Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
Book received free for review from Skyscape.
I'm to the point of nearly never accepting a book free for review anymore. No matter if I like or dislike it, I either have to submit a copy of it to the publisher or give them a link to it. That makes me uncomfortable, especially when I have to write a negative one. So I've gotten to the point of only accepting ones I'm sure I'll like.
I loved Gilded, the first book in this series. (My review here.) There wasn't a single thing I disliked about the first book -- in fact, I liked it enough I did something very rare: I contacted the author to tell her so. (And got a nice reply back from her.)
So I accepted Silvern for review, and while there's nothing at all wrong with the book, for some reason the story never hooked me. 10% in, 20% in, 30% in, I kept waiting to fall in love. If nothing else, one of the things I loved about the first book was how much it taught me about Korea, but even that didn't come through in Silvern -- I don't feel like I learned a single new thing. I felt no drive to keep reading, and often looked for something else to do so I wouldn't "have to" read.
The characters were going to travel to North Korea, so I thought that would be where I'd learn new stuff, but by 35% or so in they still weren't there, and I found myself skimming. Skimming is always a bad sign for me... Soon enough I decided to stop reading it. I didn't reach the 50% book, so it doesn't count towards my 50/year goal.
There was nothing really wrong with the book. The writing was fine, if not quite as strong as the first book's. The teenage love plot took a greater amount of time, and while I actually enjoyed it in the first book (so rare!), I found I wasn't enjoying it in this second one. The setting (Korea) was interesting, but the supernatural stuff was for some reason boring to me this time.
Like the first book, the plot of this one was teenage girl vs the evil gods and spirits of Korea. After all she went through in the first book, the main character (Jae Hwa) was a little PTSD-y in this one, which was nice and realistic. The plot was slow moving (something that didn't at all bother me in the first book), so by the point I gave up (a third in), they were still only talking things out.
I really wanted to like this book, and I thought I would like it (though I don't think it's a matter of my expectations being too high). Maybe I'll do what I've never done before and give it another try some time in the future.