Thursday, 23 August 2012

Review: Exiled by RaShelle Workman - Megan

Synopsis from Goodreads
Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them.

Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become immortal, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family.

Now she wants revenge.

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate.

Only she doesn't know the first thing about love.

Rather quickly, her inexperience with human emotion is obscured by other matters--alien-controlled psychotic teens that are out to kill her, and a government group that is set on capturing and dissecting her.

Worst of all, Venus will suffer a painful death-by-poisoning, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, if she remains on the planet longer than one week.

Still, Venus is a Princess and she's got a plan. Surely, with her help, Michael will fall in love with a human.

But time is running out and Michael is falling for the wrong girl--her.

Let's all just take a moment to admire the cover, shall we? I mean, that is one beautiful cover! Unfortunately, the contents of this novel didn't quite amaze me as much. Although I inexplicably enjoyed this book, RaShelle Workman failed to balance all the key elements of a good story - world-building, characterisation and realism - which majorly deteriorated from the book's overall quality.

After reading the first page, I immediately wanted to stop reading because I couldn't connect with Workman's writing style. I honestly don't know how to describe it but it just didn't flow with any sort of elegance that coincided with the plot's incredibly fast pace. What made it worse was the alternating POVs. The way they keep switching at random without any significant indication of doing so made the entire plot the epiphany of confusion.

Venus was a rather interesting character with a complex personality that was a challenge to dissect. Her ignorance of human emotions became quite endearing yet I couldn't find a suitable excuse for her shapeshifting perceptions of humans in general. Plus, constantly switching between anger, lust, determination and despair every few sentences made Venus quite unbearable at times. Her uncontrollable human emotions towards Michael and Zaren - her Formytian (an immortal guardian) - had me on the edge of my seat because it was impossible to figure out who she was in love with and who she was simply physically attracted to. (TEAM ZAREN!)

Michael's character wasn't much of an improvement. One minute he was a sleazy, shallow jock and next he was some cartoon hero that's got a playground crush on Venus. I struggled to believe that what he felt for Venus was genuine love because, although he takes big risks for her, he didn't hestiate to help turn her into a science project or violently dismiss her in their several ecounters after their first meeting. Workman also squanders precious words in an attempt to make us sympathise with Michael by mentioning his violent upbringing but this adds nothing effective to the plot and doesn't dismiss his erratic behaviour.

Dervinius - aka Vinny - creeps me out. He has some sort of evil plan that is so top secret I don't even think the author knows what it is. Him and Zaren have an ability to read minds while they're on Earth - probably because they're Kelvieri's - but while Zaren tries to surpress his new talent for invading people's minds, Dervinius just carelessy takes a ride on everyone's thought train. His manipulative and deceiving nature is his greatest weapon and, if his character was developed a little more, he would make the perfect villain.

One thing that majorly confused me was the different stages of Kelarian life. I mean, there's Kelni (which I assume is the toddler/child stage), Kelphi (adolescence?) and Kelvieri (immortal/adult). The word 'Kel' was also used frequently but I think that was just a slang term used to describe Kelarians in general. Basically, the society on Kelari wasn't explained in enough detail so when these terms kept appearing I couldn't help but be flustered by it all.

Mystery was the key element in Exiled and it was fluently weaved through essential parts of the plot. Unfortunately, it lacked in consistancy - only making significant appearances at the beginning and end of the book. As I continued reading, I was torn between the strong urges to stop reading and continue reading. It was rather bizarre. I wanted desperately to see what the outcome would be but I was also desperate for the story to end. 

All criticisms aside.. I did enjoy this book. Call me crazy but there was something about it that just clicked with me. I'm definitely eager to read the next instalment, Beguiled, in hopes that it will improve where Exiled has failed and ultimately, offer a better view of what life is like on Kelari.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Now you've read my thoughts, what are your?