Book: Anathema by Megg Jensen
Series: Cloud Prophet Trilogy #1
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy
Available Formats: Paperback & Ebook
Publication Date: February 5th, 2011Publisher: Indie / DarkSide Publishing
How Did I Get This Book: From Author, For ReviewFirst Line: “My fifteenth birthday. My greatest fear. Funny how my life as a slave made the two synonymous."Preview Book: Read Chapter OneDescription: Reychel is a slave girl surrounded by magic, lies and manipulation. Her best friend disappears in the middle of the night leaving Reychel to face her fifteenth birthday, the day her master burns his brand into the back of her bald head, alone. She's sheltered from the outside world and doesn't have any hope for escape, but when people desperate for freedom ask for her help can Reychel learn to believe in herself?
When I picked up Anathema, I wasn't really sure what to expect. The description doesn't go into too much detail about the storyline - all I knew was that it was a fantasy story that dealt with a teenage girl who grew up as a slave. In retrospect, I am glad that the synopsis wasn't overly detailed. The storyline is absolutely full of twists and turns that keep readers guessing. I found myself constantly flipping pages - I was extremely eager to find out what was in store for Reychel.That being said, I don't want to go into too much detail about the plot, because I don't want to ruin the magic for you.
Reychel, the main protagonist, is a character that I loved... for the most part. She is one of those characters who chooses to see the best in people; she is kind to basically everyone, whether they deserve it or not. Most of the time, I found this quality endearing, but every once in a while I wanted her to show a bit of backbone. However, like all great characters, she shows development over the course of the book. She begins to stand up for herself and hopefully she will continue to in the following installments.
My largest qualm with Anathema (which really isn't that big of a issue) lies with the setting and descriptions. I was completely taken with what little descriptions we were given and I wish that Jensen would have taken things a further. You see, it's not that they are necessarily lacking; I just wanted to know more. Does that make sense? We are given an adequate amount of information - enough to make the story understandable and entertaining, but I would have loved to get a better, clearer picture of Reychel's world. I thought the world Jensen setup was fascinating and would have jumped at the opportunity to learn more. The book is relatively short (185 pages); I think there was plenty of room to sort of plump up the story - put a bit of meat on the bones of it, so to speak. The same thing goes for the minor characters. Every single character in the book was captivating, but I feel like I don't know them very well. Hopefully we will get a better handle of them in the upcoming books.
However, I cannot say that my issue with the descriptions is a major flaw; after all, I did enjoy what was written. Anathema has an amazing cast of characters and an exciting and initiative storyline. I would definitely classify it as a page-turner, I for one couldn't put it down.
"Ivy held no claim over me," he said softly. "You, on the other hand, you claimed me from the moment I first saw you."
"Johna pushed through the crowd, jostling elbows and even stepping hard on one man's foot. He responded with a grunt, but Johna ignored him."
"I stood still, unable to move as he gently placed his lips on my forehead. The softness of his kiss left a deeper mark on me than Kandek's brand ever could have."
"Not caring who heard, I let loose a wail I left I'd been saving up my whole life. It traveled through my body, beginning in my lungs and spreading to the tips of my fingers and toes. I screamed until there was nothing left inside that hadn't been stripped raw."
"I had someone's arms to fall into and I wasn't going to wait one more moment to free him."