Thursday, May 30, 2013

Review: The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse)


The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse, #2)Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse
Release date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.
While I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Assassin’s Curse, not even close, I was still very much looking forward to The Pirate’s Wish. If there’s one thing I admire about Clarke, it’s that you never know what to expect with one of her books. She takes risks and, most of the time, they pay off.

Compared to The Assassin’s Curse, The Pirate’s Wish showed significant improvement in narrative structure. While the first book started had a promising start, only to flatline after the first few scenes, The Assassin’s Curse had a solid beginning, a thrilling climax and a satisfying ending. Just like before, Ananna’s world is enthralling, but Clarke makes it even better this time. Her deftly crafted world expands further to include more magnificent creatures, more sea battles and magical objects.

However, somehow, somewhere along the line, the feisty, courageous, unique Ananna was lost. In her place, The Pirate’s Wish brings an almost unrecognizable, surly, petulant girl. The Ananna we all remember would never allow a boy to turn her into a whiny mess, but this Ananna, the new version, did exactly that. The insecurities that made her more charming before weren’t nearly as cute and relatable this time around.

It was odd how the two switched places. I didn’t much care for Naji in the first book, but here he was the more reasonable of the two, even when he was too afraid to admit his feelings. In the end, I didn’t understand where his change of heart came from. By the time he admitted it, there was nothing even remotely likeable left in Ananna. Just like I didn’t understand what she saw in him before, now I couldn’t see why he would want to be with her. I suppose it’s safe to say that Clarke’s romances just don’t work for me, and I can’t pinpoint exactly why. The best I can tell you is that it has something to do with the timing, and the amount of damage each of the characters does to the relationship before it even starts.

Those who were bothered by the language in the first book might be a bit more relaxed this time. I, on the other hand, missed Clarke’s experiments. Ananna’s language was still far from polished, but it wasn’t nearly as pronounced as before.

If you enjoy adventures that are anything but formulaic, I highly recommend this duology. Even if it is far from perfect, it’s undeniably a much needed breath of fresh air in young adult literature.

19 comments:

  1. I'm really curious about this series as it sounds like something new and totally interesting for me. I'm really glad that some aspects have gotten better in this book but then again I'm really sad to hear that the main character is not as badass as she was. Too bad. Great review Maja :)

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  2. Another one that I hope to read really soon so I've just glanced at your review. I loved The Pirate's Assassin and I would have liked to see a higher rating that 3.5 stars.

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  3. Ananna's personality shift bothered me so much and essentially ruined the novel for me. I did enjoy the tighter structure, certainly, not to mention the continued creativity, but like you, Naji's change in heart came out of nowhere and more than anything else, I wanted him to reject Ananna since she deserved that in this book. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Maja, but I sadly was disappointed by this installment.

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  4. I have been so excited to start this after loving The Assassin's Curse, but the reviews so far haven't been that great which is a real shame. I hate that Ananna's character has changed in this too, I loved the kickass MC we were given in the first book. I will still be reading this, as the character left such a great impression with me in the first book. Lovely review Maja! :)

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  5. Ooh. Sounds like a very unique series! Love that's it's not formulaic and the characters sound complex! Great review Maja!!

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  6. I have seen this series around but I haven't read much about it. I am so glad that you liked this installment so much better than the first. It is always nice when the second book can take you by surprise and want to continue the series.

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  7. Doesn't really sound like the best series for me. I'm glad there are aspects of both that you enjoyed. That's a bummer that the romance didn't work. Never fun!

    -Lauren

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  8. I only recently heard it was a duology rather than a trilogy, so I'm really looking forward to finding out how it concludes. Shame that she's all petulant this time round. I loved the first one, although the first chapter had me convinced I wouldn't! So didn't hook me and then I was grateful I had read beyond that chapter. Great review, Maja.

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  9. I have heard mixed review about this series, so I wasn't really sure about it. It's sad that the heroine hanged in this book because of a boy. I think I'll pass it. Thanks for the lovely review, Maja!

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  10. I don't have to love a book to continue a series. I just have to be entertained and sometimes just left curious. :D

    I can see how the romance may not work with me either, but still, I can see me entertained with the new concepts. Hm... I do think I need to read these books.

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  11. I enjoyed the first book, but haven't read the novellas and not sure when I will

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  12. I was wondering about this one. I know there were a few that were not impressed with the first book, and thought you might have been one but couldn't remember until read review. Glad to hear the story is improving. Thank you!

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  13. I didn't realize this one was already due to be released! I guess I'll be picking this one up on Tuesday! I actually loved the first book and loved the romance even though it about drove me insane. But her becoming so surly and unlikable in this has me a bit concerned, but I guess I shall find out when I read it myself! Thanks for your review, at least now my expectations may be toned down a bit.

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  14. oh gosh I still want to read The Assassin’s Curse, great review thought. I am glad there was significant improvement in this one :)

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  15. I never picked up the first one, so now I don't feel bad after seeing this review. All the characteristics of Ananna sound highly frustrating to me. Plus, just reading the protags name over and over: Ananna would annoy me! My brain would stop every time! How am I supposed to pronounce that? I find strange, unpronounceable names a huge distraction while reading. Great review, Maja. :) This is a pass for me.

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  16. I actually liked the first one more and didn't mind angry Ananna but we both came up with the same rating for this book. How funny. Nice review.

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  17. I was looking forward to the romance here, but it really didn't turn out the way I expected it to. Although I didn't dislike it overall, I can't say it it exactly worked for me either. I do agree about Ananna, unfortunately. Still, our ratings match for this one. Which reminds me, I still need to write a review for this book... Gah.

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  18. I'm all for a breath of fresh air, I feel like I've been drudging through too many formulaic plots and characters in my last few reads (might be because I read The Testing and a slew of new adult "must-reads"). This certainly sounds like a unique premise. It's a shame Ananna had a personality change in this installment, but I'm still interested in reading book one and meeting her. I'll adjust my expectations on the romance, and perhaps I'll enjoy the books more. Thanks for your thoughtful review! :-)

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  19. I wasn't the biggest fan of The Assassin's Curse, although I thought it was interesting enough and planned on reading the sequel as well. That's wonderful that you feel like the narrative format/structure got stronger in this second book, although I do find the unpleasant changes you mention to be pretty troubling. Ananna is what made the story interesting and unique to me, so I am not happy to hear that you think her character has undergone some drastic changes in this installment. I'm honestly not sure whether or not to read the sequel now, but I really appreciated reading your well-reasoned thoughts on this!

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