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Book Reviews

Review: “Fated,” Sarah Alderson

February 18, 2012

I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Fated,” Sarah AldersonFated (Fated #1)
Written by Sarah Alderson
Published January, 2012 by Simon & Schuster
320 pages
Provided by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Genres: Angels & Demons, Urban Fantasy
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three-stars

What happens when you discover you aren’t who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it?

When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight.

But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray – is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends.
If your life becomes bound to another’s, what will it take to sever it?

It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy Fated, because it was a pleasant enough read, it was just that it felt like I had read this book before. My main gripes were most notably with the main character, Evie, and the way-too-early ‘love’ connection between her and the half-Shadow Warrior, Lucas. Sarah Alderson has a great writing style, however, and that made all the difference when it came to finishing the book.

Fated employs some pretty predictable plotlines; such as the ‘mortal enemy’ falling for the female protagonist, despite being pledged to kill her. I could gather this from the slogan on the cover, but I decided to put my misgivings aside since I enjoyed Sarah Alderson’s debut, Hunting Lila, so much. Luckily she is an author I already enjoy, so I was able to finish Fated, the first in a new series.

If it hadn’t been Sarah Alderson, however, I’m not sure I could have completed this one. Like I mentioned above, it wasn’t that the book was ‘bad’ or that it wasn’t enjoyable, it was purely because I have travelled this particular plot-road far too many times to enjoy stories cut from the same material anymore. I’m constantly jumping to conclusions within the first chapters that are only proven right at the end, and wondering why I can’t believe in ‘instant love’ between the focal characters anymore…

That was something hard to swallow in this book particularly; the insta-love between Evie and Lucas. While the two did have some tension between them – even though Evie started out treating him less than kind – the word ‘love’ was flung into the picture way too soon for my liking. How could Lucas ‘love’ Evie after she’d done nothing but scowl at him the whole time? Especially when he had a score to settle with her kind – one that had been entrenched so deeply in him since he was a child? I was looking forward to following their connection and seeing it grow, instead it was suddenly there like this huge immovable object and I couldn’t quite understand why.

Still, like I said, it’s Sarah Alderson! So I suspended my belief and kept on reading. I found some things I enjoyed a lot in Fated, such as the existence of Scorpio Demons and Mixens. They were a fantastic addition to the usual, well-trodden demon types and the lore behind them was something I was interested in learning. It’s safe to say that I was a little disappointed when these characters and their lore weren’t given a little more page time. I also had high hopes for fellow hunter, Risper, and the possibility of her aiding both Evie and Lucas beyond the pages of Fated and well into the rest of the series. I started to see an unlikely trio brewing and for a moment that excited me, until that particular hope was also smashed into smithereens by the end of the book.

Evie Tremain, our main character (although the book was told both in Evie and Lucas’s POVs) wasn’t someone I liked, either. I know she had a lot on her shoulders, but her constant references to pop-culture and attempts to be snarky really grated on me. I guess I’ve kind of figured out who my favourite types of female protagonists are over the years, and Evie didn’t fit that mould for me personally. I know that a lot of other readers have come to love her, so it’s purely a case of personal opinion in that regard.

Lucas I enjoyed, however I was hoping for a little more depth when it came to his feelings for Evie, as mentioned above. His ‘fast falling’ knocked him down a few pegs in my book and I would have liked to find out more about his relationships with his fellow Brotherhood members, even though we know he was a little distant. His relationship with Neena, particularly, was one I wanted explored a little more. I think there was only one scene prior to the one at the end, which left me with a few questions.

So, to sum up, Fated was enjoyable, but it was not the book for me. Sarah Alderson continues to be an author I want to watch, however, and I will most definitely be following her work, especially the Hunting Lila series, which I’m eagerly awaiting the next book to. Fated, on the other hand, will be one I don’t think I’ll be venturing further into.

Recommended to: Fated will appeal to YA fans who enjoy a good demon/hunters story and who aren’t thrown off by familiar plotlines. If you’re unsure, Sarah Alderson’s ease with writing will make it a pleasant read nonetheless.

About Sarah Alderson

Having spent most of her life in London, Sarah Alderson quit her job in the non profit sector in 2009 and took off on a round the world trip with her husband and princess-obsessed daughter on a mission to find a new place to call home. After several months in India, Singapore, Australia and the US, they settled in Bali where Sarah now spends her days writing by the pool and trying to machete open coconuts without severing a limb.

3 Comments

  • Reply Amy @ Turn the Page February 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Great review – I completely agree. So many people were gushing about this but I was just shaking my head at the crazy insta-love. Unfortunately the whole plot hinged on their ridiculous feelings for each other. I do like Alderson’s writing though, I just think Hunting Lila is a far, far better book!

  • Reply lindsaycummingsauthor February 18, 2012 at 5:25 am

    awesome review, I am only a few chapters into this one so far!

    stop by my review of THE OTHER LIFE? :)

    http://lindsaycummingsblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/arc-review-other-life.html

  • Reply elena February 18, 2012 at 5:09 am

    This was an enjoyable book for me it, it was fast-paced and fun. However, it didn’t really resonate with me either. Their love came out of nowhere for me, I was so confused to how Evie went from being annoyed to being in love with Lucas? I also didn’t get why Lucas loved Evie so much. Great review! I think you articulated really well mostly what I found problematic with this book.

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