Like most who I write I am an avid reader. As such I have a guilty pleasure, I LOVE to read and review ARCs. (For those who don’t know what an ARC is, it is an acronym meaning Advanced Reader Copy.) I have decided to start sharing some of those reviews, and even discuss the book here. I will post my review first, but note, after the review I will discuss in a little more detail the book so if you don’t want spoilers, don’t read past the initial review!
Angel on the Ropes by Jill Shultz
My review as found on LibraryThing and other review sites:
An enticing read, full of great ideas and a marvelous premise!
Shultz has developed characters that you love almost immediately. Taking you through a wonderfully paced story. With plenty of action to keep you excited.
If I had any complaints there would be three. One, it starts a little too abruptly leaving you feeling a bit confused not understanding the “rules” which is hard in any science fiction or fantasy novel. Two, some aspects are just a little too detailed, which also left me feeling someone confuzed or overloaded with detail when I wanted more of the story, but it did really help build up the character and what was important to them. And lastly, three, the end left me wanting more! I wanted to know where it was going… Which is probably something more writers should do, always leaving us wanting more… so maybe that was a good thing, I’m undecided on that.
That said I really can’t wait to read it again to see what I get from it after more understanding of the world! I have really enjoyed this novel and am sure I will come back to it many times!
Warning, possible spoilers past this point!
Everyone can relate to the feelings of wanting to join the circus (at least I can!) So the dreams of Amandine are real to me. You get jumped right into this world, of Amandine trying to join the circus. The beginning felt a little confusing to me because I did not really know or understand any of the worlds ‘rules’. She was reflecting and going over what she would do, and the fact that she was different, but I couldn’t understand how.
As you read further and find yourself experiencing the circus with Amandine you read very detailed descriptions of her act as a trapezist. It is not fully clear in the beginning that is what she is doing, and I think the only thing I didn’t like about the book was the overly detailed acts. Not really knowing anything of the work of a trapezist it left me wanting to get back to the story. The descriptions were so detailed as it pulled me out of the story. I am sure that someone who has a bit more knowledge would appreciate the thought and art of it, but some things to me are just too detailed.
There is plenty of adventure to be had though, as you learn of her otherness and how all those of her kind are being hunted and killed by the Plaguellants. The incredible connection between her characters will warm you, and I loved the expressive way they spoke through the book, often with hand speak, full body language and talking! The underlying meanings in the story also really spoke to me!
All of this brings me to the only other thing I didn’t like about the story. There was no ending. I turn the page and nothing… end of the book! While leaving you wanting more is a good thing… I also felt like there was no real closure. I was involved now… what about the planet? What about all those changes that we see happening? Do things change for the better? What pitfalls happen? As I said I think it is good to leave the reader wanting more, but… I also think there should be a sense of closure… she left us hanging up there on that trapeze, with no way down.
When this book comes out I encourage you! Pick it up, read it, let me know what YOUR thoughts are!