Into The Jungle!
Hey... yea... It's me. I'm here! AND... I have review for you guys!! Better late then then never right? I've got my thoughts over Isabel Ibanez's Written In Starlight. First off I wanna say thank you to my lovely peeps over at Page Street Publishing for this ARC they gifted me. Please remember that this is all my own opinions on this title!
I am also excited to feature my new review system! Every book I read will have the chance to earn 25 points which breaks down to a Star Review. There are five categories in the breakdown are as follows:
Character Development: Has the character shown growth through the story? Have there been any changes in relationships? Good or bad?
Plot/Pacing: Are the events of this book pulling me in? Is the story moving at a pace that keeps the reader invested? Does the plot feel rushed?
Writing Style: How is the flow of this writer's prose? Do they write more in sensory tones? Or serious?
Story Aspects: How does this plot/storyline leave you feeling? Does the writing leave you feeling something? How does the ending match up with the beginning of the book?
Personal Opinions: I feel like this one explains itself. Ha.
So first off if you haven't read Woven in Moonlight please don't spoil yourself! Read it and then check out my earlier review from last year and come back!
Without further ado....
Let's start with...
Writing Style: I'm gonna start by saying Ibanez writes beautifully. This book is set in a lush jungle and a hidden mysterious city. Not only did it feel like you could feel the climate but I felt like I could smell the river and hear the swish of the leaves as one of the predators stalked their prey. The ability of Ibanez to transport her reader into the thick of her magically world carried over from the first book. But she stuns not only with her descriptions but the way she invokes feeling from a reader as well. Catalina our protagonist in this book is struggling... struggling to grasp that her people have abandoned her for a new queen, struggling to find control over her powers and struggling to believe that her entire culture might have been falsely influenced. While I wasn't drawn to Catalina like I was with Ximena in Woven in Moonlight... I found myself looking for reasons to cheer her on and a want for her to succeed. Ibanez really writes to create growth for her characters and it shows.
I gave her a 5/5!
Story Aspects: So, for me, this was decent. Unfortunately right before the release of this book the4r was a lot of people screaming that this book had some culture appropriation as well as one race enslaving another. And since this book is written loosely on Colombian lore... it cause quite the stir. Now without getting to far into my beliefs on the subject. I felt like this book had some real world influences but since it was based in a fanciful world it could go either way. I think the idea behind the story was strong in the fact that you see a large shift in Catalina and her identity being more then just a royal. And while there were some interesting details here and there I did feel like the storyline was a little bland. The love interest and their relationship also fell a little flat for me as well which was unfortunate cause I love me a good friends to lovers!
Marked this a 3/5.
Character Development: So this... it was a little bit of a mixed bag being that this book was se4t over an extremely short amount of time. But Catalina is really the only member of the book that grows and shows it. While Catalina and Manuel's relationship evolves and morphs... it really doesn't have an effect on their characters. That being said I'm not sure its meant to.
Plot/Pacing: So sadly I think this book's plot was very very meh. I liked the concept overall though but I think the journey and what happened once we got there felt super disjointed... 75% of the book was getting to where we were going and the events getting there were not consistently entertaining. We went from riding the river and being chased by a caiman to being in a cave and just roaming the jungle.... while it was mildly entertaining something was missing... I think the ending and all the political aspects that came with it were okay but it felt very intense with very little build up. I will say I am once again enchanted by the magic system Ibanez creates! So breath taking in the fact that we see our characters pull their life answers from the stars and Gods. But even with the amazing magic and the ending I never saw coming... I wanted much more from this plot. Overall it was average for me.
Gave this plot and pacing a 3/5 sadly.
Personal Opinions/Thoughts: I think this book was beautiful in the way it was written and I think there were some really wonderfully intense moments as well as some meh ones. I enjoyed this book but not as much as Woven In Moonlight. I think that the world this book is set in is so phenomenal and it has a magic system that is simple but beautiful. I wish I had liked the characters a bit more.
I will give my personal rating a 3/5.
Written In Starlight's total score is 17/25 leaving it with a 4 star review!
At the end of the day this was a beautifully written book that lacked a smidge when it comes down to it. I think it could have been a knock out with just a bit of polishing but all of the components for success where there. The story was lovely and unique!
Once again thank you for stopping in and checking out my views! And I'll see you next time!
These pages take me places and I have at least 30 more places to tell you all about!
All my love!