Review: All's Fair in Vanity's War

All's Fair in Vanity's War (The Seer's Seven Deadly Fairytales) by Elizabeth Marx
Release Date ~ October 24, 2011
Review copy received from author

Goodreads Synopsis:
Salem’s always held sinister secrets. No one understands this better than a sixteen-year-old girl who dies on Halloween night and is reborn a Seer.

The Seer can’t imagine anything worse than being an invisible teenager with enormous black wings. Until she finds out she’s been sacrificed to watch over Locke’s new flame.

Locke Cavanaugh is a Druid, and part of the Order, a clandestine organization entrusted with keeping its members cloaked in the Ordinary world. Physically scarred from the accident that took his girlfriends life, Locke is searching for the OtherWorldly magic that damaged him, because only those without blemish can rule the Order. And once at the helm of the Order he has every intention of finding those responsible for her death.

On the West Coast, Keleigh Flaherty witnesses her parents’ murder by beasts that should only exist in nightmares. She is whisked off to the safety of Salem, where she learns how potent and dangerous her concealed Vate talents are. Keleigh wants to be Ordinary, but when her mother reaches out from the OtherWorld, and implores her to find a forgotten relic she’ll have to use all her ExtraOrdinary powers to locate it.

As Locke and Keleigh join forces, they unravel the Order’s involvement in the witch hysteria and murmurs of a Celtic prophecy. While Locke’s affection for Keleigh blooms, The Seer is torn between her duty to protect Keleigh, and her desire to stop Locke from making the ultimate sacrifice in order to earn Keleigh’s love . . .

But if they don’t find the witches bottle before the
ShiningOnes do, someone stalking Keleigh from the shadows will take her instead and plunge all worlds into chaos.

Totally rich in Celtic mythology, this is a very unique YA for tackling a mythological component that fewer readers are familiar with and isn't being written about much (yet).

And can I just say how much I love that series title? I was SO looking forward to it, and I was hoping for a really creative, different fairytale type story but ended up completely disappointed.

  1. Celtic mythology:
    This was easily my favourite component of the book; there was so much going on, and I really wish I knew more about Celtic mythology to fully grasp the story and its meanings. I know so much of it just went over my head, but it was all so cool and really made me interested in learning more about it. I found this to be refreshing from all of the Greek retellings and myths out there in YA right now. This really did end up being a big hit with me and the biggest positive.
  2. The Seer:
    She was easily my favourite character, and I wished we had gotten to know more about her instead of Keleigh and Locke. While those two characters felt a bit flat to me, I found The Seer fascinating with the questions she asked herself and the issues she was struggling with as the story went on; and since she was in such a unique position herself, I couldn't help but feel badly for her.

The story is incredibly complicated, yet very creative. I wish it had been handled in a different way, because it sort of felt like an info dump at times to me which made me feel a little bit lost  You might want to check out the guest post Elizabeth Marx wrote for me on the background before reading the book.

The writing came across as being extremely convoluted, where much of the meaning was lost in unnecessarily descriptive writing. It is incredibly dense, and so much of the plot is lost in a book that just goes on with unnecessary details.  And really, none of this did anything to make Keleigh or Loche likeable and instead I found them to be two of the most annoying characters I've read about.

I was also disappointed with the romance though; maybe because I was such a fan of The Seer and it just didn't seem fair at all to me, but I had a harder time buying into the romance between Keleigh and Locke. I just didn't feel the attraction between the two of them, and they did seem rather callous at times with their attitudes toward each other and The Seer.


Arianne said...

I love your review. It's so honest... I tried to be very polite when I did the review for this book. I did love the story itself though. I'm curious about the rest of the series, but unless the author gets a real editor, I don't think I'll read it again.

Unknown said...

I won this book from a website. A lot of the reviews mention the same thing about a lot of unnecessary details which is sad because that is how the story gets lost.
Janiera @This is From my Heart

Unknown said...

It sounds like this book had a lot of potential but really need to be more focused and refined. I'm really interested in celtic mythology and had high hopes for this one, but it's sounding like it may be more frustrating than enjoyable to read. Thanks for the honest review!

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