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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NICOLE'S REVIEW: Prophecy by Ellen Oh

Title: Prophecy
Author: Ellen Oh
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: January 2 2013
Publishing House: HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780062091093
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked.


The greatest warrior in all of the seven kingdoms... is a girl of yellow eyes.

Kira's the only female in the king's army and she's also the prince's bodyguard. She's a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she's their only hope...

Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King's prophecy, but the legendary lost ruy treasure just might be the true key to victory. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy.

(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book)


I've always been interested in demons - demon lore, demon hunters and the like, so upon realizing that Prophecy would feature all that plus being set in a Korean-inspired era, then yes, I definitely had to give this one a go. 

Ellen Oh's Prophecy features Kira, the demon slayer who is bodyguard to the prince of Hansong and feared and hated by the people because of her strange yellow eyes. The prince she protects is not only her cousin but also the Dragon Musado - the warrior who will save them all from the horrific onslaught of demons. Thing is, the prince is nothing more but a mere boy and so Kira, being his bodyguard, has to keep a constant watch on the young boy as they go on a journey and battle demons, traitors and enemy soldiers all in their quest to find the Dragon artifacts that will help against this demonic invasion.

Prophecy's cast of characters barely managed to pique my interest. Kira, the protagonist felt underdeveloped, her character falling flat; and then I found the Prince, who admittedly is just a little boy, to be a spoiled little sod and I badly wished for the demons to just capture him and cart him off to be eaten. Jaewon and his sidekick, Seung, were the most interesting of the bunch - but not by much. They were flat, boring and lacking in personality, reasons as to why I could not really connect with them.

The plot is quite ordinary - searching for ancient and powerful artifacts that will unlock powers to tip the war in their favor against seemingly impossible odds with betrayal and conspiracy thrown into the mix. Sounds like something out of the Chinese history lessons I took up in high school minus the demons. I never liked those lessons. The world-building was sadly lacking and the action scenes were boring and uninteresting. There was a lot of blood, yes, and while I do like my fair share of blood and gore the lack of description made it less entertaining. The prose is stiff and stilted. It's a not very good translation of a Chinese (because it's something I can relate to) script into English - the dialogue is lackluster and lame and seemingly off. 

So it seems that Prophecy did not meet my expectations and I am sorely disappointed in this book. It's lack of interesting dialogue, action scenes that weren't just hack-and-slash descriptions and a dynamic cast of characters make me unable to give it a rating higher than 3. Does this mean that I won't be getting the next book? I'm not sure but I think that I'll be willing to give it a try. 



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