Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Fifth Vertex ~ Review

Title: The Fifth Vertex
Author: Kevin Hoffman
Publication Date: August 2, 2014
Pages: 290
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary: Urus Noellor--a boy born deaf who is about to be publicly branded as a burden, incapable of being the warrior his people demand--stands upon a rooftop, poised to throw himself over the edge. His failed attempt at suicide unlocks within him a long-dormant form of magic thought to have died out thousands of years before, a power that may be the key to saving the world from an equally ancient enemy. 
Urus and his companions--Goodwyn, the greatest warrior in Kest, and Cailix, a mysterious orphan--must find a way to stop a powerful group of sorcerers from destroying the five long-hidden vertices that ward the world against threats from beyond, while fighting off threats from within. They soon learn that the scope of the coming danger may be more dire than any of them could have imagined. As the battle for the vertices spreads to the neighboring realms, Goodwyn must face the realities of war and death; Cailix discovers a devastating truth that could change everything; and Urus discovers his uncanny gifts and courage as he peels away clues to his true identity. But even as Urus gains the power he has always craved, he experiences it all in profound, lonely silence.

First off, this cover. Wow. I'm sorry, but if I saw this in a book store, there is no way I'd pick it up. And that sucks, you know, to be judging books by their cover. But it is a very real, very sad truth that authors and illustrators and whoever else need to come to grips with. I really hope that this isn't the final artwork for this.

Moving on though, I really enjoyed this book! There were a variety of fantastically diverse characters that I loved!!! Our main character, Urus is deaf. His best friend, Goodwyn is gay (although we don't see a lot of this in the book, just snatches here and there. But one part of this relationship is shown wonderfully and I was very smiley throughout it.) I felt the stirrings of love between two of the main characters but there is no insta-love, and in reality the story only shows that the two are beginning to care for each other. It doesn't delve into the romantic tension/omg he touched me/omg she smells like strawberries ridiculousness found in YA nowadays. So thank you for that! Show me real characters, and real emotions, and fricking a healthy growth into a relationship. (I mean as healthy as it can be with Cailix, granted.)
While the world building was incredibly complex (maybe a little too complex), I still think it was strong. Definitely have to pay attention however, as this does jump between characters and each are in an exotic setting.

Now there were some disappointments with this book, I won't lie. Throughout this whole story, it's gearing towards this huge climax of two forces battling out to save the world. We're talking epic-sized proportions in regards to this battle. Yeaaaa, that didn't really happen like I thought it would. There was so much build up to this moment that I thought it would be huge. It's all the characters would speak about. Yet, it felt like a big flop to me. Does anyone know of a fantasy that has GREAT battle scenes? Because that would be awesome to read.
It also took me forever to get to this not-so-awesome battle scene. I'm sure this is just me, but the writing didn't suck me in. I wasn't drawn to it. Those times when I had to put the book down (you know to walk my dogs or make some food, what have you), it wasn't like I just HAD to come back and read this. I wasn't dying to know what happens next. This despite having some really great characters!

So in actuality, the only thing this book really has going for it is wonderful characters. The rest, welll, not my cup of tea unfortunately.

 Provided by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you!