Book: Cracked (Soul Eaters #1) by Eliza Crewe
Publisher: Strange Chemistry, 2013
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Source + Date Read: Netgalley ARC + 23 Oct. 2013
Recommend: For those who crave a non-traditional historical fiction.
Book Pro’s: Oh where do I even begin? I found Meda’s flawed and bad-girl persona to be totally refreshing and fun.
Book Con’s: Protagonist seems to do a complete 180 after some divine intervention, plus I have some serious unanswered questions going on right now!
Favourite Line: “Yup- just stupid.”
I’ve seen two versions for Cracked and I much prefer this one. There is something about the other cover (features a single female in some re-imagined Templar regalia) that I find unappetizing. I find most YA covers to be trivial and lacking in true visual dynamism, so I cannot find fault with this version. It has clear Fantasy/YA leanings and it is honest, so bravo.
This story is set in a bitter world where a silent war wages between good and evil, where demons and Templars fight for the very souls of individuals. There are Beacons and Halflings, and there is pain but there is much joy as well.
I think this book made me fail at life today. That’s a pretty dramatic statement, isn’t it, but I really think Cracked ruined my day. Well, I shall explain why, you see. First off, I’ve been reading this on and off since September when I received the ARC from NetGalley. I was very busy at home in my moving to the UK, and I finally managed to get back to it this week. So, in retrospect, this book has ruined my entire academic week! And Oxford only has 8 weeks per term, so this will set me back.
I’m not whining, I’m laughing actually, because I blame this book for falling behind. Basically, instead of doing my 200+ page readings for my seminars, lectures and tutorials, I was reading this book. I had a 9AM class today, and well, I was supposed to go to bed at 11 you see but 2AM I was sitting at my desk, finishing this damn book because I just loved it so much that I overslept and ran to class late. I blame you Cracked, you’ve ruined my academic week, stole me from my readings and corrupted any sense of academic moral fiber that I have cultivated in my few weeks at Oxford.
Now I’ll get to the meat of my review (I’ll keep this brief), because I found this book to be an utterly thrilling, engaging tale. Crewe re-imagines the Templar Myths in fascinating and creative ways and even throws in some seriously kick-butt characters. But the true gem for me, was Meda and Jo. Meda because she is the epitome of the anti-heroine, yes there are a few moments when it seems that Crewe is trying a bit too hard to make Meda as selfish and dishonorable as they come, but those paragraphs are few and far between. But what I really like about Meda is that she’s bad, and she knows it, but she’s unapologetically so. She has some serious moral issues but this was again, instilled into her by someone else. I do have a few questions for the author, such as, how the hell does Meda do a complete 180 in the end? She has divine intervention and she’s no longer bad? No more sarcasm? No more scathing and dripping acid? No Hunger? How the hell is she not Hungry? How the hell does everyone accept her?!
And Jo, oh Jo, I really like her. She’s insecure and a bitch about it and I relate to that a bit (I’m much less bitchy as I mature, I promise, though I find nothing wrong with being a bitch, embrace it!). She’s nuanced and flawed and damaged, but with the help of true friendship, finds a balance between her bitterness and joy. The guys in the book are all right, I despise Chi though (I was rather surprised that he said he’d rather die trusting someone and make a mistake, than not trust someone). But that’s because I dislike pretty-boy heroes who try to save everyone’s damn day. And Uri, sigh, to quote the twitterverse, he gave me all the feels.
Shit, this was supposed to be short! Oh well, read this!
Recommend? I really, really think YA, Fantasy or Paranormal lovers should give this a chance.