ARC Review: The Chosen Prince by Diane Stanley

The Chosen PrinceGenres: Fantasy, Mythology, Middle Grade
Release Date: January 27st, 2015
Publisher HarperCollins
Source:  eARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS

On the day of his birth, Prince Alexos is revealed to be the long-awaited champion of Athene. He grows up lonely, conscious of all that is expected of him. But Alexos discovers that being a champion isn’t about fame and glory–it’s about sacrifice and courage.

Alexos follows the course of his destiny through war and loss and a deadly confrontation with his enemy to its end: shipwreck on a magical, fog-shrouded island. There he meets the unforgettable Aria and faces the greatest challenge of his life.

review

Now that some of my rage has cooled off, I can say with certainty that this is by far one of the most disappointing books I’ve read this year. When I first saw it on Edelweiss, I was so excited! Greek Myth combined with Fantasy sounded like a dream and I was excited to dive in. I was let down on so many accounts, it’s not even funny. Although I imagine that if anyone had been watching me while I was reading the book, they might disagree.

For starters, this book has almost no elements of fantasy. It reads like historical fiction that’s set in a time when people still believed in the greek gods. That was slightly disappointing but I loved greek myth enough to  let that one pass.

The POV this book was written in made it a lot harder for me to stick with the book. It’s written in 3rd person present tense which is just awkward. I kept on thinking it would change at some point but it didn’t and it just kept on throwing me off. At first, I felt like I wasn’t being open enough to the idea of another POV and that it would become easier to read once I got used to it but I never did. I continued to look for things about this book that would make it stick out or would be even a shadow of what had been promised by the blurb.

The main character Alexos was actually pretty decent. I liked how he seemed to continue to push through in spite of all the misfortunes that befell him and while he was brave, smart, kind and giving, he also knew when he had to be a leader. Of course, sometimes I wish he would be a little bit more child-like considering he was just 13. Except when he wasn’t. About half way through the book, there was a 7 year fast forward.

That really got me. What more was that the story wasn’t even being told from his POV anymore after that 7 year skip even though he was supposed to be the main character. A 20/21 year old main character for a middle grade book is a little awkward. What more was that this book some very predictable turns and there was a VERY AWKWARD romance thrown in that pissed me off so much. It’s not that the two characters weren’t compatible, it’s just that they don’t actually know each other. They meet and then BAM. Okay. I need to calm down a little because the romance still bothers me, as you can see quite clearly.

This book was lacking in the world building department as well. We are provided with the bare minimum which is basically some details on the gods that have any influence on the outcome of the story. We are thrown into a world with no other details which is why I said it read more like a historical book than fantasy. As someone who LOVES world building, I was heartbroken! Here we have such great potential yet it’s wasted. It’s barely brushed. I can only imagine the rich world that could have otherwise been created had the potential been utilized.

However, the worst thing about this book was the way in which the conflict was resolved. That broke my heart into pieces. It’s the kind of resolution you expect from picture books, not a novel. Not a novel where there is so much build up and the character goes through so much as a result of his ‘destiny’.  We have a build up for nothing because when it comes down to the actual resolution, nothing happens. It’s like when you light a firecracker that you expect to explode but all you get is a tiny crackle.

Throughout the first 60%, I kept making excuses for the book because I expected to get better, I wanted it to get better. I wanted it to blow my mind. I wanted it to be everything it had promised. The last 40% opened my eyes and by the last couple of pages I was craughing and really just wanted the book to end. So much disappointment is not good for the soul.

One might attribute the simplicity of the book to the fact that it’s middle grade. I am obviously not the intended audience but if I had read this book in middle school, I would have been heartbroken because it would have made me realize that not all books are great (I never really read a bad book as a kid… yes I am boasting. A little bit. COME ON. My bubble has already been burst.). Plus, as a kid (and almost adult))who loved adventures , it would have bothered me that something that promised to be a fabulous adventure wasn’t one.

My childish aspirations aside, it’s clear that I wasn’t the intended audience but I don’t know who this book is aimed towards. I suggest that if you’re thinking about reading this one yourself, you may want to skip it unless childish is exactly what you’re looking for after being fed up of everything else.

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Romance
Overall: 1.3
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Rashika

Rashika is a mysterious creature who likes to hide in the shadows. It's impossible to get to know her but if you must know, she is a huge bookworm. She also happens to have a huge sweet tooth so you can always lure her over the dark side by offering her something sweet (or bribing her with books).

