Book Review: The Heir

cover-the heirTitle: The Heir [The Selection 4]

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance

Rating: 3 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon—and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection—no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry may just capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her . . . and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

What can I say other than I’m disappointed? I loved the first three books in the Selection series—in fact, I gave them all 5 and 4-star ratings… but the fourth book in the series, The Heir, didn’t live up to the hype. I was so excited when I learned that a fourth book had been written. I’d assumed after the first three that the Selection was over. Now, I kind of wish it had ended.

Eadlyn was hard to like. She was self-centered, arrogant, and childish. It was impossible to like her—and though I understand that she was in a difficult position, I found it hard to empathize with the spoiled princess. Honestly, I’m a little mystified how America and Maxon’s daughter could turn out to be such a brat.

My inability to empathize with Eadlyn wasn’t the only problem, however. The plot was basically a rehashing of the entire three books before it. I don’t know that I needed to see the selection again enough to warrant a re-start. It felt like the whole process was already hashed out with the first three books, and suddenly we’re back at it again. I enjoyed it the first time around, but this time, it felt a little tired. I was over it. Sure, I appreciate the role reversal of the main character being a princess rather than a prince or a contestant, but I honestly think the contestant’s point of view is more interesting in this case.

Pouring yet another round of salt onto the wound, the romance and intrigue of The Heir was a bit too fluffy for my tastes. By the end of the book, there is no clear love interest for Eadlyn. Sure, there are a few boys she likes, but none that jump out as being possibly “the one”. The romantic tension I was expecting just wasn’t there. I almost feel as if nothing was accomplished. The romances were never really developed, the threat to the monarchy was vague at best and only a distant threat. Other than gaining a few friends, Eadlyn didn’t change much throughout the book, and nothing happened. When the end of the book rolled around I was genuinely surprised. It felt unfinished.

That isn’t to say it was all bad though. I did like quite a few of the male characters in the book. There’s a special spot in my heart for Erik, Henri, Kile, and a few other of the boys. Most of them were better written than Eadlyn, and I wish they had gotten more “screen time” so to speak. It was also nice to see America in her role as mother—her character seemed more put together and well rounded in this installment to the story, and she came across as a strong figure.

The writing itself was well done. I didn’t notice any awkward sentence structures, punctuation or spelling mistakes. Despite my dislike of the main character, the narrative was easy to follow and engaging.

Overall, the book was okay. I’m glad that I got another chance to peek inside the world of the selection, but I wasn’t blown away. The book just didn’t deliver what I was expecting, and I can’t say that I’d recommend it.

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