Title: Talia [Talia 1]
Author: Christy King
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Rating: 1 Star
Teenage queen, Talia, struggles with her own self-destructive ways, while trying to be a compassionate and fair ruler in a land of magic, werewolves, and vampires. Within her, lies a darkness—one that will endanger the very people of her kingdom. In an attempt to protect them, she makes a pact with the vampires in a bid for peace. In the end, the trust she offers may be the very thing that leads to her own demise.
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
Did. Not. Finish. I tried—I really did—I stopped and started this book half a dozen times in an attempt to get through it, but I stopped at 13% in (beginning of the fifth chapter). This story started off with promise. The narrative was clear and concise, and with few errors (I found three in the first five chapters). Unfortunately, that’s just about the only positive thing I can say about this book.
The narrative had a penchant for skipping large amounts of time without any indication of a time switch. Months, even years would pass within the same paragraph, sometimes even the same sentence. It became very tedious to follow the constant time jumps that seemed to occur for no particular reason. For the most part, the narrative came across as dry, and lifeless. Talia didn’t seem to have a personality. Most of the time she showed almost no emotional reaction or inner turmoil unless it was to burst into tears (which she quickly stifled). I didn’t feel like she even cared about any other human beings aside from her childhood friend Camon. When she started cutting herself “to feel something” I rolled my eyes. It made me angry on behalf of the people who actually do have a cutting problem that this bratty, unfeeling princess had been given this severe emotional problem for what? So that the reader would feel sorry for her.
From there, events seemed to tumble by as the story skipped ahead in quick succession—leaving the narrative feeling rushed. There was little detail put into the descriptions, and the dialogue didn’t seem to make an impact on the story… a lot of time was wasted just having characters greet each other and ramble on about unimportant day-to-day things.
I think the most aggravating thing about this story though, was that it was so unbelievable. I know this is a fantasy story, and there are vampires and werewolves—that’s fine. I can suspend my disbelief to a point, but there were moments where Talia and the other characters said/did things that seemed to come out of nowhere, and had little explanation.
- One example I can give of this is when Talia became Queen. Her father’s funeral and her coronation were on the same day, but there was no mentioned grand ceremony or time set aside for her to mourn. Talia didn’t even seem to care that her father had been killed. She signed a document, sat in a chair for a few minutes, and then walked out of her own father’s funeral. That was the end of that. Even in a rushed situation, I don’t believe this series of events would have happened.
- Why did her coronation and her father’s funeral have to be the same day?
- Why did they have to be in the same location?
- Why is she so soulless that she can just walk out of the ceremony?
- Given that she’s a minor, why aren’t there any other relatives around to take over the throne?
- Why isn’t there an interim King?
- Why was there a treaty of peace between her kingdom and the one next door because her father had been killed in a war with the other country?
It didn’t make sense. There are just too many questions that were left unanswered, and it felt fake the way it was all set up.
Another example would be in Chapter 4, after the Vampire/Human Treaty meeting. A Vampire she hardly knows (she’s literally only seen him twice, both times for less than an hour) breaks into her palace bedroom, and she doesn’t freak out. In fact, she hugs him and he declares that he’ll always be there for her. I literally stared at my kindle and went W.T.F. I’m sorry, but I can’t suspend my disbelief that much.
In the end the book came across as boring and unbelievable. I didn’t feel engaged, and none of the characters stood out as having any depth—I couldn’t get past it. I did not like this book. Would I read it again? No. Would I recommend it? No. In my opinion it is sorely in need of a good set of beta readers to fix the plot holes and fill in the tensionless spaces. This book felt lifeless. I’m sure there are a lot of readers out there that will enjoy this book for what it is, but it wasn’t for me.