Great potential but poor execution
Reviewing this book proves quite difficult due to my mixed feelings. Maybe I should first go into what I liked about it: First of all, the idea for the Great Libraries and the grimoires as books with a personality and soul really intrigued me. It reminded me a bit of “City of Dreaming Books” by Walter Moers and I quite love i... Reviewing this book proves quite difficult due to my mixed feelings. Maybe I should first go into what I liked about it: First of all, the idea for the Great Libraries and the grimoires as books with a personality and soul really intrigued me. It reminded me a bit of “City of Dreaming Books” by Walter Moers and I quite love it. Secondly, the character of Silas was outstanding. He was immensely interesting and I fell in love with him immediately. Seriously, I would die for him. The general plotting wasn’t bad as well and actually could have turned out brilliantly, if the pacing and the other characters would have been more convincing. So now to the things I didn’t enjoy: First of all, it’s yet another book to add to the pile of YA books taking their inspiration for world-building from the 18/19 hundreds and throwing their female protagonist into a misogynistic world in which women are not taken seriously and treated poorly because the authors are utterly uncreative and can’t think of a way to create struggles for female characters other than their gender. I’m so tired of reading about sexist worlds. I’m reading for escapism and I don’t need all the **** I have to deal with in real life in my books too. Please YA authors, be a bit more creative and create new worlds and original struggles for the characters that are not grounded on sexism because that’s just frustrating and agitating. Secondly, how can you create such a beautiful demonic character as Silas, give him and the bi male lead Nathaniel such great chemistry and then make them not fall in love with each other?! What in the heavens is wrong with all the YA authors who don’t see the true potential for a romance just because it’s not straight? Silas and Nathaniel would have made such an interesting and healthy and beautiful couple. I’m literally crying over this lost opportunity. I mean Silas has been in love with Nathan and Nathan was bi… so what did stop the author with going through with it? It would have made such a great impact on YA fantasy in general and could have been kind of a predecessor for a new kind of YA books rising against stereotypes. And last but certainly not least, I strongly disliked the humor in the book. It felt forced, juvenile and cringy. There was this scene for example, in which they were fighting to rescue the world from being torn apart and suddenly made a playful remark or joked around and it was so cataclysmic to what was happening in the story that it destroyed any urgency and seriousness. So all in all, the story had a lot of potential, great ideas and a marvelous demonic character but failed to reach its potential in the execution.