My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Warning: this is going to be a ranty/salty review. Hooray for unpopular book opinions!
I really did not like this book. In the first place, I only read it because of all the hype it had been receiving all over the YA book community. Well, to be honest, I also read it because it happened to be one of my former crush’s favorite books. Har-har. Lookin’ at you, Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia). ^^
At first, there was actually nothing problematic about the overall story line of this book. After all, it was my first encounter with a female-assassin protagonist. However, when the Hunger Games trope was integrated into the plot, I could not help but feel bored and jaded. I was utterly sick of the idea of a bunch of people killing each other in a competition rigged by the upper class. Furthermore, it was very obvious who was behind all those “mysterious” murders. I found it so hard to understand how Celaena failed to see it from the start, given all her supposed arsenal of assassin skills. Aren’t assassins supposed to be exceptionally cunning or perceptive? Seriously, I bet Cinder of The Lunar Chronicles would be a better assassin than her.
Now that I’ve mentioned Celaena, I shall now cut to the chase. Celaena was the primary source behind my frustration for TOG. When I read a book, it’s important for me to be able to connect with the characters, regardless of their sex. With that in mind, I absolutely could not connect with Celaena. Her personality and behavior never failed to rub me the wrong way. She was so arrogant and audacious that I could barely stand it. It would have been fine if her attitude was warranted, but sadly it was not. She FAILED to assassinate the king, for crying out loud. And yet she had the nerve to act so high-and-mighty? The heck. Looking at the bright side, I must admit that I appreciated Celaena’s occasional vulnerability which made her seem more…human. Nevertheless, any fond feelings I managed to have for her were eclipsed by her flaws. It’s one thing to make a character empowered, but it’s another thing to make him/her conceited.
For me, the only rays of light were Dorian and Chaol. I kinda wished either of them to replace Celaena as the main protagonist. Without these two men, my dislike for Celaena would probably evolve into full-blown loathing or hatred. They were the ones who evoked the remnants of warmth and “femininity” in Celaena, so I was very thankful every time the story was told in their POVs. Ha, if only the entire novel were narrated by them alternately.
My ranting has come to its end. Finally. I am sorry to have not liked TOG. I sincerely am. I read ACOTAR first, and I loved it, so I guess I held expectations that were unfortunately too high. In its totality, this book is simply overhyped. If I were to be persuaded to read the rest of the series, I would only do so to know more about Dorian and Chaol, whom I inevitably found more relatable. Whew. I feel so relieved now that I’ve expressed my negative feelings.
*The featured image was contributed by Dessa Mae Jacobe (@dessatopia)