“Be as swift as the wind. As silent as the forest. As fierce as the fire. As unshakable as the mountain. And you can do anything…”
Flame in the Mist has got to be one of the most hyped books of 2017, with all the aggressive promotional efforts of bloggers and bookstagrammers, it definitely has a huge presence amongst readers everywhere. I received an electronic arc of this book but only got to review it now – and that definitely says a lot about it already. Despite me being busy with life, I always found a way to review books, and this one, I simply forgot. Frankly, I didn’t like it. I didn’t enjoy the whole time I was reading it. It was simply too cliché of a book to me and it felt like I’ve seen all these characters and plot twists somewhere in mangas or anime out there. Like, you know, the brooding warrior brother, smart but socially and politically helpless girl, and the two guy best friends that went through hell together and have a deadly secret between them. The world building was vague and the various magical elements that were supposed to add onto the story, only served to confuse me. They were unnecessary to the plot and were only incorporated into the story near the end in an attempt to make a foundation for a sequel. And me being the magic-crazed girl that I am, was very disappointed of the treatment that it got.
Another thing that I’d like to talk about was the romance. People have constantly been raving about it had no romance whatsoever, when in fact, it had. I’ve discussed this with a fellow reader before, and I want to say that I really don’t like it when a girl falls in love with a supposedly evil guy, she struggles with it for a while, and when she finally acknowledges the horrific truth of it, in comes the plot device that rescues the guy and shows that he is not actually evil, only misunderstood. I think it’s very unrealistic and sends an ugly message that it’s okay because there might be some good in him. It’s a rescue fantasy, and that to me is not good. I mean, what if he is exactly what everyone says?
Anyway, if there’s anything good I have to say, it’s that I admire Mariko very much. She is a thinker. She isn’t your typical strong female character that plunges headfirst into conflict without thinking. I’m not saying many female characters don’t think, it’s just that I loved reading through her thoughts, her musings, and her plans to get what she wanted. She fought a different sort of battle and she definitely slayed it.
That is all I guess.
Rating: 3 stars
♦ ♦ ♦