Monday, September 8, 2014

Beyond the Ominous Gates

Expected Publication: September 9th, 2014
By: Kate A. Boorman
Amulet Books
ISBN-13:  9781419712357

Emmeline knows she's not supposed to explore the woods outside her settlement.  The enemy that wiped out half her people lurks there, attacking at night and keeping them isolated in an unfamiliar land with merciless winters.  Living with the shame of her grandmother's insubordination, Emmeline has learned to keep her head down and her quick tongue silent.

When the settlement leader asks for her hand in marriage, it's an opportunity for Emmeline to wash the family slate clean -- even if she has eyes for another.  But before she's forced into an impossible decision, her dreams urge her into the woods, where she uncovers a path she can't help but follow.  The trail leads to a secret that someone in the village will kill to protect.  Her grandmother followed the same path and paid the price.  If Emmeline isn't careful, she will be next.


     Emmeline has a curiosity about things beyond what she's allowed to know.  It's what causes her to break the rules of her settlement and skip services, instead exploring things that are only treasures in her own eyes, natural ruins of another time.  She is shunned by much of her people, for a sin that her grandmother committed, a Stain against their family name: going beyond the settlement walls.  Just as Emmeline begins to feel things for a boy named Kane, the settlement leader asks for her in marriage.  But then her dreams lead her out into the woods, where a dangerous secret lies.  Can Emmeline find out the truth and will it destroy her - or set them all free?
     I had to put this one down and could not bring myself to pick it back up again.  Emmeline seemed like she was being contrary just 'cause, and I couldn't stand her from page one.  The dialectical decisions of the author left something to be desired.  WHY are they speaking French words?  Where are we, what happened to bring these people there, and why after mutliple generations are they (as described in the Goodreads summary above) are they still in an "unfamiliar land?"  I found myself not giving a crap, as the sentence structure was atrocious.  As I saw another reader observe, it felt like most of the words were chopped in half and the sparsity left a lot to be desired for me personally.  In other words, it was driving me absolutely insane.  Not to mention, been there and done that - the gates, the big secret in the woods.  Can you say rip-off of The Village or what?  Just not the book for me, and I wish I would not have even wasted my time.  I seem to be in the minority with that opinion though, at least on Goodreads.


*I recieved this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie.  No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book's expected publication date is September 9th, 2014.*

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