I can't exactly elaborate why, but this book had a J.K Rowling-ish feel to it. The way the scenes are laid, and the world building. Hartman, however, didn't make me connect with the characters as Rowling did. I've seen this in many reviews, people mentioning that they just couldn't get into the story. I share the same feeling, but the writing was too good, the world building too intricate for me to dislike this book.
If I'm so negative, then why did I give this a 4 star rating? Simply, because Hartman knows her shit. The world building was spot on. Hartman explores all of the details Goredd, even making up a religion. The fact that Dragons in Seraphina can fold into human form is very interesting. If you want to know whether this book has a message to deliver, I'd say it has plenty. Hartman managed to brilliantly discuss discrimination. And I'm not talking about being the school's outcast, I'm talking about the kind of discrimination that takes powerful stands and revolutions and decades to get over. I'm talking about how someone can be fed hatred against another human being (or in this case a dragon) without thinking twice about it. There are many parallels to be drawn between the prejudice humans have against dragon kind, and the ones in real life. Racism, sexism, acts of hatred, etc.
The interesting this is, Seraphina is caught between the two worlds. She is both human and dragon. Dragons are supposed to be soulless, but Seraphina doesn't feel that way. And here is my biggest problem with this book. Seraphina's situation, her damaged relationship with her father, her loneliness could have extracted A LOT of emotion from me. I could have connected with her easily. I mean I tend to connect with vulnerable characters well, but in this case I didn't. I couldn't sympathize with Seraphina. I cared about what would happen to her sometimes, but that was it.
Even after putting my thoughts down, I don't know what to think about Seraphina. On one hand, this is a really good written fantasy. It has all the elements, including a good plot twist and a very well constructed romance. Oh, I forgot to mention the romance? Okay, well this is one of the best parts of the story. The love interest was great, and very likable And Seraphina is the kind of girl who could make guys fall in love with her. Not because of her looks or charisma, but because she's smart. She's the kind of girl with a beautiful brain. You know what I mean?
Note: Do NOT click the Let's Discuss button unless you've read the book. It contains a lot of spoilers.
Who were your favourite characters? Mine were Orma and Glisselda. Speaking of which, did you like Glisselda? I personally LOVED her. Authors tend to portray the "obstacle girl" as unlikeable and mean, which is completely ridiculous and overdone. I respected that Hartman actually portrayed her as a clever and observant girl. I mean sure, she's a little spoiled and somewhat insensitive, but she's a princess. Doesn't that come with the territory? (Oh, it doesn't? Well, schuks. I liked her either way).
There's a huge conflict coming in the next book, what with Seraphina crushing over Glisselda's king-to-be. How do you think that's going to go? Personally, I think Glisselda will be cool about it. I mean I think she kind of knows there's a thing between Seraphina and Kiggs already. The girl's observant.
And Kiggs, oh Kiggs. He's everything I've been looking for. He's not panty dropping handsome, he's smart, and mature.
Oooh, which brings me to the question.. Is he really? How old is Kiggs? I initially imagined him as a thirty-something guy. But when Seraphina started developing feelings for him, I though maybe not. Here's my problem: Kiggs mentions that the first time he saw Seraphina was when she did an impromptu performance at her father's house, you know the one where St. Clare "spoke" to him. He says he was nine at the time.
When I flipped back, Seraphina mentions she was eleven at this incident. ELEVEN! Which makes Kiggs now what.. fourteen?! Except if they weren't the same incident. I dunno you guys. Did I misread it? I NEED YOUZZ HELP :P