Duel Review: Prophecy of The Sisters by Michelle Zink

This review contains some spoilers.

Blurb taken from Fantastic Fiction:

Sixteen year-old Lia Milthorpe and her twin sister Alice have just become orphans and, as Lia discovers, they have also become enemies. The twins are part of an ancient prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other.

To escape from a dark fate and to remain in the arms of her beloved boyfriend James, Lia must end the prophecy before her sister does. Only then will she understand the mysterious circumstances of her parents’ deaths, the true meaning of the strange mark branded on her wrist, and the lengths to which her sister will go to defeat her.

Has: When I first started reading this book, what first drew me was the Circle and Mirror themes. And I had a feeling that the description in the blurb wasn’t going to be very clear cut in the story, and that it was going to be quite an unusual read.

Lou: Prophecy of The Sisters has a haunting and Gothic tone that while reading, sometimes spooked me. And I don’t get spooked very often. The biblical overtones of Samael, the fallen angel, ready to reek havoc upon the world was quite haunting, and I thought that overall this book was very much a paranormal mystery. While some parts were well done, other parts pretty much left me feeling lukewarm about the book.

Has: I actually felt lukewarm about Lia, the ‘good’ sister and thought her personality was so meh and bland. And although the premise and idea of the spirit world wasn’t that totally unique, the writing and descriptions of the other world was haunting and evocative.

Lou: I had a problem with the description of the characters and the style of writing. The word’s felt awkward at times, and the description of the characters and the overall environment I think was poorly done. I didn’t get the sense of the surroundings and the time period.

Has: I understand where your coming from. I felt that the book was written in the style of those old gothic novels from past. It had that weight and tone, and I thought it was fitting for the book.

Lou: The descriptions of the characters were very weak IMO, and apart from Lia and Alice, the other characters didn’t make much of an impression on me. I felt as if they were side pieces rather than being integral to the story.

Has: Yes I agree. I did find the secondary characters were forgettable in a way. I think it’s because Alice, the ‘evil’ twin, made such an impression on me. We don’t see her internal thoughts and insights, so it makes her more mysterious. Which is ironic because we had Lia’s POV and she wasn’t as fleshed out until the end of the book where she showed more development.

Lou: Alice definitely had more dynamics to her than Lia, though Alice wasn’t actually likeable, she was quite cruel in an absent minded way. Lia was quite lily weak, and she was so bland. Especially when she doesn’t get mad at a tragic event that is Alice’s fault primarily. I kept thinking, show such gumption and fire in your belly. The good twin v the evil twin was just…clichéd. If the characters had more intensity to them and more personality, then I think it could have been pulled off.

Has: But I think that was done on purpose because of the dichotomy of themes. You have the mirror theme of the twins: Good vs Evil. Life and death. Overall, it all seems interlinked, like the symbol of the wrists of the keys and Lia.

Lou: Yes. In a way, I think it was more of a mystery in that aspect. There’s a lot of learning about the prophecy in long (very long!) descriptions, with Lia going off on her own – which would have never been possible in that time period.

Has: I think in the next book, Lia is going to be more independent in her actions towards others. She’s already shown that she is determined not to let the prophecy play out to Alice’s advantage. So maybe we might see more growth for her. I saw promoise of that in the end of the book.

Lou: While on one hand, Lia going away will perhaps make her character stronger, I have reservations on the other. At that time period, a young lady of her position wouldn’t simply go off on her own. One, she doesn’t have the knowledge to survive on her own. And I didn’t understand why she couldn’t tell James any of this, who is supposedly her true love. Ohh, and don’t get me started on the evil twin going after the good twin’s man.

Has: Oh yes! It was almost cliched about the evil sister going after her man. But I can see why Alice did it because she was hunting for that list. Personally, I think James was pretty bland. Nice but bland. There wasn’t enough about him to stand out. I think many of the side characters felt like ghosts. They were there but they didn’t stand out, although I do have to say I did like the scenes when James and Lia were together.

Lou:  I think I’m more character orientated – which is why I had such a huge problem. I think the emotions of the character are just as important as the actually mystery.

Has: I agree, and I think that’s why I can’t seem to relate to Lia, who is the protagonist. I’m hoping in the second book that Lia’s character will be expanded upon, and there is some growth at least. The first book is really like the first page of the prophecy that Lia found, which had very little information.

Lou: The readers of the book learn what Lia learns as she goes along, and that’s basically nothing, but a basic outline of her powers, and what the prophecy entails. And the past actions of her father and mother.

Has: I hope she learns more about her powers. I really hate the plots where the hero/heroine have powers, but have no idea how to use them, and then suddenly they find out and its easy for them. I would like Lia to discover her powers and know what it truly means being the Angel of Chaos.

Lou: I think there has to be a period of adjustment when a protagonist learns they have powers.

Has: Especially since its suggested that they needed to study and I think Lia will discover more about that in the next book. The highlights and strong points of the book were the themes and haunting tone. I have the images of the otherworlds still in my mind, and Alice’s character sticks in my mind as the most memorable.

Lou: Overall, the haunting gothic tone was the strongest part to the story. But the characters lacked depth, and I think there was a lot more telling rather than showing. Like I said, I prefer books that are character orientated. This was more of a mystery, and the mystery seems to be more important rather than the actual character themselves.

Has says: I agree, espeically with the secondary characters. I wished that their brother Henry was developed more. I think their father had more depth than he did…and he was dead!

Lou: Henry had such little story time, and again, I felt he was a side piece. The emotions of the characters weren’t shown to great affect. In the plains, when Lia meets her mother and father, she simply welcomed them with open arms. I would have been steaming mad that they didn’t bother to tell their daughters about the prophecy. It was too wishy washy for me.

Has says: Oh yes! Especially when you learn that Henry had an important role in the story. It was like he was only the poor little disabled boy, and that’s all his character felt like to me. I can understand about their mother though. That letter explained alot (side note – I hated that my ereader didnt show the italic styled writing really well. I wished the formatting made it more bold in the ebook)

Lou: Hell yes!! The idea to put the writing like that…  so WRONG! The writing was so small I could hardly see.

Has: It was so annoying because it was shaded lighter than the main text. No thought to the formatting of the ebook had gone in at all.

Lou: Nope, none at all. And on that note, overall, I’m pretty lukewarm about the book. I get the sense that you like it a lot more than I did. LOL

Has: I loved the haunting feel and tone of the book, and I think the approach towards fallen angels is definitely more interesting, especially with the strong themes of mirrors/fate and life and death. But I agree with your take.  Its the lack of character development that really let down the book.  Especially when you have the ‘villian’ who looks more interesting than the leading character, and it did affect my enjoyment. I think it was a potential that was lost. But I will pick up the next book because of the premise, and I think Lia has promise to be developed more. I also want to know more about the Otherworld and Lia’s powers. I would give this a 3.5 out of 5

Lou: I won’t pick up the second book. I’ll wait for your verdict on it first. My rating for this book is 3 out of 5.

Comments

  1. Debbie Ashburn says

    I like gothic style. I’m definetly not an expert but good emotions are coming out of that for me.

    ReplyReply

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