#aww2018 “But just as the river is always at the door, so is the world always outside. And it is in the world that we have to live.” // Review of “Across the Nightingale Floor” by Lian Hearn

Title: Across the Nightingale Floor
Author: Lian Hearn
Audio book narrator:
Anna Steen, Tamblyn Lord
Genre:
  YA/fantasy
Dates read: 14/02/18 – 20/02/18
Rating: ★★★

Review:

The reason this book doesn’t get a higher rating from me is because I could never quite work out what it was trying to be. The characters were in their late teens, yet it felt more like a middle-grade novel in writing style. But then there’d be an attempted rape or some other kind of mature content that definitely does not fit into middle-grade fiction. So I just felt sligthly off-balance the whole time.

I am hoping that one day I will come across a Japanese-inspired fantasy that I really love, but I guess this is not that book.

The magic system in this one is interesting, though I would have liked to see a bit more detail. Takeo’s abilities just seem to come to him. Even in training, there is no real sense of his powers developing; one second, he can’t do things, the next second he can. The only time this wasn’t as apparent was when he was teaching himself to cross the Nightingale Floor.

I am torn about the heroine, Kaede. In some ways, she just seemed useless, though I did realise that part of the point was that she was pawn in other people’s games. She did develop a bit more gusto by the end of the book. I groaned and rolled my eyes at the insta-love between her and Takeo, particularly considering it is all based on nothing more than gazing at each other from afar for such a long time!

I did find myself getting a bit more involved in the story towards the end, but I still don’t find myself feeling the need to go on to the next book in the series.


This review is part of my 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge. Click here for more information.

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