Title: All the Stars and Teeth #1 (All the Stars and Teeth #1)
Author: Adalyn Grace (Debut)
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: February 4th 2020 from Imprint (Macmillan)
Format: Kindle via NetGalley
Goodreads Synopsis: She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.
**I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and no quotations will be used in this review. Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!**
I was SO excited for this book after seeing all the hype on Twitter about the cover and the synopsis. I was ready for a sea adventure book that would steal my heart and become a favorite. I really love rallying behind debut novels and supporting them in many ways. I was really wanting this to be a 5 star read, but sadly I put this book down at 58% for a few reasons and I am so bummed that it was a DNF for me!
DNF @ 58%
- World/Magic: I do love the world building of this book. Each island is ruled by a certain type of magic and that magic is symbolized by a certain gemstone. There’s curse, time, soul, elemental, restoration, enchantment and mind magic. The author does do a good job with explaining how people use these different magic and the reason why people are only trained in one type of magic. I also liked some of the history as far as descriptions of food, clothes, language and even physical. The world was the highlight for the author’s potential.
- Journey story: I personally like travel/journey stories where the protagonist is trying to save their kingdom/get a magical object to win, etc. I like books like The Girl of Fire and Thorns, An Ember in the Ashes and other YA books that are travel stories. I liked that this was another sea adventure and that the couple boats we see were living things that were characters themselves and that was fun. We do see a few different islands and I liked seeing how the author made each island different and there was mostly a reason to visit these islands.
- Bastian male character: I have to say that this guy reminded me of Jack Sparrow in the best way and I did like him. You don’t trust him completely but Amora has no choice because of the situation she finds herself in. He really proves being useful in different ways and while you can tell that there is tension between him and Amora, it doesn’t speed up or detract from the main plot. He was a fun pirate character that was done well.
- Amora (protagonist): Oh boy….Amora was rough. For me, I have to either relate to the main character or they have enough complexity to them to keep me interested in them to like the story. While she has good intentions of needing to save her kingdom, since she is the only one who can carry doing soul magic, she was WAY too sheltered to be realistic. Her father is a good fair ruler along with the queen, but I do not understand how dense Amora was when it came to the various magics and islands around her. When you are going to inherit a kingdom one day, you have to keep learning as much as you can so that you’re ready. But both before and during her journey, she had no idea what she was doing and it was frustrating. She was also too angry which was kinda weird. She is supposed to be fierce, which is fine, but to me, the fact that she wanted to beat up anyone who disagreed with her isn’t a good idea. She treats both Ferrick and Bastian like lackeys which isn’t a good quality in a future ruler. Her character just didn’t feel genuine.
- Pacing: This was another aspect of the book that made me give up. At first, the pacing was really good with introducing Amora and her trial that goes wrong. But once she is at sea with Bastian and Ferrick, it starts to get boring and way too easy. They find out information and get supplies handed to them and that’s frustrating for me. If Amora knew more about the ouside world around her, she would’ve found more clever ways to get what she needed. But during one scene, they get distracted by stealing a bunch of clothes….really? I get grabbing a different outfit for disguise but it felt way overdone. Then they just happen to run into a group that give them all the info they need to help their quest and also get a lot of info dumping. Even though these conversations were happening, I didn’t care. By the 58% mark where I stopped, the main conflict still hadn’t been reached and they were still traveling.
- Treatment of Ferrick: This boy is supposed to marry Amora and I liked how he wanted to help her but I HATED the way that Amora treated him. In one scene, Amora basically does something cruel to Ferrick so that she can use her magic and get what she wants. She never apologizes for how she manipulates her magic and while he does confront her awful attitude, he doesn’t do it again. The treatment of him isn’t good; it’s manipulation and I was very turned off to a lot of the story after that scene. He deserved way better.
Overall: Sadly I couldn’t get through this book. Despite the different magics, fun world building and promise of a fun story, I hated Amora and her treatment of the guys she was with and the poor pacing. We really don’t learn much about the main conflict before the 60% mark, so it made me feel like we were going to wait even longer for the final confrontation to happen at the very end. I only cared about Bastian and Ferrick and wish the story was from Bastian’s POV instead. I will try this author again, but this was a hyped book that didn’t work out for me.
Have you read this book? If you have read it, did you like it? Are you excited for it? Let me know in the comments!