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review 2014-07-24 20:35
The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

This is really hard to review because it ends with a cliffhanger. I think I would like it a lot better if I had waited for the next book in this part of the cycle. The story is interesting, but there is a lot of new world building stuff, which is confusing, and there is no resolution.

 

What I liked: 

 

I liked both Jonah and Emma. I liked getting a chance to revisit Trinity and see Seph and Madison Moss and Jack and Ellen. The concept of Thorn Hill and the Anchorage was interesting.

 

But what I didn't like outweighed what I did like:

 

Enchanter Heir is confusing. There are two many questions that remain unanswered (i.e., pretty much all of them) at the end of the book. Also, it is frustrating to not understand the powers of the Weir who were injured in the Thorn Hill Massacre. I am all for the mysterious subplot, but some progress toward a resolution really NEEDS to happen, or the reader just ends up annoyed.

 

Which is where I was when the book ended.

 

Therefore, I can recommend the first three books of the series. There may come a point where I will recommend this book in conjunction with the books to follow. But today, this isn't a completed narrative.

 

I will read book 5 when it is released because I want to know how this series ends. But I'm not happy about the way this one ended.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-12-01 16:09
Enchanter Heir Review
The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

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.

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review 2013-10-21 02:49
The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

Ummmm…….So I have decided to rate this as if it were just the first half of a book because that is what it seems to be. This is the first half or Part I of a much larger book in my opinion.

I love the writing style of Cinda Williams Chima, this is the eighth book by her I have read. That said this was really a departure from the prior three books of this series. It would almost be an entirely new series if it didn’t still have the same rules and some characters of the first three books. Although I was a little confused as to who mainliners were, just so you know they are all the people in all the guilds you learned about in the first three books of the series.

The Enchanter Heir is a complete departure from the initial story line of Trinity. About ten years before the Dragon Heir there was a massacre that left all the inhabitants of Thorn Hill, a sorcerer commune in Brazil, either dead or a mutant of sorts. The weirstones of all the survivors have been completely changed along with their powers. Unknown is whether it was a wizard attack on the commune or if the sorcerers accidentally poisoned themselves.

Jonah, an Enchanter, is a survivor of Thorn Hill, but it came with a high price. His skin is poisonous and thus he is forced to live a mostly untouched existence. He has become an assassin trying to find the answers of Thorn Hill hoping to save his brother as well as himself from the affects of the mutations.

Emma has had a slightly wild childhood. She was hidden away with her Grandfather and new nothing of her past. With him she became engrossed in the music world and making guitars. But when he dies of mysterious circumstances she finds the father she never knew and starts learning about a world of magic she didn’t know existed.

I liked Emma right away. She is a headstrong teenager and is a little wild yes but she is feisty and stands her ground. I love that in a female character. When she meets our hero Jonah and he is less than inviting she says

You know what? You’re damn pretty until you open up your mouth. You ought to keep it shut.”

There is also a vulnerability to Emma as she, like the other orphans of Thorn Hill are mostly alone. Jonah as an assassin you would think would be hard to like, but right away you see how reluctant he is with his natural poison gift and as an empath he fells the pains of those around him. He is desperate to be accepted and loved but pushes everyone away as he knows how deadly he really is. I couldn’t help liking the kid.

--it was such a small and simple pleasure—to talk to someone who didn’t know that the thing he was best at was killing. Leaving the pool-shark girl behind was like ripping off a scab and watching himself bleed.

As Emma and Jonah get to know each other there is a definite attraction and Emma wonders why Jonah is giving mixed signals. I like the forbidden love story, I’m a sucker for those and it didn’t really overshadow the rest of the plot.

There are cameos from all of the Trinity alums and the story involves them only a little as mainliners seem to blame the Thorn Hill victims for the sudden rash of wizards being killed. Things become heated as each side blames the other.

The reason I’m saying that this is like half a book is because there really was no resolution to any of the story lines happening. At the end it still isn’t clear what happened at Thorn Hill, I know who is killing the wizards, well probably, but I have no idea why, Lilith the leader of the shades (deceased Thorn Hill spirits that take over bodies) still hasn’t given her plan, I have no idea how Emma is tied into the whole thing and then there was a cliff hanger.

This really reads more of like a part I of II. I’m not saying that is necessarily bad it just really wasn’t expected from everything else I’ve read by CWC. This was an enjoyable read, I really just wanted more resolution to…..well anything.

So I will wait until the completion of part II also known as The Sorcerer Heir (book 5) to make my official judgment on The Enchanter Heir. As for now it is 3.5 Stars

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review 2013-10-16 13:00
Review: The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.

Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.

Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.

Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.

From Goodreads

 

 

Pop culture is my native language, so let me break it down for you like this: The Enchanter Heir is basically X Men populated with Tolkienesque characters, running around playing an urban Parkour version of Clue. The plot is a multilayered political murder mystery. Everyone seems to have a different agenda and is playing their cards close to their chests. You have ambiguous villainous types, luthiers (guitar-makers, yay for learning new words,) zombie ghosts and a ninja assassin strike team operating out of a boarding school.

 

 

Doesn't this looks awesome?

 

You should know going in that this is a reboot of a trilogy and though it’s helpful to have read the previous books, it’s not totally necessary. Cinda Williams Chima recovers the important facts, so don’t be afraid to dive in. Unless you’re nuts about spoilers, because it will reveal how some of the plot-lines were tied up. For those of you looking for a refresher, Cinda has a pretty helpful guide to the series on her website.

 

Cinda has a knack for making her worlds come alive and The Enchanter Heir is no exception. The book is set in Cleveland (C-towwwn! It’s my hometown, I can say things like that) and she works the grungy, midwestern, post-industrial vibe like a native. Much of this book is set in the Flats, an area that I often refer to as a Scooby-Doo ghost town and the perfect setting for an urban fantasy. After reading this book, I could not 100% guarantee you that there aren’t secret evil-fighting commandos operating out of the area, that’s how convincing she is.

 

Sidebar, my personal favorite part was this quote:

 

Jonah scarcely remembered the drive from Cleveland Heights to downtown…just that it seemed to take forever and cars kept getting in his way.

In the middle of a tense scene, Cinda Williams Chima takes a moment to side swipe Cleveland drivers. Having had my blood pressure driven higher than it was ever meant to go by the East side suburb to city center commute, it tickles me that she would take the time to call that out.

 

Though Jonah and Emma aren’t my favorite of Cinda’s characters, they banter like champs so I’ll mostly forgive them their flaws. They’re both a bit of a conundrum. On the one hand, Emma is fantastic. She takes care of her business and runs around refusing to take BS from anyone. On the other, she’s completely in the dark on a lot of what’s going on and makes a couple of questionable moves that don’t seem in line with how she claims to operate.

 

Jonah’s no different. He’s a tortured hero type with the power to kill with a touch and an empath on top of that. This makes him understandably standoffish but he’s still hard to get a read on. He definitely hates his power and the fact that it doesn’t allow him to get close, but he has zero problem using it as means of extricating himself from sticky situations. He also has an annoying tendency to leap to conclusions when it comes to whodunit and it’s going to get him in serious trouble, especially when combined with his favorite problem solving method.

 

The only major downside to The Enchanter Heir is that it is very much a first book. All of the things are introduced, plots set in motion, epicness is set up and then BAM. OVER. It is entirely possible this wouldn’t have bothered me as much as it did if the last three pages hadn’t thrown out a terrible cliff hanger. (It’s not technically a cliffhanger, no one’s hanging from a cliff in mortal peril, but everything abruptly went to hell and it feels metaphorically cliff-like all things considered.) It left me feeling like the book was mostly foreplay with an underwhelming climax and it’s a tad frustrating when that happens, amirite?

 

Reading this book is kind of like watching Pirates of the Caribbean, (the first one, before they got complicated and weird) there isn’t a whole lot to it but you get swept up in the adventure before you know what’s happening and end up totally immersed and enjoying yourself.

Johnny Depp

There’s never the wrong time for a gratuitous Johnny Depp gif.

 

P.S. In between writing and posting this review, I got to meet Cinda. She is super nice, hilarious and generally fantastic. She says she’s sorry about the ending but never fear, she’s working on the next installment and it’ll be out Fall 2014. Also, to all the doubters, there absolutely are salt mines underneath Lake Erie. Go buy her books because I want her to keep writing forever.

Meeting Cinda Williams Chima

 

This review also appears on Cuddlebuggery.

Source: cuddlebuggery.com/blog/2013/10/16/review-the-enchanter-heir-by-cinda-williams-chima
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text 2013-09-30 21:42
Waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting
Perfect Ruin - Lauren DeStefano
Across a Star-Swept Sea - Diana Peterfreund
Parasite - Mira Grant
The House of Hades - Rick Riordan
The Enchanter Heir - Cinda Williams Chima

October is shaping up to be a pretty good month for book releases (although not as good as September).

 

I am waiting for these to arrive on my kindle:

 

Perfect Ruin by Lauren de Stefano

The Enchanter Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund

Parasite by by Mira Grant

 

What are you waiting for?

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