Happy July, everyone!
I hope that all of you had a good June. This time I’m reviewing “All The Stars And Teeth” by Adalyn Grace! Here’s a quick summary so we know what it’s about:
“As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.”
There are some mentions/implications of sex trafficking in one or two chapters, and some characters do die (both in murder and by suicide) in fairly brutal, gory ways that are somewhat described. There are also a few scenes mentioning or describing dissection. If you are uncomfortable with this sort of content, you may want to skip reading this book or read it carefully.
Worldbuilding Development: 4 out of 5 stars
Taking the plot twist into account when considering the worldbuilding, I thought that the worldbuilding and the mythology was interesting to read overall. It overall made sense, though some aspects (such as soul magic) could be better explained or clarified. I also thought the botched performance Amora had at the beginning of the book felt too vague for me to understand what exactly went wrong. However, I did enjoy getting to see a glimpse of all the places the characters traveled to, and all of them felt distinct and different enough from each other to be unique and easy to identify from each other.
Plot Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I thought the pacing of the plot was okay, overall. Nothing felt too rushed to me. However, I felt that the book could be finished a chapter and a half sooner after the final main battle occurred. Another nitpick I have about the main story is that most of the plot twists are fairly predictable save for one or two, so I could easily guess too well how things might resolve. I did enjoy reading the big plot twist about two-thirds into the book, however, and I wish I could say more about it but it would give away major spoilers.
Character Development: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I initially started off this book sincerely disliking Amora and Ferrick. Amora I initially disliked thanks to her being so constantly distrustful and threatening towards most people, including her own allies. Yes, she had her life potentially threatened after her public display of magic went awry and her being imprisoned for it did not help, but if it was not for Bastian initially breaking her out and Vataea and Ferrick helping her out in various ways later in the book, Amora would already be dead by the end of the book. Other than her romance with Bastian, I never really felt like Amora grew a lot as a character, which was disappointing.
As for Ferrick, I was worried he would come off as a jealous, jilted fiance since Amora and Bastian fell for each other. However, he did get more depth about halfway through the book and even helped defeat the antagonist Kaven and save Vataea in two separate parts of the book, which I enjoyed reading. Though he did become an ex-fiance by the end of the book, at least is on good terms with Amora and grew as a character.
Bastian and Vataea were the highlights of this book, and both of them felt like better-rounded characters compared to Amora overall for reasons that I can’t say here (or else I’ll give away some major spoilers). I also enjoyed reading Kaven as the antagonist, and I did enjoy reading his motivations for why he did what he did. Everyone else other than the main characters and the antagonist suffered from a lack of development and felt fairly flat.
Romance Development: 3 out of 5 stars
The romance between Amora and Bastian is fine, and I’m glad they handled issues when they came up (deciding to stave off lovemaking while one of the two was too inebriated at the time to properly consent, working through trust and secret-oriented issues they initially had with each other). Considering that it’s not hugely focused on compared to the main story, however, it was fine to read. I would’ve liked to see a bit more chemistry but it was otherwise a good romance.
Overall, I’m rating this book 3.5 out of 5 stars!
This is an entertaining book overall, but not necessarily a standout to me as a reader. I’m aware that there is a sequel to this book entitled “All The Tides Of Fate,” and I do plan to read and review it when I can!
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