Tuesday, May 12, 2015

THROUGH FIRE & SEA by Nicole Luiken

Rating: D
Mirror mirror, hear my call…

In the Fire world, seventeen-year-old Leah is the illegitimate daughter of one of the realm's most powerful lords. She's hot-blooded—able to communicate with the tempestuous volcano gods that either bless a civilization or destroy it. But then Leah discovers she's a Caller, gifted with the unique—and dangerous—ability to “call” her Otherselves in mirror worlds. And her father will do anything to use her powers for his own purposes.

In the Water world, Holly nearly drowns when she sees—and interacts with—Leah, a mirror image of herself. She’s rescued by Ryan, a boy from school with a secret he’d die to protect. Little do they know, his Otherself is the son of a powerful volcano god at war in the Fire world…and he’s about to fall.

As Leah and Holly's lives intersect, the Fire and Water worlds descend into darkness. The only way to protect the mirror worlds is to break every rule they've ever known. If they don’t, the evil seeping through the mirrors will destroy everything—and everyone—they love…

My thoughts on the book:
I had high hopes for Through Fire & Sea. It was a brilliant concept, but poorly executed. I loved the idea of two worlds and mirror versions of ourselves. However, the characters fell flat, the plots were underdeveloped, and the pacing either dragged or felt rushed. The world building was okay, and that's the only reason this book didn't get an F from me. I had to force myself to finish this one, and it took a long time. I was just so bored and uninvested in the outcome that I couldn't make myself care. 

The characters, Holly, Ryan, Leah, Gideon, the whole lot of them, were underdeveloped. None of them felt like real people. They were cliches at best. I think Holly was supposed to be somewhat interesting with her pink streak in her hair, but that just seemed like a tired attempt at originality. The characters were dull and I could not relate to any of them. I had no feelings about them at all because I felt as if I were reading about paper dolls instead of people. Very two dimensional. Also, their actions didn't make sense, often times. They'd just do random weird things, which made it hard to keep up a willing suspension of disbelief. 

The world-building was extremely well done, and I could picture the Fire World clearly. Our world also was nicely painted. The mythology behind the mirror worlds was a bit vague, but it made sense. That's where the good things stopped, though. The plots (there were two, one in each world) were severely underdeveloped. I felt like I was reading two partial stories, but those two stories didn't fit together to form one cohesive tale. The romance was rushed and unbelievable, not to mention weird. There was no passion at all. The pacing went from rushed to a snail's pace in the blink of an eye. Also, the changing POVs (third person limited) gave me a headache. Since neither Holly nor Leah were well developed, it was difficult to tell them apart. The ending felt extremely rushed and was not satisfying. 

Overall, I'd say skip this book. I know a lot of people liked it, but I'm not sure that we even read the same book as it really did not set well with me at all. Maybe it takes a certain type of person to appreciate this writing style. I'm clearly not that type of person. At best, I'd say check it out from the library before buying. 

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