Book Review: Runes by Ednah Walters
Author: Ednah Walters
Series: Runes #1
Publication Date: May 7th 2013
Genre: Fantasy, paranormal, romance, YA
Source: ARC, Story Cartel
SYNOPSIS (FROM GOODREADS):
Seventeen-year-old Raine Cooper has enough on her plate dealing with her father’s disappearance, her mother’s erratic behavior and the possibility of her boyfriend relocating. The last thing she needs is Torin St. James—a mysterious new neighbor with a wicked smile and uncanny way of reading her. Raine is drawn to Torin’s dark sexiness against her better judgment, until he saves her life with weird marks and she realizes he is different. But by healing her, Torin changes something inside Raine. Now she can’t stop thinking about him. Half the time, she’s not sure whether to fall into his arms or run. Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about Torin. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only are she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life
This book is just another paranormal romance book.
I received a free copy for an honest review
I decided to read this book because Story Cartel suggested this book to fans of authors such as Jennifer L. Armentrout. Jennifer is my go-to author if I'm every on the craving for just a good, fun, paranormal/fantasy romance book. So of course I'm going to check this book out.
And for once, the book suggestion was actually really accurate.
This series is really similar to more specifically the Lux series. However, the Lux was not that unique either, so it can be said that this book is just another book from 'that' category, and all the comparisons below are just factors that always appear in the usual paranormal books. So many of the factors in this book reminded me of Lux:
Both Katy and Raine are really similar both characteristically and physically speaking. Both girls have brown hair and light eye colors (Katy's are storm gray and Raine's are hazel). Both girls blush really easily (Jennifer especially has this strange obsession with heroines' 'flushes'. Layla from The Dark Elements also flushes really easily). Both lost their dads (well, for Raine she actually got hers back at the end of the first book, BUT STILL). Both have the exact same attitude; not enough to actually be a kick-ass character but at the same time enough to be quite feisty. And did I mention that Katy and Raine also both really love reading? And they're both seventeen.
We have a slightly more hate/love relationship with Daemon over here, while Torin is more on the flirtatious side. And I feel like Daemon is actually trying to not fall in love with Katy more than Torin is with Raine. Nevertheless, they're both really arrogant with an ego made out of obsidian (get it?), both can be a real royal pain in the ass, and I swear to god if they raise their eyebrows one more time- *inhale of breath*. Aaaaaand they're both allergic to shirts...(-_-).
Both Katy and Raine have moms who are 'better looking' than them. Katy described her mom to be a slender, blonde, beautiful woman who "only she could wear head-to-toe polka dots and still manage to look good." Raine's mom is a woman with an exotic appearance thanks to her green eyes and pitch black hair and 'tall with a perfect figure for someone who didn't work out." Oh and, both girls think they can't even compete with their mothers, and that they are, and I quote, 'boring' compared to them. Even though the girls describe their mom as 'perfect looking', their ability in cooking eggs and turning them poisonous are not just exactly the same, but also just as deadly.
Except in Obsidian it's the heroine Katy who is the 'new neighbor', in this book it's our beloved Torin that is the new neighbor. Nevertheless, both are not human, lives next door, and are neighbors.
I can make this comparison list forever, but it will take forever. I know it's actually kind of not fair to compare the Lux series so closely with this book, because Obsidian is not that different from other paranormal romance books, so in other words I'm also just listing out how this book is no different from other YA paranormal books. Yes, the suggestion was accurate, this book would be perfect for fans of Jennifer, but at the same time it's so predictable that I find myself yawning a little bit.
There are other factors that you don't see from Obsidian (but the factors are all very cliche cliches). The girl of course is this naturally gorgeous girl who has no clue how actually hot she is, and that every guy in the room is checking her out. This girl also of course has the best friend who is boy crazy, because she would be the one in charge of making our heroine look hot and get the guys the drop their jaws.
And of course there will just be this clueless, annoying bitch that would just screw everything up because she's really, really, really stupid, add on to her cluelessness.
