Monday, July 19, 2010

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Food to eat while reading: Yin-Yang Almond Cookies (come back tomorrow for the Tasty Tuesday recipe).

“Our mother somehow knew that there was no escaping fate, no matter how chaotic and random it sometimes seems.” (p. 251)

Legends mix with reality in this dark, Edwardian tale of two sisters whose fates are intertwined. Lia understands that she can choose for herself the path she wants to take, while her twin sister Alice is determined to follow what fate has demanded of her.

Read the synopsis here.

What I liked:

Lia and Alice are like yin-yang, flip sides of a coin, black and white, north and south; while they cannot bear to live with each other, they cannot exist without the other. In the heart of this book lies the question, “Can balance come about in the face of chaos?”.

A reader will naturally look forward to seeing how Ms. Zink answers this question of balance amid the many other deliciously asked questions that string the reader along like a trail of bread crumbs. The sprinkling of bits and pieces of a puzzle are expertly crafted in a way that is enticing, and not frustrating to wonder about.

The gothic setting is intriguing and sets a lovely, mysterious background for the otherworldly tale. I was surprised at how easily I slid into the time period, relating to the sisters who lived hundreds of years before my own time.

Both Alice and Lia are intensely complex. Alice’s character especially fascinated me. At any moment she is aware of her love for family and her sister, yet the next she shows her cruelty. The tiny hairs on the back of my neck were raised when Lia caught Alice torturing the family cat.

Sonia and Luisa act as complementary companions to Lia, moving the story forward with momentum.

As the first book in a series, I found that the story arch and plotting were well done. Each high and low, each climactic scene and cathartic release were crafted with a precision that pulled emotion from each scene.

What I would have changed:

The story is written is first person, present tense and I had a hard time focusing on the story as a result. The uncommon tense distracted me a bit and I had to go back and read sections of the book again because of it. I do have to say that I got used to the tense after a bit.

Lia’s boyfriend James held no fascination for me. I simply placed a stiff Edwardian blank face in his place and his character did nothing to change my impressions of him. I felt no love for James, and as a result, I couldn’t believe that Lia loved him either.

The balance between the paranormal and the normal in her life felt lopsided towards the fantastic and I wondered if she had any sort of life before the opening of the book. I would like to have seen more scenes between her and James and also her past with her parents.

The verdict:

Prophecy of the Sisters is a fast-paced ride through mythology and spirit realms that will leave you chomping for the sequel. Prophecy of the Sisters #2: Guardian of the Gate comes out August 1, 2010.


Purchase: Prophecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy, Book I)


Genre: YA, paranormal

Publisher: August 1st 2009 by Little, Brown Young Readers

Where I got the book: Library

2 comments:

  1. The sequel is definitly on my wish list! I had a few reservations about this one (similar to yours) but still I am looking forward to finding out what happens next...

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  2. I have yet to buy and read this book, but I've accidentally bought the 2nd book D: oh well. Anyhow, I still can't wait to read this :D

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