I have a book hoarding problem, they're pretty much taking over my entire house. Sometimes, when I'm not drowning in uni work I manage to actually read them. And when I do finish them, I usually have some pretty strong feelings related to them and y'all are gonna hear about it.
You may see the occasional gif to give more accurate representation of my thoughts.
So when I picked up this book, I hadn't read the summary or knew anything at all about it, I just really liked the cover.
The story follows a boy named Baltasar who finds out that he's a Storyteller and that he's being hunted by a secret organization. He hears of a prophecy that speaks about this dangerous force that's moving West from Spain and so Baltasar thinks that it's Amir al-Katib, his father. He sets off with his friend Jinniyah, who's half genie half human, on the voyage that the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria are set on in order to track down his father and to get away from the secret organization. Meanwhile, Amir thinks that Baltasar is the great and powerful force that's going to destroy the world so he's trying to kill Baltasar (except he doesn't know that it's Baltasar that he's trying to hurt).
And it's just a huge mess.
Now when the story started out, I thought that Baltasar was a kid because of the fact that he had his uncle tell him stories every single night before he went to sleep and the general way that he was written and acted. You can imagine how very shocked I was to find out that he was in fact a teenager. I think a lot of that had to do with the writing style.
The writing was very simple and straight-forward, which is great, but it was also choppy at times, especially at the beginning, and it didn't always flow very well. Because of the choppiness of the writing, it was always nagging at me in the back of my mind so I was always aware of the short sentences which pushed me out of the story instead of pulling me in. At times I felt like I wasn't as connected to the characters and the story as much as I would have liked so I didn't enjoy some parts of the story nearly as much as other parts.
By the middle of the novel, I felt like the author had really settled into the voice of Baltasar and it flowed a lot better. At the beginning of the story it felt like she was thinking too much about what to say and how her character should act and the descriptions. At some point it just switched and it didn't feel like she had to think about how to write the story because the author had really connected with Baltasar and she knew exactly how he worked and thought and such.
I loved the idea of Storytellers and how you could use the stories that you'd been told of or read about to create these fantastic creatures and settings. I loved how we got to explore that as the story went on and watch Baltasar gain more experience and learn more stories and tricks, even if they did backfire on him sometimes.
I loved the characters and everything that they went through and without even realising it, I'd gotten attached to these characters and their problems, I worried about them and what they went through and it felt real to me. I haven't connected to a story like this a long time so props to the author for that.
My favourite had to be Catalina because she didn't take any shit from anyone and made sure that all of the men aboard the ship knew not to mess with her and to treat her with respect. I loved the relationship that she had with Baltasar as well. She put down boundaries with Baltasar and told him what she was comfortable with and what she wasn't and he had to either take it or leave it. I loved the amount of respect that Baltasar had for Cataline, he respected her boundaries and her opinions, most of the time he didn't push her or make her feel uncomfortable, and when he was in the wrong, he acknowledged the fact that he had overstepped a line and apologised to Catalina for it.
I was satisfied with the ending, but at the same time I wasn't. The entire point of the story was that Baltasar tracked his father down and explained to him that he wasn't trying to destroy the world and to stop Amir from destroying the world himself because they thought that the prophecy was about them. And they do straighten out all of the misunderstandings and stuff but . . . what about the prophecy?
It's all nice that father and son finally get to meet and straighten things out but there's still this dark force that's going to destroy the world out there. The characters talk about how the evil force could be Admiral Colon because he and his ships did sail west from Spain, and they did take natives with them as slaves, and then it's just kind of left there. It's great that everything else is fixed and right but there's still this prophecy and it's never really solved and it doesn't come to pass and now it's just bothering me.
I need the prophecy bit to be solved in order for me to get closure from this story and now it's just eating away at me.
But, I enjoyed reading the story and I would definitely spend money on buying a copy of it from the book store.