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Elena Likes Books

I am an avid reader of YA, fantasy, and romance, a librarian, and a writer of fantasy short fiction.

Currently reading

Cut & Run
Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
Where the Sidewalk Ends
Shel Silverstein
The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Domination: Original Short Fiction for the Modern Evil Genius
John Joseph Adams
The Thousand Names
Django Wexler
The Duchess Hunt
Jennifer Haymore
Seraphina - Rachel Hartman Note: This review is based on an electronic ARC of this title received from NetGalley.This book was a lot of fun. I devoured it in more or less one sitting (technically, it was three sittings, because I had to break once for sleeping and once for eating). Bits of it reminded me of McKinley's Pegasus: two intelligent species struggling to understand one another and overcome ignorance and prejudice in order to ensure the survival of both species. This book was ten times better than Pegasus though. For one thing, it had an actual plot. Where McKinley spent her entire novel being all, "Oooh, and here's another awesome thing about pegasus society! Isn't it shiny?", Hartman provided insight into the thought processes and prejudices inherent in both humans and dragons, introduced us to a host of characters who were actually significant to the story, gave us tantalizing glimpses into human cultures other than the one where the story is set (dare I hope we will be given the opportunity to explore these worlds in future books?), and provided a heavy dose of intrigue, plotting, adventure, and romance.Seraphina was a wonderful character. She had her genius musical ability and magical talents, but she wasn't superwoman, and her reactions to certain situations were endearingly awkward and relatable. I especially loved that she was reluctant to admit to ignorance, because it's a trait I possess myself. Her internal struggles and trust issues made this book. Seraphina is awesome.The reason this book wasn't a five star read for me is that while Seraphina is amazeballs, I felt pretty disconnected from every other character barring perhaps one (dear, dear Orma!) for at least half of the book. Partly this was intentional, I think, a result of Seraphina's necessary (at least, so she thinks) relucance to become close to anyone. But it made for some fairly boring reading early on. It wasn't until we were launched into intrigue and action that the other characters really came alive for me. But they did come alive, and I loved the second half of the book wholeheartedly.For fans of high/historical fantasy a la McKinley, Pierce, and Cashore, this is a must-read.