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  1. says

    Yikes! 3rd person present tense is awkward and makes it so hard to connect to anything. I am so sorry this was such a crap read for you. There is nothing, nothing, worse than being excited about a book and then being seriously let down by it.

    I really hope your next read is fabulous and makes up for this one.
    kindlemom1 recently posted…Review: Golden Son by Pierce BrownMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I KNOW. :( I was really excited when I grabbed this one and it just didn’t live up to that excitement. And YES. Third person present tense is AWKWARD. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything in that tense before!

      I read a christmasy book after this one so that definitely lifted my spirits ;)

  2. says

    Rashika darling!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so sorry this was an EPIC disappointment! I recently read The Winner’s Curse where the element of fantasy was totally missing but the overall story was so good that I was able to forgive the author for that transgression! *snickers* There’s nothing worse than a book failing in all categories but I do hope the next book you read is AUH-MAZING! Happy new year my friend! ♥
    Cristina recently posted…Redeployment by Phil KlayMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      That’s what a lot of people I know said about it! :D I’ve been meaning to read TWC but just haven’t gotten around to it… eventually. I PROMISE. I know :( I mean the characters were okay but not nearly good enough to redeem the book.

      It was! :D It was Christmasy :’)

      Happy New Year, Cristina <3

  3. says

    Awww it’s so completely disappointing when a book doesn’t meet your expectations and not only that, but it sounds like you gave it a fair chance while you were reading it. I find the lack of world building really frustrating and the simplicity of the plot sounds like it wasn’t a good thing here. And yes, an adult main character in an MG book? Wouldn’t that be hard for the kids to relate to? Ah well. Happy New Year my friend!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…2014 Recap & Blogging HighlightsMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      I try to give all books a fair chance but I think I was just deluding myself in this case. HA. The weird thing is that once the MC grows up, it’s like, he’s a secondary character even though he is a main character? I don’t understand. I gave up :P

      Happy new year, Jeann <3

    • Rashika says

      Right! The best part about reading a fantasy novel IS the world building *sigh*.

      It was, Joy! :) It was CHRISTMASY *jazz hands*

  4. says

    So sad to hear this book disappointed you so much! I know I will be skipping this one too, I don’t read too much MG but the one that seems like overly simple? NOT my thing at all! And a 21 year old main character for MG, what the what??

    Thank you for your very honest review Rashika!
    Pili recently posted…Happy New Year 2015!!My Profile

    • Rashika says

      I adore MG but I do NOT like it when they are overly simplistic. Kids are smart!

      Yessss. It definitely threw me off!

      You’re welcome :)

    • Rashika says

      I used to not read a lot of MG but then I got bitten by the MG bug! :D I love MG but at the same time, it turns out not all MG books are mind blowing. Sadly.

      You’re welcome! :)

  5. says

    BOOOOOOOOOO. Even if you weren’t a kid, you can’t just mislead kids like that. THAT IS NOT FAIR TO THEM. And a 20/21 year old? Umm. Isn’t this supposed to be MG? Like that’s kind of weird. I know it’s not a requirement for it to be a kid as a main character, but it would DEFINITELY HELP WITH THE AGE GROUP. This is just weird. I’m sorry it was so bad. I hope your next book is better Rashika -_-
    Valerie recently posted…Review: Red RisingMy Profile

    • Rashika says

      IT WOULD. I mean it’s not like he was some weird adult that’s supposed to help with the quest, he’s the one who is ON the quest!

      It was, Valerie! It definitely was :’) It was CHRISTMASY (I’ve said that so many times now :P)

  6. says

    I don’t know why, but I kinda want to dive in. :c It’s the 21yo man in MG book. I wanna see how crap it gets. Because, I mean, that’s the kind of thing my brain can’t compute. AT ALL. BUT ANYWAYS HAPPY NEW YEAR!
    Stuti recently posted…HAPPY NEW YEAR!My Profile

  7. says

    Aw, man, I had high hopes for this one! I absoultely love Stanley’s “Cup and the Crown” books, but this sounds very different and much worse. You shouldn’t let your distaste for this one keep you from reading her other books, though. Here is a link to my review of THE SILVER BOWL, the first book in her other series, if you’re interested. It’s one of my favorite books.
    Jaina recently posted…Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, 2007My Profile