Series: Sign of the Four #1
Published on September 12, 2012
Source: I received this book from the author as a part of the Read and Review program at the Teen Critic Group on Goodreads
Rating: 4 stars
It is not a peaceful time in the Four Kingdoms. War is imminent, but all fear the coming of the human child, whose arrival, it is foretold, will aid in the resurrection of the terrible Dark Lord Coriol, a being with the power to destroy them all. Nothing extraordinary has ever happened to Evelyn Leighton. That is, until the day she turns seventeen and is transported through a Monet painting into a fantastical world where humans are thought to be extinct. To stop an ancient prophecy from coming true and save the world she has learned to call home, Evelyn must set out on a quest to find a legendary weapon: The Sign of the Four. Reluctantly, she accepts the aid of Jerris, an enigmatic, irresistibly attractive male descendant of the Water Kingdom with sapphire eyes as dark as his past. With her life on the line, Evelyn finds herself battling more than vicious trolls and mythical lion warriors. She must also battle her own heart;a battle she cannot afford to lose.
Let’s just say that this book surprised me.
When I started reading, the plot seemed rushed, the dialogue unrealistic, and the characters flimsy. So you’re probably asking yourself, “Why in the world did she give this book four stars?” It gets so much better.
Once I finally made it out of the first 100 pages, this book got infinitely better. I started to like the main character Evelyn (not love, but like). She was a bit whiney at times, but she showed so much character development throughout the book that by the end I started to cheer for her every time she did something right. I really need to stop talking to my fictional characters…. (I may have a problem)
Jerris was…. well… semi-cheesy, in an adorable sarcastic way. He was like a deadly mysterious killing-machine puppy dog. Really. The romance between him and Evelyn was so slow that I actually started doubting that they would get together by the end of this book, but they did and it just made me smile. When authors try to shove a romance in your face and put flashing red lights all around it, I start getting cranky. There was absolutely no instalove and I almost started singing the Hallelujah Chorus. Oh too perfect.
So, while I had a rocky start with both of them, by the end of the book I was shipping Jeveyln pretty hard.
However, all was not perfect in character land. Other characters showed up that made me want to bang my head against the wall. Ferox and Falco, the sister-brother yoda wannabes.
Falco was better than Ferox. At least he managed to get out some witty dialogue and not sound completely ridiculous all the time, but I just couldn’t take Ferox seriously. She tried to be a stern ninja master all the time and none of her dialogue came off as very authentic. I just started laughing at her serious lines.
I just feel the need to share my disney versions of them. Aren’t they just perfect?
“I could kill you with only this daisy”
“Run Evelyn or else the Huns will get you!”
Anyways, on a more positive note, the world building in this book was beautifully done. I could picture everything and their world seemed kind of like a Lord of the Rings/Eragon/Greek Myths/Fey world mashup. The world that Malamas created was totally unique. She also added in some Latin names for things which made me oh so happy. That might just be because I’m a Latin nerd, but I absolutely love it when authors throw in a little tad of dead language to make things sound fancy.
So, as a whole, I would highly recommend this book for anyone who likes YA fantasy. If you are discouraged by the first 100 pages or so, just keep reading. You won’t be disappointed.
~The Red Queen