Top critical review
Too YA-simplistic. With a lead who was just too perfect.
Reviewed in Australia on 25 November 2019
This had to be the most frustrating read I've tackled lately. Somehow it was both incredibly simplistic, bordering on beyond juvenile, and treating me, the reader, as an idiot. Then the author would overcomplicate her explanations whenever it came to anything technical. And often forgot she'd done this, so repetition featured high on the annoyance scale.
None of the characters were terribly realistic. Lyra comes across as a thirteen year old, rather than the supposed 17 she is. She pouts constantly. Everything she tackles she is amazingly good at. She makes more archaeological breakthroughs than her parents, the experts. She hacks the Q-net in a 'unique' manner, getting it to do things that no one else has ever thought to ask it (Say what now????) Oh, and she is pretty much an army of one - much more effective than an entire security squadron - yeah, that's not incredulous at all.
Her parents gave me whiplash. Their complete disregard for their daughter's mental health was breathtaking in their selfishness. But then they play the parent card and are suddenly all affectionate and worried. Not once did they say sorry, or even have a conversation about how Lyra might feel having to leave her friends constantly (because of travel space times in a few short weeks most of them will be dead).
Then there is Niall, the love interest. Actually - he is the only possible choice she has. Not a single other male exists within her age range on this trip so... yeah, what a shocker they got together. They initially dislike each other, but time and circumstances (shockingly) change all that. And Frog and Toad? (I threw up a little in my mouth every time they used those terms of endearment)
Still, this managed two stars, mainly because the terracotta warrior aspect of the story was so cool - but I honestly feel the author could have used that hook for a whole different cast of characters and a way better more layered storyline much more effectively.