Thursday, February 14, 2013

Early Review - Between Two Thorns (The Split Worlds, Book 1) by Emma Newman (3/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Fantasy
Size: 400 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: February 26, 2013
ISBN: 978-0857663207
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in The Split Worlds series
Source: eGalley from
Rating: 3/5 stars

This is the first book in the Split Worlds series. I got an eGalley to review through NetGalley(dot)com; thanks to Angry Robot and NetGalley for the chance to review this book.

The book follows three main characters. The first is a Mundane who is a drunk named Sam who stumbles into some faeries and Arbitrators. The second is a young woman named Cathy who is on the run in the Mundane world trying to escape her noble family who lives in the Nether. The third story focuses around Max who is an Arbitrator that is trying to unravel mysterious crimes involving disappearing blonde women. All of the stories end up being somewhat tied to one another.

To be honest this story is kind of all over the place. There are hints of a bigger story behind the events being focused on in this one, but those storylines are dropped and ignored later in the book. So, at times I was left wondering why these storylines had been started in the first place. My guess is everything will tie together better in future books, but in this book all the little bits lead to some confusion for the reader.

For me the most engaging story to follow was Cathy’s. She’s run away from the Nether (a world that parallels ours but is run by Faerie) to Mundanus (our world) to go to college and attempt to lead her own life. She’s run away from an abusive father and a male-dominated society that expects her to do no more than be a proper wife. Early on in the story she is found again and forced back into the privileged Nether society she was trying to flee.

Cathy was an engaging character and her story was one that is easy to follow and understand. I thought she was a bit naive at times though and wondered why Cathy didn’t work harder to ally with those who wanted to help her. She was just extremely stubborn and it made her come off as a bit dumb throughout the story.

Sam isn’t in the story a ton, but he does play a vital role at parts. As a character he comes across as a smart man who can’t make his marriage work and likes to drink too much.

Max is probably the most interesting of the characters, but his story is the hardest to follow. Max is an Arbitrator and his job is to make sure that the Nether isn’t messing with Mundanus. The job of an Arbitrator is never explained all that well, and Max deals with a lot of things that aren’t explained well to the reader. So his parts of the story are the most intriguing but also the most confusing to follow.

There are a number of other odd and interesting characters that flit in and out of the story. We don’t get to really meet any of them all that long or really understand them.

I had a hard trouble really engaging with the majority of the characters. At times I also had trouble following what was going on plot wise...the different point sof view didn’t help this confusion.

It is obvious from the plot that something bad is happening between Mundanus and the Nether. While some of that is resolved a lot of the mysteries presented remain unresolved.

Still the above being said, Newman has created an interesting world and has a lot of creative and intriguing ideas in here. The problem is that the story is so complex that in this first book, as a reader, I had trouble seeing how a lot of the events that happened tied in with the overall story.

Overall this was an okay read. The world is interesting and the plot is intriguing. There are a number of odd and entertaining characters presented throughout. However I also found the plot hard to follow and confusing, had trouble engaging with these characters and didn’t really enjoy all the different POVs. I don’t plan on continuing reading this series.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- 150+ Reading Challenge
- FEY: Paranormal Reading Challenge

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