ARC Review: Crystal Kingdom (Kanin Chronicles #3) by Amanda Hocking

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Crystal Kingdom by Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release date: August 4th 2015
Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Nobles
Cast out by her kingdom and far from home, she's the Kanin people's only hope.
Bryn Aven - unjustly charged with murder and treason - is on the run. The one person who can help is her greatest enemy, the enigmatic Konstantin Black. Konstantin is her only ally against those who have taken over her kingdom and threaten to destroy everything she holds dear. But can she trust him?
As Bryn fights to clear her name, the Kanin rulers’ darkest secrets are coming to light… and now the entire troll world is on the brink of war. Will it tear Bryn from Ridley Dresden, the only guy she’s ever loved? And can she join forces with Finn Holmes and the Trylle kingdom? One thing is certain: an epic battle is underway—and when it’s complete, nothing will ever be the same…
*I received an advanced reading copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

So the final installment in the Kanin Chronicles trilogy has left me with very mixed feelings. There's going to be some major spoilers ahead that will be tagged, so read carefully.

Firstly, this book got off to a bit of a slow start. It took me some time to become invested in the story, which is weird because Amanda Hocking has a way of drawing me in really quickly, but after the first 25%, things started to pick up.

I really like the way Amanda Hocking writes her characters. She writes the types of characters who you will always root for and will be able to relate to. That being said, I think Bryn needed to be a bit more kick-butt. She's one of the best trackers! She's supposed to fight and get dirty way more than she did in Crystal Kingdom. She did continue to be a strong character, though, if not physically.

I liked this book, I did. There were not too many inconsistencies and there was enough action and the author tied this book up neatly. But have a VERY big bone to pick with this book and the spoilers will start here.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*


This would be me when reading this book:

Me: Okay, things are getting along nicely, and the action is building up well. So good, so far.

Me: Woah. Bryn and Konstantin are getting way to touchy feely and sentimental. Hey, you guys are just friends, right? *prays to the shipping gods for no love-triangle*

Me: Yays! Bryn is reunited with Ridley. Bryn and Konstantin? Nah. I'm just being paranoid. Amanda Hocking would not give in to such a thing.

Me: Ooh, lots of action. I love action! I want more.

Me: Okay. What Konstantin just did? Gets my suspicions up, but I will give this book the benefit of the doubt. Konstantin was just being a really good friend and protecting Bryn.

Me: NOO. You're a nice character, Konstantin, don't die!!

Me: WHAT? YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH BRYN? I KNEW IT!!! WHY OH WHY DID I NOT SEE THAT COMING?! 


Me: *breathes deeply* It's okay, it's okay. I don't like it but I can deal with it. Just don't die.

Me: *reads the next few lines*

Me: *reads next few lines again*

Me: 

Me: You had one job! ONE JOB. JUST. DON'T. DIE. And what did you do?

I expected better from this author. I expected WAY better. YOU HAVE KONSTANTIN DECLARE HIS LOVE FOR BRYN AND THEN DIE? WITHIN THE SAME. FIVE. MINUTES?! SERIOUSLY? And this is not the fangirl in me speaking. The fangirl in me understands the necessary deaths. The fangirl in me will rage about the deaths of a much-loved fictional character, but she will also understand that it contributes to the book or series in some way. She knows that that death will just make her connection to the book stronger. Yes, I cried in Harry Potter when a very much beloved character whom I shall not name here died, but I understood. Yeah, I was angry and miserable, but I got why the character had to die. There was meaning in that death.

In this book? Konstantin's death was so utterly useless that I wanted to smack myself in the face with its pointlessness. What really pisses me off is this simple truth: the author took the easy way out. Like, "Oops, this guy's in love with this girl, but she's already with another guy. What can I do? I know! I'll kill him! That will anger my readers less than actually resolving the love triangle."

That's even worse than making Gale practically disappear in the end of Mockingjay and not having Katniss really choose between him and Peeta. Who does that? To me, Konstantin's death felt like a pathetic attempt at a plot twist. It has no depth, no meaning, and adds no value at all to the story. It felt like a really lazy thing to do, like the author did not just care enough about her characters or her story to actually resolve this "twist".

If not for that huge point which I ranted about above, I would have given this book four stars because I liked the action and the characters and Amanda Hocking's writing style. Unfortunately, it is what it is, and that completely pointless death forces me to extract an entire star from my rating. You may like it, you may not. If you're curious about what happens to the characters in this book, borrow it from a friend or the library. For me, it's not a keeper.

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