My rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
The publisher provided me with a copy of this book to review via NetGalley.
This book took me a long time to get into it, and even when as I approached the end I didn’t feel that pull into the story that I was hoping for. Things were a bit slow, a bit predictable and while there was the odd unique feeling moment to the story I found it was overshadowed with everything I hoped the book wouldn’t be.
There were a number of inconsistencies in the book and I was surprised to see them so often within the story. For example, one paragraph Molly is holding her dog in her arms and then in the very next paragraph its being led on leash by Weston yet Molly never set the dog down. Along the was there was also a lot of moments were the story seemed to shift a lot in time without a solid explanation of how or why it happened. These shifts had me constantly turned back to the previous pages to make sure I didn’t accidentally skip a page and yet I hadn’t the story just jumped around a lot randomly. There were also a lot of grammatical errors and random quotation marks at the beginning or ending of sentences/paragraphs that were not narrative, and in some parts there was narrative there was missing quotation marks. These errors surprised me as well as the book came out a year ago and I would have expected those errors to be caught and fixed by now.
Ignoring these annoying errors and shifts in the story line what stood out to me most was how overly typical this story felt when comparing it to nearly every other YA book out there, especially those that are meant to be a romance. And the big thing about what stood out from that is the forming of a love triangle all too early in the story. Is there a reason why all YA Romance stories must include a love triangle? It’s not original and more than anything it’s annoying.
The relationship/friendship between Molly, Weston and Victor was also annoying and cliche at best. She wants Victor but he’s standoffish toward her most of the time, even goes as far as to hate her at times, but occasionally stares at her with hungry eyes. Meanwhile Weston wants her but she’s only being nice to him because he was nice to her at the beginning and she keep wanting Victor over him. How very bloody typical of YA novels. Also the whole thing with molly practically lusting over Victor at every turn made me sick, she’s 16, and while I realize in today’s society there are a lot of teens who have sex, get pregnant and allow lust to blind them, I feel like its something that could have been left out of the book.
The world of Arkana was fairly interesting and there were parts of it that I felt held a uniqueness to them. Though there were some odd mixes of technology and older weapons. For example, they hunt with bow and arrow, yet they have this fancy technology like flying vehicles and knifes that use a sort of beam of light to clean and cut up their kills. I am not a fan of mixing old technology with advanced technology. Also the whole, people from earth aren’t allowed on the planet but oh Molly you can come and go almost as she pleased seemed to contradict itself, much like a big chunk of the book did. The mix of futuristic technology, along with lesser technology and with the people of Arkana riding horses and Pegasus (though they had different names in this book though I cant remember what they were) made me feel like there was a mix of too many genres.
Also at the half way point I still didn’t understand why the book was called Fields of Elysium, because outside of one mention of the Fields of Elysium from Molly, I saw no connection to that, even by the end it didn’t make sense.
Overall this book was nothing special. Yes it had a few unique things about it, but take those things away and you have nothing more than a YA romance that happens to involve a futuristic world that has a fantasy feel to it at times. Fans of YA may enjoy this book and series but I am stopping here and not continuing on with the rest.