These kinds of books exist because a lot of people love books like this. I'm one of them. As a YA myself, I wouldn't mind reading a cliche YA paranormal romance with a guy of killer bods. I mean, it's fun. But what I'm trying to say here is that this book is definitely not bad, but it is just another YA paranormal romance book on the block, with nothing special.
However, I am a reader who likes to read cliche/fantasy/paranormal romances. There is nothing truly special about this book, but I still ship Torin alongside so many of the really cute scenes in the book that made me squirm. I'm not looking for my next favorite series, but this book is likable enough that I still really enjoyed it.
Raine's crybaby habits made me roll my eyes so many times that I was genuinely afraid it'll roll out right out of my eye sockets, but she's okay enough that it didn't make the entire book horrible. She cries so much, and I'm not exaggerating when I said that there is at least one scene of her getting teary eyed in every chapter. I understand that she just 'lost' her dad, but like...
Yeah, I'm just like:
She is a weak character in general. She's worse than Katy, actually. Katy's fear and emotions are not over exaggerated, so she's a realistic character that is actually pretty good. She lost her dad too, but she handled her emotions way better. She (unlike Raine) does not get 'teary eyed' every fucking page whenever the word father came up. Raine not only cries about his dad too, she sobbed, legit cry every night after Torin 'sacrificed' himself for her. And this leads to the classic (and most cheesy and hated) phrase in paranormal books that we see all the fucking time. "Days rolled by, his absence a festering would that ate at me. A few times, I could have sworn I felt him, but it was only wishful thinking" and blah blah blah. It's like, 'girl he sacrificed for you but you're so fricking weak you let it 'eat you up' and cry yourself to sleep every night' and I'm just like:
The story revolves around Norse mythology (nothing interesting, I'm just going to skip the explanation), and is generally fun and interesting to read. There are other tiny factors that I didn't like though. I don't like how the relationship between Torin and Raine reminds me of Nora and Patch's from The Hush, Hush series (although Nora was not as annoying as Raine), because that series was a disappointment to me because of numerous factors. Torin especially reminds me of Patch because despite his claims that he's trying very hard to stay away from Raine, it is so obvious he's not, and it's kind of getting on my nerves. I didn't have that problem with Obsidian because at least it was obvious that Daemon really is trying hard not to fall in love with Katy (made the series AWESOME that way), so Daemon's approach to Katy becomes more understandable.
But as I read on, I noticed even more factors that reminded me of other popular books and series. The fact that Torin refused to turn Raine because 'he doesn't want her to turn out like him' really reminded me of Edward from Twilight, and the book also had the Runes from the Mortal Instrument series, which almost the exact same use and effect. The Runes (like Mortal Instruments) give them abilities when drawn (yes, DRAWN) and gave them abilities for invisibility, and Raine can see them. Yeah.
I literally skipped the part where she saves all her classmates' lives and rescued Torin. First, it's so predictable that is going to happen; like the 'Oh I need to save my friends and the boy I love' (I'm thinking this in my Shakespeare voice) and to the part where Torin came back and...lost his memory! This was a good twist, and for once it wasn't something predictable (thank god). And of course, the student body is unappreciative and calls Raine 'witch' and gives her dirty looks even after she saves everybody's lives, which I'm just not going to talk about anymore because it makes me really mad, because it's the exact reason if I'm in her position, I would just leave those pieces of shits to rot in hell.
But this is a book and I'm not the heroine so...
But this book left us with a total. cliffhanger. Which was really infuriating because as much as there are things to improve in this book in general, I still came to love Torin, and that ending just pisses me off.
The book was not really interesting, but the ending totally saved it. God I bloody hate cliffhangers. It could've gotten a four star from me, but Raine is just not a very good character, so that lost a lot of points from me. It's just another paranormal romance book on the block. 3 and a half (and that's actually kind of being generous). However, if the opportunity comes, I would not mind continuing the series (because of that fucking cliffhanger).