Book: The Fourth Wing
Author: Rebecca Yarros
This is my 60th read for the year
This story is about Violet Sorrengail. She has spent most of her life training to be a Scribe. Her mother, though, has other plans. Her mother is a commanding general and everyone in their family is dragon riders, so Violet will be the same. She is small and brittle compared to her brother and sister and feels like becoming a dragon rider will be certain death. As she joins others who all have bene selected to be dragon riders, one by one, people are eliminated in challenges that you either pass or die trying. And in the end, the students meet the dragons and the dragons pick their new riders.
Meanwhile, the war outside their warded area grows more deadly. As Violet and her crew in Fourth Wing practice what is called "War Games" to prepare them fro what is outside the kingdom's walls, they start to feel that the leadership is hiding a terrible secret. Only time will tell who they are really fighting and why.
Okay - let's start with the obvious here. This is a YA book. I am starting to think that I am growing too old to enjoy these books. I do love a good fantasy/world building book, but this one was a bit too young for my taste. So please keep that in mind as you read my review. There are 44,000 reviews for this book on Amazon, so it is attracting someone.
The good in my opinion: I liked the idea of dragon riders. Game of Thrones is my all time favorite fantasy book, so I love a good dragon story. The relationship Violet develops with her dragon and the commentary they have is a highlight in the book. I would have liked more. There is a ton of action. There is a lot going on in this world - and a lot of it ends in tragedy - had a real war element to that part of the story. I liked Violet's moral compass and how smart she is. She was set to be a Scribe which means she has a lot of knowledge to share with her dragon rider wing, and she is able to puzzle out what is truly going on in the kingdom,
The parts I didn't love: This is a romance heavy book. That is one genre I really dont read. Rom Com/beach reads - all fine. But this? This was steamy. And just too much, in my opinion. The sex scenes are long and just too much. And weirdly - heavy in the middle of the book. Violet's love interest goes from enemy to friend to lover very very quickly. I really needed to skim because it was just over the top.
Also - they make Violet almost too weak. This book was touted as the next Hunger games, but she is no Katniss. She is always getting injured and talks about how brittle she is, and everyone around her is sworn to protect her (especially her love interest). I would say she is more like a character out of Twilight or Divergent instead of Hunger Games.
Will I read the next one? At first (well in the middle when it was getting a bit too Fifty Shades of Gray for a YA novel) I would have said no. I almost put this aside, but I bought this book so I was determined to read it. However the end? I have to see now where it is going. The last page of the book pushed me to want to at least try the next one and see if there is any improvement.
If you are a firm YA reader, like a lot of steamy scenes, and characters that need saving, this book is for you. If you are looking for Hunger Games, (or even Game of Thrones) you will not find it here.