Book Review: The Seventh Sister

 

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Title: The Seventh Sister [Parched 2]

Author: Z.L. Arkadie

Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult, Teen, Fantasy, Urban

Rating: 2 (I think?)

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Description/Synopsis:

Zillael, the seventh sister, finds herself falling for two very different supernatural beings, a Wek and a Selell (better known as a vampire). Plus she’s learning that she too is a supernatural creature. A complicated love triangle forms and threatens to turn deadly the day the fog rolls in.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

To be honest, I have no idea what I just read. I didn’t go into this book knowing a whole lot about it. Finding out it was a YA Paranormal Romance, didn’t really surprise me. However, the tense did. I will be the first person to argue the point that nothing should ever be written in present tense. It may be because of my days playing D&D, but I truly believe there is a time and place for present tense…but that time and place is not in a novel. In my own, personal opinion, it is an unnatural tense for storytelling (as stories are always told after the fact), and consequently, it can be not only distracting, but downright impossible to slog through sometimes. This was no exception.

This story is told in a first-person POV—that of Zillael, a teenage girl who is struggling through high school and suddenly finds her world upended by a batch of supernatural creatures. I’d love to tell you more of the story, but to be honest… there isn’t any. If there was a plot to The Seventh Sister, I couldn’t find it. Quite literally, the book is spent following around the main character as she tries to figure out what the heck is going on in her life when supernatural creatures start randomly popping up around her. There really weren’t any bad guys to defeat (unless you count the Vampires—excuse me—Selell, whose motives were never explained and only attacked twice). There were no quests, no climax to the story, even the romance plot was pretty weak.

There was this odd disjointed quality to the characters. At first I thought it was because of the awkward tense of the story, but the more I read (and was able to ignore the tense) the more I realized that it was actually the characters themselves that were disjointed. Zillael is a character who’s been aware for a very long time that she has some unusual abilities: super speed, super strength, unnatural beauty, etc. So it was a bit of a surprise to me when Zill seemed to be surprised that she was an actual supernatural being. (Not that they ever explain what kind.) On the other hand, despite her shock… she really didn’t seem all that, well… shocked. It’s hard to put words to it, but nothing seemed to phase Zillael in this book. I guess the best way to put it is a lack of drama. She didn’t get overly upset about –anything- not even when she saw people get murdered. She wasn’t upset to find out any of the seemingly amazing things she was being told by the other characters… she was like a brick wall. It vaguely reminded me of trying to talk to a person who’s got their mind on some other important task. They listen… but they aren’t really listening. It all seemed to go in one ear and out the other, and I was seriously starting to wonder if Zill was a pod-person.

The other characters were no different. The Wek (who’s real name I can’t be bothered to remember at this point) was so…. at odds with the world around him. At first he seemed like a normal person, but he very quickly degraded into this blank wall that seemed completely incapable of understanding the world around him. I don’t think Zill knew quite what to do with him either. It was impossible to tell what the character was thinking or feeling. He reminded me of a mental patient zoned out on too many tranquilizers.

The one redeemable character, the Vampire (I can’t be bothered with his name either, and I’m tired of pretending that naming him a Selell makes him anything other than a Vampire) was the only character that seemed to react in a normal way. He got upset, possessive, even vulnerable at times. Every other character either made only brief cameo’s, or seemed brain-dead. I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters on any fundamental level, and when you throw in the awkward tense and the complete lack of a plot… the whole thing was pretty unbelievable.

Did I like it? Well… I read it. I got to the end. So I guess it couldn’t have been all that bad. I was interested to see what would happen next—and it was certainly a quick read—but the story really didn’t go anywhere or explain anything. I came out of the book not knowing anything more than when I went into it. I honestly have no idea what this book was about or how the title relates. Would I recommend it? No… unless someone wants to go pick up a free copy and explain it to me. I certainly wouldn’t read it again. I can’t imagine trying to get any further into this series if the other books are anything like this one. It was an exercise in futility.

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One thought on “Book Review: The Seventh Sister

  1. I always have trouble getting through a book that gives me so much grief when reading, and I congratulate you for getting through this. I understand what you mean about present tense in a narrative. It’s hard to pull off and to do it well. I think I’ve ever only read one or two novels where it actually worked. Thanks for the review!

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