Prophecy Of The Sisters by Michelle Zink
I'm starting a two day theme of "Books everyone else liked, but I didn't." Actually, dislike is too strong a word. I didn't dislike these books...just am not raving about them.
What was the last book that didn't really get you that everyone else seems to love?
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. Debut novelist Michelle Zink takes readers on an unforgettable journey where one sister's fateful decision could have an impact of Biblical proportions. Prophecy of the Sisters is the first of three books. (courtesy of Goodreads)
This is a really hard review to write. I feel like I should have liked this book - it has so many characteristics of books I typically love - paranormal, family drama, historical setting, friendship, romance. It reminds me both of Beautiful Creatures and Libba Bray's Great And Terrible Beauty trilogy. But I just could not get into this book. It starts out shrouded in mystery. Lia and Alice Milthorpe's father has just died. Alice is acting very strangely. Then Lia and her boyfriend James find a book that tells of a prophecy of the entrance of evil and chaos into this world. One sister is the guardian of the gate and the other is the gatekeeper, the only one who can let evil enter. Kind, gentle Lia naturally assumes that she is the guardian while her untrustworthy sister is the gate. To her great surprise, Lia is in fact the gate. She desperately wants to prevent the prophecy's fulfillment. With the help of two new friends, Lia embarks on a journey to prevent the gate from opening.
I give this book a 3 star review, because it is quite well-written, and I think will appeal to others much more than it did me. The elegant prose makes it seem like it was written in the time it is set (1890). The entire book feels very Gothic, like a dark and misty night. The paranormal element of the prophecy and flying through other worlds is complex and well-developed. The prophecy is revealed subtly, symbolically. It requires you to actually think. I think the series will become even more interesting with future books.
My main problem with this book was the characters. I just didn't care about them. Lia was the most interesting. She is kind, honorable, and brave; she wants to defy the prophecy regardless of the personal cost. I thought Alice was woodenly evil, despite occasional hints of sisterly kindness. Sophia and Luisa were nice girls, but I didn't get a real feeling of personality. James, the love interest, wasn't a big enough part of the story for me to develop any feelings for him. The pacing of the book was also too slow for my taste. It took to long for me to understand the prophecy at all (I don't know that I ever really understood it). Sometimes a slow build-up creates anticipation and excitement, but I was just confused. I kept waiting for the book to become a page-turner, but it always kept me just interested enough to keep going...nothing more.
Rating: 3 / 5