Review: Girl Of Myth And Legend | A Good Urban Fantasy, But I've Read This Before

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Before I fell in love with high fantasy, I had a particular addiction to urban fantasy. Jennifer Armentrout, Cassandra Clare, Wendy Higgins, Amanda Hocking; they were the queens of my TBR and auto-buy lists. There's just something so addictive about books where someone is living a perfectly normal and boring life and then BOOM! a vampire/faery/alien/Shadowhunter to spice things up a little. Not to mention all these beings are completely beautiful and swoonworthy.

Those were just the type of novels I used to gobble up by the dozen. Now, because of my devoted addiction to genre, I've read a LOT of urban fantasy books. (All those free ebooks on Amazon helped, too.) I know all the tropes, the cliches, the repetitiveness you sometimes get in books of this genre. And maybe that's why I found myself rolling my eyes at this book most of the time.
A girl with a past she tries to forget, and a future she can’t even imagine.

Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.

Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

Dare to dream. Dare to hope. Dare to be a legend.

Ohh, the tropes!
  • The main character, Leonie, belongs to a supernatural race, but her father didn't tell her that.
  • Obviously, that leads to issues with her father who is very distant from Leonie.
  • The love interest, Korren, is aggressive and hostile to Leonie.
  • But after some time, he warms up to her because of her undeniable charm. (But it wasn't instalove. Thank Gallifrey for that.)
  • And finally the "Chosen One" trope.
Okay, to be fair, I was warned of the last one. After all, it was right there on the freaking summary. I almost have no right to be annoyed by that because I darn well knew about it even before I started reading the book! And even if my goldfish memory failed to remind me of the blurb, Leonie's very people call her the "Chosen". 

I know, I know. You're asking "So why, WHY would you even pick up the book if you knew it contained that overdone "Chosen One" trope?" I know it was silly, and I could hit myself for even daring to be annoyed at finding that particular trope. I knew it was a part of the storyline even before I read the book. So why did I still pick it up?

I'm... not sure. I feel ridiculous admitting it, but I don't exactly know. It was probably because I was just hoping it would be different. Hoping that the blurb was a red herring. After all, that cover is beautiful (haha, see where being a cover-snob gets you?) and a review on Goodreads likened it to Daughter of Smoke and Bone (and see where utter blindness and partiality when it comes to fantastic book series get you?) and I was just intrigued (I may never trust my own opinion again).

So that's why I feel like I shouldn't even blame the book for having the trope, when I knew full well what I was getting into. It's kind of unfair, isn't it? But still, this is a review, and as a critical reader, I'm obligated to include it. 

BUT, tropes and other slight annoyances aside, I actually didn't hate the book!

Whatever said about the tropes, I just LOVED the world that Giselle Simlett built. Although there are a lot of similarities to other urban fantasy books in GOMAL, the world of the Imperium is definitely not one of them.

I absolutely adored the concept of the kytaen, and I loved the ancient myths and history and the author beautifully illustrates. It gives depth and authenticity to the world she has created, and I absolutely LOVED that, especially since the idea was pretty unique.

Leonie was a bit of an annoying main character at first, but I grew to like her as her character developed, and once she and Korren got past hating each other, I loved their relationship, too.

The action near the end of the book made the entire thing worth reading, and whatever faults I may find in the author's writing style, I'll say one thing: it defintely drew me in. Even as I rolled my eyes at Leonie being glorified as the saviour of her people, I still wanted to know what happened next. I still wanted to find out more, the book kept up my attention and interest, and that's a big plus point.

So, even though I did occasionally get the feeling that I've read this book before a million times in  millions of other books, I still managed to like it quite a bit! Cheers!

Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett
Publisher: WWS Publishing
Release date: Dec 29th 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the eARC!*

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