Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Wolf Princess - Cathryn Constable

The Wolf Princess


Summary


Alone in the world, Sophie dreams of being someone special, but she could never have imagined this.

On a school trip to Russia, Sophie and her two friends find themselves on the wrong train. They are rescued by the beautiful Princess Anna Volkonskaya, who takes them to her winter palace and mesmerises them with stories of lost diamonds and a tragic past. But as night falls and wolves prowl, Sophie discovers more than dreams in the crumbling palace of secrets.


Thoughts

Let's do something new!  We're going to make this review out of lists rather than cohesive paragraphs because I feel like this:




What I didn't like

-       The story is really predictable.  Like really.  I could tell you from the first chapter what was going to happen (more or less).   Which means no (or very few) surprises in the plot, and the same goes for the characters.  I could have forgiven the plot if the characters had something to offer, but they didn't.
-       I didn’t like the friendship between the girls.  Daphne comes off as catty and stuck-up, and Marianne isn't really with the program, and Sophie doesn't fit with the other two either.  It's like the author put the stereotypes together and made them all friends.  They do have their redeeming moments, but friendship, especially female friendship, in books is something I'm especially nitpicky about.


What I did like

-      Russia is a new twist.  I mean, I can't think of any books that set Russia as a dream place and that was refreshing.  The author made it sound so magical and beautiful!  The setting and description of the girls' surroundings was easily my favourite part of the book. 
-     In a lot of ways it reminded me of Anastasia, and I think the parallels are easy enough to draw that it was intentional.  That actually didn't bother me as I have a soft spot for the Disney version of this story and I've always enjoyed stories about Anastasia.  (I actually was secretly expecting Sophie to be Anastasia hahah)


Overall

It’s cute, and maybe younger readers will like it as it's got a sort of Chronicles of Narnia sense of wonder to it (as well as beautiful scenery), but it was too predictable and two-dimensional for my taste.

8 comments:

  1. Oh I like the cover of the book...though I will probably avoid it because I've had my fill of predictable stories lately :/ for once I want someone to surprise me with a ridiculous twist.

    Having said that, the description of Russia sounds lovely. It's always been a country I want to visit and see for myself - maybe one day!

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  2. Have you read the Mara Dyer books yet? I PROMISE you they will give you
    more than enough ridiculous twists haha! I'm not sure how I feel about visiting Russia - probably because I HATE the cold. I dreamt
    it was summer last night, and it was glorious. Then I woke up. To more
    snow. (But on the upside you can make snow creatures in the winter, so
    that's good)

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  3. kirstymariejonesstudioreadsDecember 20, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Coffee makes me sleepy. Ugh, I really hate it when the friendships don't seem real, and when it's really obvious they're just there as side characters, at least make it believable. And don't get me started about female friendships, I just finished one that annoyed the crap out of me (think, uhm, One Tree Hill, the episode when Peyton finds out Brooke slept with Nathan while they were together, and she has the balls to complain about Peyton/Luke back in season 1 etc.) coincidentally, one of the main character's is called Brooke, and she needs to go Brooke herself, blah. I haven't read many set in Russia, so that does seem interesting on that side of things, but shouldn't be the only thing that is, if characters can't hold themselves up, I'm bye-bye, especially with a predictable plot that just makes it boring. Sounds like you had a lot of fun with it, haha.

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  4. It doesn't get very cold here, rarely does it go below freezing (google tells me that's 32F lol), during the day it starts out cold but generally warms up a little to be between 50F and 65F.

    I did have the joy of experiencing 5F while in the USA a couple of years ago. It felt like the cold was burning my face off. But I'm of the theory you can always put more warm clothes on in winter, I'd rather be cold than hot!

    And it never snows here, it's just not a thing that happens. If it ever does I will be worrying that the apocalypse is coming D:

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  5. It sounds like a colder Souther California in the winter, which is actually pretty good. But I still hate the cold. Layering helps, but honestly it doesn't matter how many socks I put on they WON'T get warm! I have to run them under warm water sometimes to heat them up since they refuse to act like they're part of a human body instead of a reptile's. That being said, I think I would miss the snow. I've gotten spoiled moving to a city where it really snows (I've lived in a bunch of places now and I don't ever want to leave! I LOVE Chicago. Sadly, I'll be moving next year :-/)

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  6. Yeah coffee is more of a mood changer than energy booster for me. I get really moody and cranky when I don't have it (when I'm addicted. Which is 80% of the time haha)

    Yeah friendships are a pet peeve of mine. In that particularly in YA books they usually suck. A lot. The friendships here weren't awful, but they were really inconsistent and not really supportive. Also...confession. I have never seen One Tree Hill so all this completely went over my head hahah although I get the gist of it!

    Yeah, I can't say I'd recommend this to bloggers. I can see maybe my younger cousins liking it, maybe? Luckily it was a quick read for me haha

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  7. I went to Alaska for a summer once, and while it was AWESOME...it was still pretty cold. So I can only imagine Russia is more of the same haha. How cold do your winters get? I was all for saying I'd take your summer, but now I'm on the west coast which is significantly warmer, and my grandmother described summers in Sydney which sounded highly unappealing haha

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  8. I have not heard of them before *googles* oh a trilogy...I shall check them out! :D

    Haha you could probably visit in summer? My experience of Norway (not Russia I KNOW but it's *waves vaguely* up there) is that it's quite pleasant, if still a bit chilly for me.

    You can have my summer. I'm sick if it already :( although I'm glad it's no longer raining lol

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