Welcome back to the blog dear readers! Alex and I have been so busy over the past few weeks and have had no time to write. We went to Ningaloo Reef with our dad and spent about a week up there during the school holidays. It was such an amazing experience as we got to swim with the whale sharks over there. Otherwise, we have both been really busy at school (Alex is in year 7 still getting used to how it all works, the information overload and heck tonne of assignments, and I’m now in year 9 battling with all my half yearly test study!!!)
I’m so glad to be back though, especially to talk about this book which I really didn’t like. Sometimes it’s better to tell people straight away that a book is bad rather than making them think it’s good. Hopefully I save some of you from wasting your time by reading this! I’ve already reviewed the first 2 books: Need and Captivate. If you do plan to read these books (which I don’t really recommend) then maybe don’t read this review as it may contain spoilers from the first books. As you’ll notice I gave this book a 1.5/5 (probably my lowest rating) and the first two books in this series received 3’s. I have changed my opinion and you’ll find out why in a minute.
Anyway, I’m glad to be back on the blog and enjoy this review!
Book Review: Entice by Carrie Jones (Need #3)
(I’m just going to use the blurb on the back of the book for my story line as I think it is sufficient enough and I don’t want to give too many spoilers. At least you will know that what I have said here is on the book so I’m not revealing too much.)
“Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together for ever. But that’s not quite how things have worked out. For starters, Nick has gone. He has been taken to the mythical place for warriors known as Valhalla. Zara and her friends might be able to get him back, it’s just not going to be easy. Meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But even if Zara and her friends do discover the route to Valhalla, there’s that other small problem: Zara’s been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn’t turned into just any pixie… She’s Astley’s queen.”
Okay, so this is just getting ridiculous. The first book was okay and I gave it a fair rating. I said there were many things wrong with it but it had some potential. I take that ALL away. This series has no hope. Since the second book, things just went downhill. And now I feel like this book has taken that next step, into irreversible, clichéd, cringe-worthy, far-fetched, teen trash. Yes I just said that.
I got to a point while reading this series where I had no idea why Carrie Jones would even want to write a fourth book.
I was reading over some of the Goodreads reviews (as you do) and came across one that I couldn’t agree more with. It was by ‘The Holy Terror’ and I’m going use some quotes from her review to back up my points throughout this post.
Alright let’s begin. This series just isn’t original anymore. In my review for the first book I said that it was original. I disagree with this now after reading this 3rd book of the Need series. I honestly don’t know what Jones was going for but it didn’t work. She somehow managed to create a mayhem of a story by intertwining all different types of fantasy. I seriously couldn’t keep up with it anymore. She had pixies, werewolves, werebears, werebirds, angels, elves, mythical warriors, gods, kings and queens and a whole bunch of other random stuff. It felt a bit like it had all been pulled out of a bunch of already existing fantasy books, and glued back together (mind you, not very well.) I was under the impression that a 6th grader could write something more structured on a Thursday afternoon lesson. Here’s a quote from The Holy Terror on Goodreads: “The mythology is pretty much thrown together however Jones feels is the most angsty.”
The whole believability of the plot was highly questionable. I really had a hard time believing some of the content. I mean, so much of this stuff was meant to be hidden, but it was just done so badly. It was as simple as someone walking past. Most of the events that occurred was in view of the general public. It just wasn’t believable. Sorry Carrie Jones. And yes, I hear you shouting “Nilou, this is fantasy remember?” But look at any other actually good book or series like Harry Potter, the secret world is well hidden and concealed from the non-magical or mythical people. Yes of course there are slip ups, but that makes the story even better. That’s what this series is missing. The characters are so oblivious to the outside world. It’s just not right.
Now let’s talk about the character development, themes and language techniques. Any person with a general understanding of the English language should know that these are the 3 basic elements to any good story. Lack in any of these, and good luck with making people hooked onto your stories… In the first book I enjoyed Zara as a character. I even liked the cheesy romance between her and Nick. Issie was cute and I felt sorry for Devyn. This is what a good book does. It creates emotion and empathy for the characters from the reader. I liked the element of mystery and the supernatural themes. It was amazing to see how Zara dealt with it all. And as everything does at some point in this series, it all went downhill. I honestly couldn’t care less if one of the main characters died by the third book. The author created no emotional attachment. The whole motive of the story, and the reason for things to happen was pointless. I had to sit there for hours on end reading about Zara perusing some impossible quest. The imagery was terrible, I had no idea what was going on, and even where we were at times. There were moments while reading this series, when I just put it down for a couple of weeks and didn’t even want to bother with it anymore. Let’s add in a few of The Holy Terror’s much needed and appreciated quotes:
“She also tends to describe things that just don’t make sense or work for the scene. Telling me that your character lifts his leg and plays with his sock is dumb. It doesn’t add anything, and it is awkward and useless. “Soft, mushy-looking eyes” are gross. Describing your “heart whooshing into your spleen” and then your “heart falling out along with your stomach” doesn’t make anatomical sense. Saying “his face is a broken branch” isn’t a descriptor, and even as a simile it doesn’t work. Jones’s writing is frustrating, amateurish, and an affront to English teachers everywhere. But still, it makes me angry that a book like this was published.”
“Also, I do not need to know how everything and everyone smells. I get it. Your character has enhanced senses. Please, I don’t need to know that this girl smells like coconuts, that boy smells like pine, and pixies smell like mushrooms and Dove soap. THIS DOESN’T ADD ANYTHING TO THE STORY. It’s just dumb and annoying, and strikes me as filler. Oh, you can’t think of anything interesting to talk about? Then describe how every person in the room smells, that’ll surely add something to the story. Uh huh.”
Goodness me, this Holy Terror person and I need to become BFF’s right now! Everything she says rings with truth!!!!!!
“To be blunt: this book sucked. The first book held promise, the second book was stupid, and this last book isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. I don’t care about a single character, the plot is ridiculous, and the writing is on par with a teen’s LiveJournal. Seriously, it’s barely worth the trouble of checking it out from the library. Do yourself a favour and just stay away.”
‘Need’ I say more dear reader? I think that covers it all, there is so much more that is wrong with this book I don’t even think it’s worth your time discussing it further. The next book after Entice is Endure. And speaking about this, I find the title of the books in this series completely pointless. I mean, I don’t even think she used the word entice in this whole book. Yeah I get it it’s a fancy word that makes your book seem interesting and edgy, but it adds nothing to the plot and is practically meaningless.
I don’t yet have a copy and I don’t even know if I want one. But for the sake of saying that I have read this series (and endured it 😊), and to have a valid opinion about it, I’ve added it to me TBR (To Be Read).
Overall, this whole book was terrible. No emotional attachment to the characters. No important themes or life lessons were taken out of this narrative. And I honestly don’t know what’s gonna be in this fourth and final book. I have done my research and seen that Carrie Jones has written some other books. I might try them one day, let’s just hope they are not as devastatingly bad as these ones…..
So what do you think of this review? Is it fair, or have I judged it too harshly? Have you read this book, and if so, what did you think of it? Will this series be considered for your TBR? Let me know in the comments down below!
Author: Carrie Jones
Publication Date: 2011
For ages: 13-16+
Type: Paranormal, Friendship, Fantasy and Teens Fiction
NOTE: THIS REVIEW REFLECTS OUR PERSONAL OPINION AND ONLY OUR PERSONAL OPINION.
To read her whole review click here. Just scroll to the community reviews and it should be the first one there.
More about the author (visit her website)