Review: The Novice by Taran Matharu

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on 4 May, 2015 | 1 Comment



Review: The Novice by Taran MatharuThe Novice by Taran Matharu
Series: Summoner #1
Genre: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Feiwel and Friends (5.5.2015)
eARC, 368 pages
Source: NetGalley


2 Stars

When blacksmith apprentice Fletcher discovers that he has the ability to summon demons from another world, he travels to Adept Military Academy. There the gifted are trained in the art of summoning. Fletcher is put through grueling training as a battlemage to fight in the Hominum Empire’s war against orcs. He must tread carefully while training alongside children of powerful nobles. The power hungry, those seeking alliances, and the fear of betrayal surround him. Fletcher finds himself caught in the middle of powerful forces, with only his demon Ignatius for help.

As the pieces on the board maneuver for supremacy, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of an empire is in his hands. The Novice is the first in a trilogy about Fletcher, his demon Ignatius, and the war against the Orcs.

My Review

Tricked by gorgeous cover yet again. *sighs* With the lovely cover and intriguing synopsis, I was sure this was going to be a “me” book. Sadly, it wasn’t. It ended up just being a major letdown, I’m afraid.

Honestly, I’ve already forgotten 90% of this book after a few weeks. Thank goodness I took notes! (I should have reviewed this much sooner, obviously. But still.) It wasn’t memorable at all, and definitely didn’t leave any kind of lasting impression on me. The only thing that stuck with me was Fletcher’s demon Ignatius. He was pretty cool!

Actually, most of the concept was cool, the delivery was just lacking for me. I loved the idea of the demons (even though it reminded me too much of The Golden Compass), and “infusing” was interesting. My main problem was lack of feeling. The characters had little to no personality, so I didn’t care about any of them. I was also bored. Extremely. The pacing in this book was very slow and I struggled to maintain interest in the story. I found the prose to be very dry and sophomoric. I had some trouble keeping the characters straight, too. None of them seemed to have much personality to speak of, so they all meshed together until I couldn’t tell one from the other.

It’s not that this was a bad book, but it was just…meh. Reading it didn’t do anything for me, sadly.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 3/5
Premise: 4.5/5
Writing style: 3/5
Originality: 4/5
Characters: 1/5
Pace: 2/5
Feels: 0.5/5
Cover: 5/5
Overall rating: 2/5

Jessi (Geo)

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