If I had to describe Pendomus in one word, it would be: Average. I realize some people are kind of turned off by that word when it comes to books:
|"Um, I don't wanna read THAT book..."|
Despite calling Pendomus average, I think it's worth reading. Andrews is very inventive, and her creativity in this novel inspired me as both a dreamer and a writer.
I enjoyed the genre-bending quality of the novel. Fantasy woven into sci-fi with strong romantic and semi-dystopian overtones--win win. Definitely an interesting read despite some cliches and phrases that didn't make sense in the context of the story.
Sure, some of the ideas were pretty basic for science fiction: the standard tech-y gear, planetary issues, an orderly society that's not so orderly (aka dystopia alert!)...and the typical dehumanization that follows....
But other things--like the 15 minute sleep cycles and mental communication links--really impressed me. I didn't think Andrews harnessed all of the potential she *could* have in her novel, but I enjoyed what she did explore.
The plot was alright; it dragged a lot in the middle, bogged down by extraneous scenes/dialogue (playful banter) between characters. I skimmed *pages*...and didn't miss anything important. I liked the beginning the most. Great hook.
The most disappointing thing about Pendomus was definitely the characterization/character interaction. I wanted to "share" large stacks of dinner plates with pretty much every character in this novel at one point or another. Large. Stacks. Of. Plates.
I didn't have a solid grasp of either of the main characters (Runa/Trae). Their motivations were difficult to discern, their backstory was a bit lacking, and they were immature, unrealistic, and extremely focused on the physical. Actually...all of the characters were like this. It was a bit much.
And Hagrid's--I mean, Fenton's--accent. I just did not resonate with it.
I like accents. But I found it slightly disconcerting that Fenton was the only one who had one. Coupled with the fact that it sounded an awful lot like Hagrid's, which made me think of Hagrid and thus led to the somewhat inevitable comparison of the two, it made me feel cheated.
First, the logic didn't make sense to me; how was he the only one??! Hagrid has a backstory that explains his accent. Plus...HP's characters are British. (I dunno, I'm American; it could be relevant.) What's Fenton's 'excuse'?
Second, Fenton isn't half as funny as Hagrid (in my opinion). Shallow, I know...but I had a hard time connecting with him because of the association.
I also found Runa's moods extremely difficult to understand/connect with. At one point toward the end of the book I was baffled by her, uh, transformation. Up to that point, she always struck me as curious and defiant, but always in a soft, demure, thoughtful kind of way. She was determined--but cool, like water.
Then she snapped because of Trae's accusation...and she became so enraged that her character was eclipsed. Everything she said was brimming with hatred. I mean, like, fire breathing dragon mode was entered.
And then there was me:
|(2 gifs in one review isn't overkill...)|
And then there was Kani. SMF (and my head). My impression of Kani throughout the first half of the book was terrible. Thankfully that didn't last throughout the book. However, I don't feel her characterization was very honest. I began to like her because she was a different person, not because I understood her better.
And THEN (I was noticing a trend, bear with me) there was insta-love. Oh yes--I'm definitely bringing the dreaded Lust vs. Love argument into this review.
If I had to choose ONE THING in this novel that I thought was truly bad, I'd pick this one: Lust masquerading as Love. Young 'love'...in other words, the guy can't stop thinking about how much he just wants to kiss the drop-dead-gorgeous heroine-to-be...and the heroine can't stop thinking about how blue his hair is.
AH, much better.
Sure, Runa and Trae are attracted to one another. I get it. They're supposed to be; it's a budding romance. Speaking of which, what kind of legitimate romance only involves the physical? What about spirituality? Intellect? Dreams (aka life plans that may or may not actually pan out)?
Their relationship could be boiled down to this: He thought she was very pretty, especially with her platinum blond hair/beautiful eyes; She thought he was handsome with his blue hair. Oh. And he (sort of?) saved her from being eaten, so he got chivalry points.
Of course their relationship has the potential to grow, but in Pendomus the romance simply isn't well-developed or realistic.
So. Pendomus has a lot of potential as the first in a series, and it isn't a particularly bad book. It just isn't a particularly *great* book.
While Pendomus probably won't be your Most Favorite Book (Ever), I still think it's worth picking up. After all, we don't know where Andrews is going with the series...and it could get very interesting :).
About the Author
Born and raised in central MN, Carissa Andrews has always loved books. She started her career at 15 in a bookstore, just to be able to afford her book fetish. By 19, she worked for a magazine publisher. At 22, she was working for printers to learn their trade. At 27, she went back to school for graphic design, and became an award winning designer. Little did she know all of her experiences would lead her to becoming a self-publishing power house.
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