You know, I really didn't want my first review on Booklikes to be negative, because I didn't just come here to write the bad reviews I'm no longer allowed to right on Goodreads. That was why I decided to read this, because I love the original trilogy. Unfortunately, this book deserves probably the worst review I've ever written, and not because I loved the original series so much. Here are a few quick reasons why:
a) The All-Powerful Jonah Kinlock, who has a tragic history
b) Little powerless Emma Greenwood, who has a tragic history
c) The poor savants , mutants from Thorn Hill, who all have a tragic history
d) The villainous shades, who also have a tragic history (and try to slaughter helpless children, which somehow earns them the great Jonah's sympathy)
e) The main villain, Lillith, who couldn't come up with a better name, and has a tragic history
If one more person had had an amazing gift(s) and/or some sort of problem in this book, my brain would seriously not still be functioning. Of course, the people in this book don't have functioning brains, so I'd fit right in.
Now, I am honesty trying to the best of my ability to think of something positive to say before I say more negative things, but the best thing I can think of in this book is Rowan DeVries, who is misunderstood actually a fairly good character, even though he is in no way a good person. There, that is the shining beacon of hope in this book! The guy who was going to kill Emma, an innocent kid, to stay in power, even though he didn't want to. I feel so much better knowing that. *sigh*
Okay, I'd better get some structure into this review, so I'll start at the beginning of the book and go from there. In Jonah's first scene beyond the prologue, he kills two villains from the original books (two people who had survived an entire war) by touching them. See, our amazing new hero, Jonah Kinlock, survivor of the Thorn Hill Massacre, can kill people by touching them. All he needs is to brush them with his skin, and they die. Now, it would be bad enough for the new hero to be overpowered with a death-touch, but instead of writhing in pain or simply keeling over, anyone he touches dies of happiness. He's so amazing that he can put people out of their misery and give them a sweet, painless death just by reaching out and touching them. He's so powerful that he can just effortlessly murder two people who had survived everything that was in the other books in his first appearance.
Just. . . why? Why does everything have to be bigger, better, and generally less realistic when a series ends and then starts up again? Do these authors think that they will impress their readers by making their old heroes look like powerless, meaningless pawns? I. Am. Not. Impressed.
After reading that wonderful scene of Jonah's, I really wanted Seph, an incredibly--but realistically, in Chima's world--powerful wizard to come in and throw one of his magic fireballs at Jonah. But guess what! Jonah is immune to conjured magic, mwahaha! Those world-ending spells of Seph's can't hurt Jonah, because he's a savant, and all the savants are immune to magic. Hmmm. . . You know, it's odd, but I seem to recall Madison Moss being immune to magic in the original books, and now she's being outdone by about three hundred savants the few, poor survivors of Thorn Hill. I. Am. Not. Impressed.
Later, we learn that Jonah is Eragon the Shadowhunter a Shadeslayer, and his job is to hunt down millions the thousand or so undead shades who possess dead bodies and use those bodies to kill people and get fresher corpses. Of course, Jace Jonah is the very best Shadowhunter Shadeslayer there is, because he has special powers. After all, he can kill people by touching them; is immune to magic; can enchant people and bend them to his will; has the Mortal Sword one of the seven warrior swords; can use that sword to magically force people to tell the truth; is super strong and super agile; has more experience than anyone else in the entire organization; just happens to be tall, dark, and beautiful, so that the idiotic, simpleminded, brainless imbeciles in this book will do anything for him without the need of superpowers. . . The list goes on. I believe I already said he was overpowered, right?
On the other hand, we have the other main character, Emma who doesn't have any powers (Except being immune to magic, a power that any of the old characters would kill for, but all of the poor, cursed savants already have). Helpless little Emma has seen first her grandfather and then her father die in the last few months, but you know what? She can take it, because every book nowadays needs a strong female character. UGH.
The worst part about Emma's part of the story? At one point, Jonah breaks into her house, causes her father's death, blows up her house, and then pours all of his enchanter's magic into her to calm her down. She is entirely drunk on his stupid magic and can't think straight, so when tall, dark, and beautiful Jonah scoops her up, she kisses him. She's an idiot, but it wasn't her fault. And what does Jonah do? He kisses her back, knowing that his touch kills everyone. Of course, once he came to what little senses he had, he dropped her and watched her die with a sweet, happy smile on her face. Then he has the brilliant idea to feel for her pulse. . . through his gloves, the all-powerful genius that he is. Confirming that she's dead, he stands up, walks down to her workshop where she builds guitars, and steals one of the two guitars she'd constructed from her dead grandfather's supplies, possibly the most precious thing she has. . . because he wants to remember her through it. Now, Jonah killed Emma, and instead of being stricken with grief, he steals the thing she cared most about in the entire world. This is the hero of the story.
