I do have to say, I know now why I never came across this book - it's more of an adultsbook than a YA/sci-fi/fantasy/whatever type of book. But I'm always open to new types of books, so I was very curious to discover what this story was about.
Afterwards, I feel like it was definitely not a bad read!
The story is about Guido van Thool who meets Anna, a ballet dancer, and falls in love with her. A real romance starts which is continually tested by the forces of life. For example when Guido is been called away for military service. But they always seem to get through it. Paralleling their lives is that of the corrupt judge Jeremiah Delahyde who got his high position and the power that comes with it because of his friend the minister Bartholomew Smythe. Their lives collide on New Year's Eve, when the drunk judge crashes into Anna with fatal consequences. And Guido swears revenge.
But how can he beat such a powerful judge?
But how can he beat such a powerful judge?
I actually quite enjoyed this book!
I do have to say, this is not my type of book, since it includes romance and well, yeah - no. Haha. But the thing is - the book isn't completely about the romance.
This book actually includes three strands: 1. the romance between Anna and Guido, of course, 2. the life of the corrupt judge Jeremiah Delahyde and 3. ANNA, an acronym of Anarchists of the New Age which kind of influences Guido's thoughts, I'd say, since he discusses the society and the government a lot throughout the book and he has an anarchist friend called Philippe who keeps goading him.
I really liked seeing these three strands coming back in the story, some more than the others. It did make me wonder what the actual point was of the book - was it mainly the lovestory that counted (how crazy love can make you, for example) or was it mainly the philosophical thoughts and the growth in them that counted or was it a mixture of both?
I couldn't really get that out of the story.
And also, I kind of felt that some parts of the story dragged on, especially after the big plot twist. The impact of the events coming after that lessened in my opinion, because it took so long to get there. With the three strands combined, I was trying to figure out what the whole point was of the book and I got quite confused when the philosophical parts lessened after the big plot twist (it was understandable why, but still) and Jeremiah's perspective was nearly gone and I really liked his perspective, the perspective of a villian. The anarchism mentioned in the book wasn't as important or as crucial as I hoped it would be - it wasn't highlighted very much in my opinion, the romance seemed more important, which is not bad but I liked to see a bit more balance between the two.
BUTTTT. The story had some very great parts too.
Like I said, I really enjoyed reading Jeremiah's perspective, especially because of the fact that it's actually the complete opposite of Guido's. Jeremiah is the REAL villian and o so fascinating. His evilness, his corruptness, his disgusting intelligence shines through every thought he has and every word he says and everything he does and that's just amazing. He's such a strong character and I think Lawless has managed to make him so realistic and evil - hands down!
Guido's perspective was, of course, interesting too, since he's a philosophy student and thinks a lot deeper and a lot more extensively than most others. And seeing those two perspectives on the society of Potence and the government and its power next to each other was very interesting to read. It wasn't like you had sympathy for them both - Lawless really made sure you would hate Jeremiah and love Guido - but you got the chance to understand them, both the "hero" and the villian.
Actually, I think all of the characters were strong and vivid, but Jeremiah was just the best of them all.
Other than that, I also really enjoyed the writing style in this book. It really set the mood.
It was very formal, but I feel like THAT is what makes you want to read it. It really fits the kind of philosophical and political background the story has. Besides that Lawless has managed to really make me feel what the characters feel. For example when Guido was at Anna's ballet performance, Lawless used such beautiful words to describe how Guido felt that I could literally feel it too. If words can do that with you, you just know it's a good book.
And lastly I want to say that I found the relationship between Guido and Anna cute and very realistic. It's quite shy and it develops slowly, but that kind of fits their personalities. They're both quite shy, Anna more confident than Guido though, and I can see that the relationship reflects their shyness, their personalities as a whole in some way and I love that about their relationship.
Well, that was it for today's blogpost! I want to thank James Lawless, the author of this book, for giving me this book to read and review and I hope you liked this review and found it a bit useful perhaps.
Until the next blogpost, then! :)