Thursday, September 17, 2015
Review: The Infinite by Lori M. Lee
Author: Lori M. Lee
Series: Gates of Thread & Stone, Book Two
Published Date: 10 March 2015
Buy: Amazon | The Book Depository
I received this book through NetGalley from Skyscape for review.
The walls of Ninurta keep its citizens safe.
Kai always believed the only danger to the city came from within. Now, with a rebel force threatening the fragile government, the walls have become more of a prison than ever.
To make matters worse, as Avan explores his new identity as an Infinite, Kai struggles to remind him what it means to be human. And she fears her brother, Reev, is involved with the rebels. With the two people she cares about most on opposite sides of a brewing war, Kai will do whatever it takes to bring peace. But she’s lost her power to manipulate the threads of time, and she learns that a civil war might be the beginning of something far worse that will crumble not only Ninurta’s walls but also the entire city.
In this thrilling sequel to Gates of Thread and Stone, Kai must decide how much of her humanity she’s willing to lose to protect the only family she’s ever known. (summary from Goodreads)
Lee expands on her fascinating world building, but the story still lacks the necessary thrill.
I admit to putting off reading this book because I didn't much enjoy the first, Gates of Thread and Stone. So right away my expectations were pretty low. Part of me hoped the story would grow from the flaws of the first, but unfortunately that just wasn't the case. I really like the world Lee has created. The Infinite, the hollows, Ninurta, Lanathrill, the Void - everything is interesting and Lee meticulously details every nook and cranny of the cities and landscapes. On one hand, I don't necessarily mind that, because this world definitely plays on the imagination. But for the most part it impacts the story in that there is so much description and world building, nothing of significance happens until almost the end - and then it's over, just like that. If tension intensified as we read this might not be such a negative thing, but personally I find too much of the plot twists to be obvious. Granted, one came out of nowhere - yay for unpredictability! - but then it fizzled because a certain character - well, changed their mind. It felt like such a major let down, to be honest. The action at the end of The Infinite is pretty good. It's certainly heart-stopping, but ultimately fleeting. I just want so much more from The Infinite. There's such potential for this series, but yet again it simply misses the mark.
The thing that most makes this series a "meh" for me is Kai. I cannot click with Kai. I find her so immature, much more so than I think is intended and I cannot get past it. To me, Kai is purely oblivious and it frustrates me. The story is unfocused and static because Kai is a mediocre MC. The first book she was all about Avan and that hasn't really changed. She's still all Avan this and Avan that, but now it's interspersed with food. Those are Kai's two major thought processes throughout The Infinite - Avan and food. I find Kai's place in the events of this series implausible. She's entirely out of touch with what's happening around her until it's too late - and yet everything revolves around her. Everyone turns to her and it makes me want to scream at times. I couldn't appreciate many of the relationships throughout this book either. Avan and Reev are mere blips in The Infinite. So much of Kai's intentions are meant to be connected to her love of these two but this time I wasn't feeling it. I was feeling Mason - I quite love Mason, okay? I was even rooting for him a little as a love interest, but I am seriously relieved a love triangle didn't actually develop here. That would have been too much. The Infinite introduces new characters to the series which made for a change. Their parts in the story are too tied to spoilers to mention much about them, but where they go from here could be intriguing. Though not so much so that I'm desperate to read the third book. This may be it for me.
There's elements to The Infinite that are exciting, but as a whole, the story and characters fall short.