ARC Review – Child of Light

Goodreads Synopsis

The electrifying first novel of an all-new fantasy series from the legendary author behind the Shannara saga, about a human girl struggling to find her place in a magical world she’s never known.

At nineteen, Auris Afton Grieg has led an . . . unusual life. Since the age of fifteen, she has been trapped in a sinister prison. Why? She does not know. She has no memories of her past beyond the vaguest of impressions. All she knows is that she is about to age out of the children’s prison, and rumors say that the adult version is far, far worse. So she and some friends stage a desperate escape into the surrounding wastelands. And it is here that Auris’s journey of discovery begins, for she is rescued by a handsome yet alien stranger. Harrow claims to be Fae—a member of a magical race that Auris had thought to be no more than legend. Odder still, he seems to think that she is one as well, although the two look nothing alike. But strangest of all, when he brings her to his wondrous homeland, she begins to suspect that he is right. Yet how could a woman who looks entirely human be a magical being herself?

Told with a fresh, energetic voice, this fantasy puzzle box is perfect for fans of Terry Brooks and new readers alike, as one young woman slowly unlocks truths about herself and her world—and, in doing so, begins to heal both.

My Review

***Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***

I’ve had the Shannara books on my TBR for a while because I know a lot of people like them. So, when I saw that the first of a new Terry Brooks series was available on NetGalley, I jumped at the opportunity to be introduced to his writing. Now I kind of wish I didn’t. This book wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t great either. The writing and story idea were okay, but the weird pacing and mind-numbing amount of exposition killed a lot of the enjoyment I could have had reading this book. The stiff dialogue also left the characters feeling a bit flat.

The beginning of the book started out with a bang, and it sucked me in immediately. Auris was mysterious and needed to escape a goblin prison. The tension was high, and there was tons of action. Then the pace completely halted upon her rescue, and, for the rest of the first half of the book, she sat in the faerie city having conversations and training. For the second half of the book, she and her new friends bounced in and out of several high risk situations so often, and quickly, I should have gotten whiplash. It all felt incredibly rushed. Ultimately, the pacing was all over the place, and it made the book difficult to love.

The world-building was one of the most interesting things about this book. The fae world that Brooks built was fascinating, and the magic the fae wielded was fun to learn about. I would have loved to get more information about the world in this book, especially the complex relationship between the fae, goblins, and humans. The fae vs. human setup was a great way to explore the theme of industrialization vs. a more natural way of life that respects the land, and I enjoyed the peek of it that was provided in the book. There were also slight glimpses of the history of this world and the politics of the fae, which were all intriguing to see.

I didn’t really connect with any of the characters in this book, as they all felt a bit flat to me. Auris was mysterious at first, and I did enjoy her journey and inner thoughts related to finding her identity, family, and a place to belong. However, I found her to become almost insufferable as the story continued. She mysteriously knew how to use every weapon available, which was never explained. She also learned how to use magic in ONE day. Despite all her strengths and all of the horrible things going on around her, the only thing she could focus on was Harrow, and she pined over him almost instantly. Their relationship was annoying to read because most of the drama could have been resolved by the two of them talking to each other. I also don’t understand what she saw in him other than being enamored because he rescued her. For most of the book, all he did was talk about fae society/history while training her, and he exuded the personality of a wet paper bag.

Ancrow seriously annoyed me in this book, but I also liked some aspects of her characterization. She was an interesting example of how past experiences, especially traumatic ones, with a group of people can leave a person extremely prejudiced against everyone in that group. It explored the question of whether that person’s prejudicial actions are justified/understandable given their circumstances and underscored the importance of context in understanding any individual’s actions. This character’s lies, though, got tedious and annoying as the book progressed, especially since the logic behind the lies made absolutely no sense. My favorite characters of the book were Ancrow’s daughters. They were a breath of fresh air amongst the angst, and I smiled every time they appeared.

Overall, I enjoyed the exploration of the themes of identity and family in this book, as well as the world the author created. However, I didn’t really connect with the characters and found the pacing, dialogue, and character relationships to be lacking. Therefore, I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series, and I’m pretty sure it will be quite some time before I read the Shannara series, as well.

Mid-Month NetGalley Check-In – September 2021

How is it already the middle of September? I feel like this month just started and it is already halfway over?! I’ve been able to read two NetGalley ARCs since my last check-in. Check out where I was a month ago in my last check-in post. My feedback ratio is still at 71%, though, because I’ve gotten three new ARCs this month too. I’ve completed 17 ARC reviews out of the total 24 for which I have been approved. I now have six unread books available to read on my shelf. The reviews I completed in the last month were The All-Consuming World and Under the Whispering Door.

