Monday, July 14, 2014

YA Review: The Winner's Curse *ARC*

The Winner's Curse (Winner's Curse,1) by Marie Rutkoski, March 4, 2014. 355 pages. Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). Source: publisher.
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love.

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction.

Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 
First Sentence:
She shouldn't have been tempted. 


It has been days since I finished reading The Winner's Curse, and will be even longer yet by the time y'all see this review. And still, I am unsure on my final thoughts on this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed the writing and the world building; while on the other, I found it to be majorly predictable from start to end.

Alas, I am torn...

As I prefer the good over the bad when talking about something one has worked quite hard on, I shall start with what I enjoyed about the book.

I really enjoyed the setting and general-ness of the world is what caught my attention from the very beginning. I loved the idea and way the world was introduced. While it wasn't something completely new book-wise, I found it interesting to see the differing views in which both cultures, that of Kestral's and Arin's, viewed each other and how they at one point envied the other. The final thing I enjoyed about the set up would have to be the conflict that you could smell coming from the moment Kestral entered the bidding for Arin. While I was un-surprised on the resulted conflict that came about, I enjoyed seeing the way everything fell into place and how the author wove the strands of that aspect of the plot together.

On the other end of the spectrum, I was disappointed in how easily I was able to solve the plot. While it was pretty obvious early on how things would go between Kestral and Arin, just look at the write-up, I wish that their had been an unforeseen twist in that angle of the plot. While the way things ended in that regard were interesting, it, for me, still left me unhappy because what happened has been done many times before.
   Frankly, with how Kestral was described, I was totally expecting her to not get caught up in the spiraling web that snared her.As she was portrayed as one who could see behind the lies, i was disappointing to see how easily she was fooled. But then again there would be no story if she had seen things as clearly from the beginning as I did.

When it comes down to it what I enjoyed most about Marie Rutkoski's The Winner's Curse would have to be her writing. Even though I had the book figured out early on, I  enjoyed the way she told the story and her ability to pull me the reader into the world she created within the Winner's Curse. For the writing and overall interesting plot is enough for me to give this one a recommendation.

In the end, the only thing that was disappointing was the way things evolved between Kestral and Arin. It was predictable at best and left really no room to break out of the mold. I would have been so much happier if things had gone different from the very beginning with the two characters and the general evolution of the path their characters took within the book.

Final Verdict: The Winner's Curse- An interesting start to the series; and one that leaves me quite curious as to where the story will go next. Color me intrigued.

The Winner's Curse earns

This book was received in exchange for an honest review

1 comment:

  1. This is the first review that I have read of this book. It certainly sounds like an interesting and unusual premise. Thabk you for being so honest with your thoughts. Like you I can forgive a predictable plot if the world building, characters and writing style are impressive. Still on the fence with this one.

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