Book Review: Raelia by Lynette Noni
ashley | Raelia, Lynette Noni’s follow up to her debut Akarnae, starts off almost too good to be true. Alex’s parents find out she’s been missing for the better part of a year because she was attending a magical school in a fantasy world and they’re just cool with it. In fact, they insist on accompanying her to this fantasy world for the next year so they can explore it themselves. A little bit of magical convenience, but I won’t question it – any chance I have to follow Alex back through that magical door, I will take it! I loved the world Noni created for us and couldn’t wait to continue exploring it.
As a whole, Raelia had a similar vibe to Akarnea and Noni gave us a chance to explore the world even more in depth, which is always my favourite part. I love the scenarios she came up with, she even created her own language for some characters, the world building is strong and even though there’s still elements familiar from other fantasy series, Noni still manages to put her own imaginative spin on things which, if nothing else, is just a whole lot of fun to read about.
What vibe didn’t seem the same, however, was my impression of Alex. I initially loved her sarcastic, don’t-understand-how-little-ol’-me-can-be-the-chosen-one attitude, but this time around it became a bit more gritting, like the pretty-girl-not-knowing-she’s-pretty trope, which has really started irritating me. She’s obviously brave and strong, she does many things to prove that, but I’m starting to get tired of characters not knowing their worth or lacking the confidence to live in these characteristics. I also noticed that she explained away situations, instead of us actually reading about her doing them, which I felt were missed opportunities.
Alex questions and fears every situation that is presented to her, she openly tries to avoid any challenge and she’s constantly claiming that she’s fine, that everything is fine, when it’s clearly not. I get that she’s growing into herself and being faced with some pretty crazy and defining things, but you can still show that hesitance and vulnerability without seeming like a frightened and sometimes immature child every time she turns a corner. The mixture of traits just wasn’t doing it for me this time around, unfortunately.
Looking at characters, however, we’re introduced to a few more this time around as Alex joins an elite Sleuth and Subterfuge class. This adds a bit more variety to her crew, but also develops a bit of a love interest for her in Kaiden, who I actually really super adored. It wasn’t anything too over the top yet, but you could see a connection between the two and that’s one relationship I will definitely be rooting to see more of.
This wasn’t the most difficult book to follow, it was pretty easy to see where things were heading and even the twists and turns weren’t that surprising, except for the ending, which threw me for a total loop and flung me off that cliff, hanging, waiting to see what comes next. This book seemed to set up the scene a bit more and train Alex for a journey to come, but I think the next installment will be full of more adventure with the focus actually on destroying the big bad guy and returning things to their normal state.
April 1, 2016