I can’t help it, I love the fantasy genre, YA and otherwise. Plus, I’m also a sucker for a good series. With all of the driving I do on my daily commute and my late night crafting and cleaning, my audible membership is essential for keeping my brain occupied.
This post is actually one that I halfway finished on Friday of last week, but it is still applicable, aside from the fact that I am now on book two instead of book one.
I chose this series because I just finished up listening to another Rachel Aaron series, The Legend of Eli Monpress. It came up as a recommendation from one of my favorite fantasy authors, Michael J. Sullivan, author of the Ryria Revelations, a series I have now read and re-read because I love the characters that much.
I don’t know that I have any deep thoughts about either of these series yet, they are surface level fun reading, the plot lines are interesting, but more in the way of a catchy pop tune than a complex symphony. I enjoy both, and there is a time for both, and Rachel Aaron’s books are definitely the former, a good kind of the former. The difference between the characters in a Michael J. Sullivan series and a Rachel Aaron series is this: when I finish a Riyria installment there is an aching emptiness in the knowledge that I have to say goodbye to those characters I have become attached to. The character development in both Revelations and Chronicles is the most profound aspect, there is so much depth to each member of the story, and you leave feeling like you have made a group of lifelong friends.
I know, melodramatic. This is who I am.
This, I think is where both the Legend of Eli Monpress and the Heartstriker series are lacking. As a reader you can definitely see where she is trying to give these characters developing factors, trying to add depth to their personalities, but it just isn’t enough. Characters can shout at you that they are deep! They are learning! They are growing! Hey look, I’m changing! But unless you are really organically experiencing that change with them through reading, it all is just fluff.
Do I recommend it? I would say yes, if you enjoy an easy fantasy read to take to the beach or listen to on the road, it is a kid friendly series too, so it could be entertaining for middle schoolers and up. You will get all of the good fantasy stuff – mages, dragons, alternate realities, teleportation, she really runs the gammut, almost annoyingly so.
Will I listen to the rest of the series? That is most likely a yes, these are the best kind of things to keep my brain occupied on the road. Sometimes, with all of the decisions I have to make on the daily, I feel like making a decision about a new book to read is a lot. With a series I can at least say okay, finished, time to move on to the next one! And give myself a little bit more time to pick out something new for the next go around.
Until next time!
EDIT – I thought I posted this WEEKS ago. Note: 3rd book in Heartstrikers series is a teensy bit less child friendly than the rest!