{ARC} Book Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

September 3, 2014 Review 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: All That Glows by Ryan GraudinAll That Glows by Ryan Graudin
Series: All That Glows #1
Published by HarperTeen on 2014 February 11
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 463
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Edelweiss
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three-stars

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

All That Glows is another product of my failed attempts to search for “that” awesome fairy book. Sure, it has originality, but the author failed to take advantage of that as she messed up in terms of properly executing the whole story.

All That Glows is another reason why readers find themselves reluctant to read fairy stories. It is so reminiscent of those “books” that suffered from predictable and romance driven-plot, underdeveloped MCs, and lacklustre world building. *eyeroll* But I think, it would quite serve its purpose when one is looking for something light to read just to kill time. If truth be told, I enjoyed All That Glows despite its glowing flaws.

All That Glows spins around the life of Emrys, a fairy who got assigned to guard Richard, the crowned prince of Britain.  At first, everything was only a job to her but as the days passed by, her heart became more and more involved to the point that she was willing to forget the oath that she swore to Mab, the fairy queen.

Emrys has a great potential to become a kick ass heroine particularly that she has the power and the position to enforce it.  However, her initial attraction to Richard made her ignore all her rules and behaved like she hadn’t endured the world for centuries.  Granted that she didn’t completely lost her wits when she’s around Richard but she’s not behaving according to her age. She’s supposed to be more in control,  to be defiant, to be stern, to be wise and all that but in here, she’s just your average heroine with no spunk in her personality… easily forgettable in a sea of female fairy characters.

Prince Richard is also as boring as a slug. And I seriously think that he’s making a bad reputation of the British Monarchy.  All throughout the story, I haven’t felt the depth of his struggle while he rose from being the bratty prince to being a capable monarch.  A lot of his potential got wasted.  If you are expecting a witty or a funny or an arrogant prince in here, please… try to pick up another book because All That Glows will surely disappoint you.

Graudin also made a lame attempt at portraying the British Monarchy in its full glory.  While I was reading this book, it’s like I was just seeing a tiny portion of it. Heck, the author didn’t even make an effort to throw in some political intrigue here and there or even… let’s just say a solid historical foundation for the story.

The world building of All That Glows was unexceptional. Most of the events took place in modern London and Graudin’s prose didn’t manage to transform the City into something fantastical. Even the haven of the fairies was worthy of an eyeroll.

Talking about the plot, it was, as I’ve said earlier, predictable and romance driven.  At first, the story gives you an impression that some dark machinations are about to happen but as the story advanced, you will find yourself sorely disappointed.  The romance took hold and the twist became a side story. Graudin, however, offered a little mercy to the readers by developing the romance properly. And there’s no messy love triangle to put up with.

I don’t know if All That Glows is a series or a standalone. But its ending was neatly wrapped up even if the conflict was easily resolved.  To be honest, I hope Graudin will just leave this book as it is and perhaps write another story that is more promising.

All in all, All That Glows is not your hardcore fairy story that would perhaps rival that of Julie Kagawa’s works. But then again, if you are looking for something light that has Monarch princes in it, then this is the book for you.  All that Glows has the same feel with those films, say The Prince and Me or What a Girl Wants… they’re crappy but I enjoyed them.

 

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