|Another gorgeous cover! :3|
**I received an e-copy in exchange for an honest and fair review. Thank you!**
As with the first installment, Uncovering Cobbogoth, there's a mountain range of potential in The Lemorian Crest. The world of New Cobbogoth is every bit as creative and enthralling as I'd hoped—and more—and combined with its unique history, mythos, and bits of legislation, it's nothing short of phenomenal. Clark's world-building is easily her strongest suit. Although I didn't feel the book lived up to its full potential, I loved that the backstory and history of the Cobbogothians went much deeper than a single book could allow. (Hence the series. Epicness :-)
By utilizing letters and scrolls in ruins to relay the history of the Gihara, Clark further brought New Cobbogoth to life. In combination with the flashbacks and the visions, it was admittedly a little overwhelming, but I favored the texture it brought to the story. Speaking of story...it was a bit tropey. One moment I would be enamored and impressed with the approach and execution of the prophecy bits and the next I'd feel like the whole thing was slightly overdone and hard to believe.
Overall, the plot was decent, the world-building was (again) phenomenal, and the background, in general, was pretty entertaining...but the not-so-stellar pacing and the Mary-Sue/flat characterization distracted me, detracting from and dragging down what would otherwise be a fantastic novel.
In the first novel, the pacing issue was in large part due to the numerous flashbacks. The second installment vastly improved in this area; however, the flashbacks were replaced with visions. Granted, they were interesting, but there comes a point when enough is enough. Shoehorning, also an issue in Uncovering Cobbogoth, again happened a fair amount...but honestly, I didn't really mind when it came to the world because the world is incredible. What I minded was when it came down to people.
The real pacing issue, though, was aimless dialogue. Too much time was spent dilly-dallying in literally pointless conversation. As a writer, this irked me; if it has no point, if it does not further the novel, it goes. Or at least it should. But as a reader, it was beyond aggravating. No one wants to waste their time flipping through pages of dialogue that accomplish nothing! If I wanted to subject myself to that, I'd read my cereal box. (I actually do like reading my cereal box, but that's because I'm weird.)
When I read a novel, I expect there to be a reason why people are talking. They have something important to share with me, something to help the protagonist along. SOMETHING. And when they don't? -_____- <-----This is the face I make, and then I proceed to skim...and skim...and skim until something significant presents itself and I can, once again, immerse myself in the story.
Sure, the characters were interesting—well, most of them—but no character is THAT interesting, not even Harry Potter. It was too bad, really.
And Noria (aka Nor aka Norah aka Nilla aka Lune-kyndie aka The Haven). Oh, Noria. To be blunt, she was tragically annoying as ever. I've come to conclude that we just don't mix well; sometimes a protagonist has a lot to offer but you still don't resonate with them.
She's stubborn, foolish, and reckless...yet is supposed to be incredibly smart...? Sounds like my first WIP's protagonist. But unlike with my character, I never truly saw or felt said supposed intelligence. Nor's judgment and decisions also seemed inconsistent, almost as if she was trying to be two or three different people. It was difficult for me to get a grip on her character.
In her defense, she came a long way since the first novel. It was a vast improvement and I enjoyed this Norah more than the previous Norah...just not enough to actually resonate with and/or like her. Again, cue bitter disappointment because POTENTIAL.
Overall, The Lemorian Crest is captivating enough to at least try. The world is like nothing I've ever come across: whimsical, believable, and utterly fantastical. And who knows—maybe you'll love Noria! Definitely worth a chance, especially for MG readers.
About the Author
Hannah L. Clark lives with her husband and two children in the Rocky Mountains. She has always known she would be a storyteller. In 2006 she graduated from Utah Valley University with a bachelor's degree in English and immediately began writing her first novel.
Uncovering Cobbogoth was Clark's first book in the seven book Cobbogoth series based on her mythological brain-child, The Legend of the Cobbogothians. It was released in May 2014 through Cedar Fort Publishing. Book 2 in the series, The Lemorian Crest will be released in Summer 2015.
Clark loves running, mythology, singing while playing the guitar, herbal tea, escaping into imaginary worlds, and being with her peeps. Like her heroine Norah, she also kind of believes that trees might have souls, but must clarify that she has never actually hugged a tree. The closest she has ever come to that kind of bizarre behavior was the time she hugged the pillars outside Harry Potter Land. Which, all things considered, is not bizarre at all if you take into account how exquisitely happy she was to finally be there. ;-)
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