Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Last Princess, by Galaxy Craze

Release date: May 1st 2012
Published by: Poppy
Genre: Young Adult 
Find it on: Goodreads, Amazon

Happily ever after is a thing of the past.

A series of natural disasters has decimated the earth. Cut off from the rest of the world, England is a dark place. The sun rarely shines, food is scarce, and groups of criminals roam the woods, searching for prey. The people are growing restless.

When a ruthless revolutionary sets out to overthrow the crown, he makes the royal family his first target. Blood is shed in Buckingham Palace, and only sixteen-year old Princess Eliza manages to escape. Determined to kill the man who destroyed her family, Eliza joins the enemy forces in disguise. She has nothing left to live for but revenge, until she meets someone who helps her remember how to hope-and love-once more.

Now she must risk everything to ensure that she does not become . . 

I must begin this review by saying that I had high, huge expectations when I started reading The Last Princess. The premise sounded absolutely beautiful, though a little eerie. A princess determined to kill the man who'd murdered her family and took over her country, with (hopefully) a little romance thrown in the mix. Who isn't captivated by that? I certainly was, and now, I want to kill myself for it.

Like I said, the premise of this novel is wonderful, but the book itself doesn't live up to its hype. Eliza's story is set in the future (when, exactly, it's never mentioned), and England is falling apart. People are starving, there's not enough safe places to hide, and the monarchy is the only thing still left intact. And why, for God's sake, is England falling apart, you may ask? Well, that's something I never really understood. Eliza talks about the Seventeen Days, when everything was destroyed, but how the hell that happened is something I just didn't understand. If you're gonna create a dystopian society, then explain it. I need a context, I need a world-building solid enough for me to understand what's happening. And in The Last Princess, I got neither of these things, and that pissed me off.

The lack of a very important element in this book wasn't the only thing that put me off this story. The characters were just so unrealistic and flat, especially Eliza. She just lost her entire family... her situation should've made me sympathize with her, but instead, I wanted to shake her all the time. Your parents have been killed, and your siblings are prisoners... it's obvious you want to destroy this guy with your bare hands, and that's pretty understandable. But why the hell would you join this guy's army? Why would you go through the extremely difficult process of becoming a soldier, one of his pawns, knowing that only officials, and sergeants, have access to him?

Eliza is a princess. She spent her childhood playing in the garden and riding, learning how to behave properly and have manners. She's never starved. She doesn't know how to kill someone. Eliza's not tough enough to succeed in a army, to become a general, a high position in which she could have access to Cornelius and then kill him when he was unprepared. Eliza, of course, go through with this fantastic plan, and when things go downhill for her, and she really begins to see what it's like to be in the army, she just runs away. It was just so unnecessary for her to be there to begin with.

But that's not the only thing that made me dislike her. When you're in the middle of a battle, and your friend gets hurt, you try to aid her, of course, but... do you get off your horse, kneels near your friend, and starts to scream for help? In the middle of the freaking battle, in which you're fighting for your country's freedom, literally??

And don't even get me started on the romance. Holy crap, this was one of the worst love stories I have ever read. Eliza is in Cornellius' army, like I previously mentioned, and this certain Sergeant starts to pay attention to her. Wesley helps her when she goes off hunting, he saves her life, he gets her out of the army when she tries to flee... that's okay for me, really. They just met, he knows who she really is, and he's helping her. Then Wesley kisses her five pages after that, and this is what Eliza thinks when she wakes up and abandons him to continue her quest of revenge:

"Somehow, the memories already felt far away, but they gave me the strength I needed. They gave me the hope that love still existed in this dark world, that it would exist even after I was gone."

 Love? She doesn't even know him. She barely talked to him. It just doesn't make any sense! This, to be precise, is the entire romance in this novel. In the ending, he saves her again, they stay together, and that's it. The whole thing is so raw and poorly developed, I wanted to kill myself.

The writing is another thing that bothered me. It screamed "self published novel" everytime there was a transition of scenes, or the passage of time. Not to say it's also completely devoid of emotions at certain parts, and it was full of repetitions. Also, everything was just so convenient for Eliza. If she wanted to see her siblings one more time before she was killed, of course the guard would've been kind enough to take her to them. If Eliza were freezing, of course a homeless person would give her some clothes. If she were about to die, of course someone would appear just in time to save her. This kind of thing happened all the time, and it was so unrealistic that it gave the sentence "damsel in distress" a whole new meaning.

I feel like The Last Princess had a lot of wasted potential. The story would be amazing if the author knew how to execute it well enough, but sadly, that didn't happen. I don't like to write negative reviews, and I tried to do it without offending anyone, but to be honest, I had to put all of this out of my chest. My ebook is full with angry notes and ranting. However, I do know a lot of people loved this novel, and maybe, if you give it a shot, you may like it too. For my sake, though, I'll stay away from The Last Princess.

1 comment:

  1. Oh gosh... This sounds awful. I've noticed that quite a few people have been disappointed by this book, and now have no desire to read it myself. I NEED detailed world-building and likeable characters in a book like this so it's frustrating that it doesn't deliver. :(