If you are like me, and would rather watch a video review than read one, skip to the bottom to see what Best Book Clubber, Shanna Kay, thought in her November wrap up!
What It's About
Fable, a thirteen year old girl who has just lost her mother in a ship wreck, is then abandoned on a nearby island by her father. Four years later, after fighting to survive on her own, Fable finally finds herself able to get off the island to go search for her Father who is very prominent in the trading world. She buys her passage on a ship and there meets a crew unlike others she has known before and in them finds the family she has been without for so long.
What We Thought
Because of Covid restrictions in our area we had to meet virtually for this one which was a little sad because it was our 2nd Birthday! We have been going strong for two years and we have no intention of giving up anytime soon. We are all expecting to become little old ladies meeting up for book club every month just like we always have - one of us even has plans to move out of town in the future and continue to commute for book club! We are committed to each other and to books. Anyways, all of this was to say that during the meeting, I think because it was virtual, it was a bit hard to organize everyone's thoughts and it felt like there wasn't very much to say about it, but now that I'm putting it down on paper, I've realized that I do have a few more thoughts.
It was fine. Again, it wasn't the best book we've ever read but there wasn't anything inherently wrong with it and it was enjoyable and entertaining. I appreciated that unlike other YA novels, the love story in this one was very much not the focus of the story, There definitely was an obvious love story brewing, but it lived very much in the background - until it didn't. And if you've read it, you know - underwater loving was just a little bit too far, in our opinion. Shanna mentioned that she has read some pirate/ship type books that were more heavy on the fantasy and that Fable felt like a watered down version of those which I can completely see now. There was a touch of magic in the story, but it was so minor and uninteresting that I think it would have been awesome if that magic had been developed more and given a larger role in the book.
I think that if the love story was removed and some of the scenes were a little less violent, this book would be a great middle age book. It was exciting, fun, super fast paced and the descriptions of ship life and sailing through storms was done superbly. Alternatively, I also think that if the romance and the darkness was amped up, it would have been a really great adult novel, but as it was, it kind of rode the line of YA very safely.
This book is the first in a planned duology. It came out in September of this year and the second one is already set to be released in March of next year which is obviously a very quick turn around for a sequel. A lot of times I can read the first book in a series and have it stand alone quite well and I'm not sure this one does. It was as though there was quite a lot of setting up what's going to happen in the next book and not enough focusing on what was happening in the original story. So now I feel like I have to read the second book just to wrap the first one up. What I'm expecting to happen is that when I do read the second book, I am going to wish that the two books had just been combined into one. It's like how George R.R Martin split A Feast for Crows into two books when it became obvious that it was far too long to be just one book and hence it became A feast for Crows AND A Dance With Dragons. Then instead of just splitting the book into two books he split the perspectives. (I have recently finally read AFFC and have so much to say about this, but another time). Anyways, this book feels like a regular long book, unnecessarily split into two shorter books. I would rather read one long book with the whole story and then have the subsequent books in the series carry on with the characters and the world, but with a different set of problems.
So all of that being said, perhaps in the second book the magic gets more developed and the love story gets more developed and the plot becomes thicker, but on it's own this book was just fine and honestly, I would not have even thought to pick it up if the cover wasn't SO BEAUTIFUL. Right?!