Continuing the saga of Jonah's amazing feats, at one point in the story the evil shades round up a group of little children at the top of a tower, and Jonah decides to save them. He rips a support beam from the tower and continues to 'beat them up into little bits of parts.' That was a direct quote from the book. Pure poetry, huh? Bits or parts wasn't enough, and he had to beat them up as well.
Here's another quote from the same page: 'It was a remarkably silent battle, save for the hiss of Jonah's staff, the whimpering of the children, and the clatter of bones.' Now, how is it a silent battle, if you can rattle off a list of sounds like that? And what the heck is with the clattering bones? Do the corpses suddenly spit out their skeletons when he hits them so that their bones can clatter to the ground while the rest of their bodies fall, apparently silently, elsewhere?
I can't count the number of times these corpses, most of them very fresh by the author's own words, mysteriously turn into skeletons instead of zombies. I can, however, offer another quote: 'Brendan shook his head, jarring several teeth free.' Now, this guy, Brendan, is a shade--a corpse. He's rotting, alright? But you know what? Teeth do not randomly fall out because the body's been dead for a few days. They are attached to the skull. That must have been some shake of the head, to have enough force for his teeth to fall out, huh?
Now look at this, from the same scene: 'The shade pivoted and threw the ax straight at the children. There was no time for a pretty save. Jonah spun, swinging his staff, and batted the flying ax out of the air.
Well. Maybe it was a pretty save. And now he had an edged weapon.' After that line, Jonah uses the ax in the fight, without it ever being said how he acquired it. So, apparently. he batted it out of the air with his staff. . . straight into his other hand? That's some kind of a move, Jonah. Also, he keeps using the staff as well as the ax, and I shouldn't have to explain how impossible it would be to use a staff in one hand and an ax--or anything, really--in his other hand. I'm sorry, but you can't use a staff like that. You can't hold one end of a big metal staff, because then it would be a worthless, unwieldy hindrance that could not be used as a weapon. You can't hold it in the middle like you're supposed to, because then you couldn't move it in more than a 90 degree angle.
I could point out probably a hundred things--and that is not an exaggeration--wrong with just this one battle, but this review is getting too long already. Still, though, the scene doesn't quite end. Remember those terrified children whimpering in the background? Well, after the battle one of them decides to start singing the most disgusting, idiotic song you will ever come across, in the hopes of calming the others down. She's singing about blood and gore in front of these little kids, and although it should give them nightmares and terrify them, Jonah thinks the song is. . . appropriate. You're such a sweet person, Jonah. ):
At this point, the police show up and see two hundred (literally, that's the number) corpses chopped into pieces--I'm sorry, little bits of parts--and the children trapped on top of the tower in the middle of this carnage. Probably every officer in the city surrounds the tower, complete with SWAT teams, so Jonah decides to leave. His method is climbing purposefully down the tower and walking away. . . and he isn't found until he's a hundred feet away, when one lone officer spots him. Jonah is covered in the blood of two hundred corpses and is carrying a bloody, quite serviceable ax, and what does the genius say? '"It's cosplay," Jonah replied, scraping up a bit of charm, touching the ax. "A costume. You've heard of the annual zombie walk, right? I do the slayer podcast."' He, who is covered in real blood and carrying a real ax, is standing next to a field of corpses, and probably smells of rot from fighting a horde of zombies, and he says he's doing a cosplay. . . and the officer believes him. Does a single person in that world have a brain?! UGH.
So, Jonah, perfectly free to be on his way, drops the ax in a dumpster, walks into a diner, and orders coffee and pie. Without cleaning himself off in the least. It's evidently quite normal around there for people completely covered in gore to sit down and order supper, without so much as washing the blood off his hands.
Next, Jonah goes home, and guess what? He drops the ax on a table. Well, what do you know? Apparently, Jonah inadvertently discovered a sentient ax that teleports and/or clones itself, without ever noticing that it keeps reappearing in his hand. If only all zombie slayers were that lucky. . .
That wasn't the only time something mysteriously teleported, either. Once, Jonah walks into a room with rows of chairs set up in it, and notices that someone he knows, Mercedes, is sitting in the front row. He goes and sits in the second row, and Mercedes walks up from behind him on her way to the front row. Either he can tell the future (which wouldn't surprise me, since he can do everything else), or something unusual is going on in that room.
Alright, this review is waaay too long, so I'm going to leave it at that. I'm sorry, but for me, this series is over--and it has been for a long time.