago, but I didn’t own it until now, so I never finished it. I can honestly say it deserves its popularity. It was thoroughly entertaining, really just my kind of humour. Looking forward to reading the rest of the series. 5/5 stars.

Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence

This has quickly become one of my favourite series. I listened to the audiobook of the first one, Red Sister, in April and loved it and I listened to the audiobook of this one in May and loved it just as much. I absolutely do recommend the audiobooks for this, the narration is amazing. I am so upset that I have to wait until next year for book three cause this series is awesome. It’s about a magic warrior nun school… what more do you need to hear? 5/5 stars

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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This book was sadly a massive disappointment for me. It was mediocre at best, I think it suffered from a bad case of diversity hype, where a book is hyped because it is diverse as opposed to based on its merits as a book. The characters were two dimensional at best, and they were all more or less the same character. I could often not tell who was speaking. I didn’t care about them, in fact they annoyed me, the relationships were rushed and unrealistic. The world was cool, but could have been much better developed and the story was… okay, but unoriginal to a fault. 2/5 stars

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

the runaway king

I’ve been re-reading this series and it’s just as much of a delight the second time around. It’s clever, witty, fast paced and all around fun to read. It’s one of the more underrated series I’ve read. 5/5 stars

Harry Potter: The Prequel by J.K. Rowling

I’m not sure this really counts as a book, but for some reason, I’d never read the short story before. I managed to find it online and now I really want her to write that book.       😦 5/5 stars

Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

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Sadly, this book wasted a lot of potential. It had a cool and original world, it had elemental magic, it had some really interesting characters and the story had the potential to be suspenseful and gripping. Instead… instead it chose to focus on one relationship that was bland, uninteresting, completely lacking in chemistry, cringe-worthy and just all around boring. And I am so mad about it. Cause I wanted to know more about the interesting characters. I wanted them better developed. I wanted this story to be told better cause it had so much potential. I do not give two shakes of a rat’s behind about that stupid love story. SO MAD! 2/5 stars

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

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Finally, FINALLY, I have finished this book! It took me like 6 months to finish it. But I’ve been in an adult fantasy mood lately and I finished it at last! It wasn’t as good as the first one, but I still really loved it. 4.5/5 stars

Book Haul

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi | A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin | Wonderwoman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wyne Jones | The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Looking for Alaska by John Green | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot  | The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie | Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake | Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks | Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman | Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart | The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas