ARC Book Review: Avalon Rising by Kathryn Rose

Avalon Rising CoverBook: Avalon Rising by Kathryn Rose

Expected Publication is May 8, 2015 by Flux|Expected Number Of Pages: 387

Where I Got It: I received a digital review copy from netgalley.com in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Promise!

Series: Metal & Lace #2

Genre: YA Steampunk/Re-telling

What It’s About:

In the aftermath of Morgan le Fay’s war on Camelot, the once great kingdom struggles to rebuild. Vivienne, Merlin’s former apprentice, toils in secret day and night on orders from the Lady of the Lake to build an aeroship. The Lady has seen the future and promises that the ship will ensure Camelot’s knights triumph over the Black Knight in the quest for Avalon and the Holy Grail.

But when a company of knights goes missing—including Owen, Vivienne’s brother, and Marcus, her beloved—Vivienne changes the plan and commandeers the aeroship for a rescue mission, altering the fates of all involved. Now, the Lady sees danger in Vivienne’s future. And for Marcus: either betrayal or death.

What I Thought:

I was hoping I would like Avalon Rising, but I didn’t.  I thought the first book (Camelot Burning) was okay, but I was interested enough in the world that I thought I’d give Avalon Rising a try.

One of my biggest issues with Camelot was the fact that I didn’t feel like the world or the characters were described, so I had the hardest time picturing everything and getting a good feel for a steampunk Camelot.  Unfortunately, that is something that continues with Avalon.  I just don’t know if steampunk (which is normally associated with the Victorian era) works with Camelot and King Arthur.  I mean, there’s Avalon and a quest for the Holy Grail, but there are so few details about this Camelot that it could just as easily be set in a different time period.  Maybe steampunk is too associated with the Victorian era for me to really see it written in any other time period.

I also didn’t get why Jersulem and the Spanish Rogues kept coming up.  I do admit that I should have read Camelot Burning before, and maybe that’s why it was confusing.  I’m also not familiar with a lot of the stories surrounding King Arthur, so it could be that.  At any rate, it wasn’t clear why those things are so important.

There is something about Avalon Rising that feels very cold and distant to me, and it felt like the characters were there, doing things I can’t remember.  I feel so bad about saying that, because I know a lot of work goes into writing a novel, but this series just isn’t working for me, and coming to life the way I’d want it to.

My Rating:

1 star.  I couldn’t get into it, and it is a shame, because the idea of a steampunk Camelot is really promising.  I just don’t think this is the series for me.

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