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Mid-Month NetGalley Check-In – August 2021

I’ve made some progress on my ARCs since the last NetGalley check-in. Check out where I was a month ago in my last check-in post. My feedback ratio is back up to 71%, and I read the two ARCs I planned to complete in the last month. I’ve completed 15 ARC reviews out of the total 21 for which I have been approved. I now have five unread books available to read on my shelf since I was approved for one ARC and read two ARCs in the last month.

The books below are those currently needing to be read on my shelf. I plan to read and review the books in bold before the next check-in on September 15.

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Mid-Month NetGalley Check-In – July 2021

I have held fairly steady in my progress on my ARCs since the last NetGalley check-in. Check out where I was a month ago in my last check-in post. My feedback ratio has dropped a bit to 65% compared to last month’s 71%. I’ve completed 13 ARC reviews out of the total 20 for which I have been approved. I now have six unread books available to read on my shelf since I was approved for three ARCs and read one ARC in the last month. I’m pretty happy to have mostly maintained my ratio and prevented myself from requesting all the books. 🙂 I’m also incredibly excited about all three ARCs I got this month because they are all highly anticipated reads I didn’t expect to get.

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Mid-Month NetGalley Check-In – June 2021

I have made a lot of progress on my ARCs since the last NetGalley check-in. Check out where I was a month ago in my last check-in post. My feedback ratio has risen from the depths to a pretty respectable 71%. I’ve completed 12 ARC reviews out of the total 17 for which I have been approved. I earned two new badges in the last month: the top reviewer and 10 reviews badges. I now only have four unread books available to read on my shelf. So, I’m pretty proud to have improved so much and resisted the urge to constantly request more books.

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Mid-Month NetGalley Check-In

Given my struggle keeping up with my NetGalley ARCs, I have decided to do a check-in at the middle of each month to keep myself somewhat accountable. My feedback ratio has been atrocious. Although, I think it is at least partly due to me just starting out. It doesn’t take many approved books without reviews to send my rating plummeting through the floor.

Right now my feedback ratio sits at 38% with 6 feedback sent for 16 approved books. However, I don’t think that is completely accurate because there are 7 books, not 6, with feedback in my shelf. Has that happened to anyone else? It is really frustrating because I was excited to have my percentage above 40%, and then the seventh book disappeared from my ratio calculation. I’m still proud to have improved it from the 20% ratio I had just a few weeks ago, though. So, progress…right?

I’m going to do my best to stop requesting new books until I’ve made a little more progress on reading the books currently on my shelf. But there are so many books that sound interesting.

The books below are those currently needing to be read on my shelf. I plan to read and review the books in bold before the next check-in on June 15.

Child of Light by Terry Brooks | Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Flash Fire by TJ Klune | Publication Date: July 13, 2021
If This Gets Out by Sophie Gonzales & Cale Dietrich | Publication Date: December 7, 2021
Into the Lightning Gate by Roberth Roth | Publication Date: June 7, 2021
The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw | Publication Date: September 7, 2021
The Sightless City by Noah Lemelson | Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Traitors of the Black Crown by Cate Pearce | Publication Date: September 22, 2021
Not My Ruckus by Chad Musick | Publication Date: February 16, 2021

How do you stay on top of your NetGalley ARCs? Are you successful at staying above the coveted 80% ratio threshold? Let me know in the comments!

Stacking the Shelves #5

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is hosted by Reading Reality.

Weekly Wrap-Up

This has been a pretty good week for me. I finished a couple new books that I enjoyed, and I picked up some new stuff from Barnes & Noble and the library. I also got approved for a new book on NetGalley, which I’m looking forward to reading. The first part of the week was heavy on reading because the weather was gloomy and rainy, but I’ve been able to spend a lot of time outside the last couple of days working in my garden, which has been fun. I should have some vegetables soon (fingers crossed). Overall, it has been a pretty successful week, and I enjoyed the books I read (The Lost Apothecary, Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, & Dark Farm).

Author Request

I had another author request this week and received the book in exchange for agreeing to write a review. It seems like a neat paranormal YA book. So, I’m looking forward to reading it and giving you all my opinion. Thank you to the author for the request!

e-ARC Acquisitions

I only downloaded one new eARC from NetGalley this week. So, I once again balanced out what I was able to get read with new acquisitions.

Library Acquisition

I made another trip to the library this week. I placed this book on hold a few weeks ago and have been waiting rather impatiently for it. Unfortunately, all the copies were checked out…so, I’ve had to wait. I’m ready to see what happens next for Alina, the Darkling, and Mal. I’m actually starting this book today and am pretty excited about it.

Barnes & Noble Purchases

I tried to stay away from the bookstore this week. I swear I did, but I found myself right across the street for another reason. Then the car just went to Barnes & Noble all on its own, and it would have been rude not to go inside. So, I was able to pick up three new books I’ve been interested in getting. 🙂

Final Thoughts

Overall, I’m satisfied with what I’ve added to my shelves this week, and I’m looking forward to reading it all. Have you read any of the books I picked up? If so, what did you think? Are any of these on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!