ARC Review: The Unspoken Name
I had high hopes for this book because so many people have loved it, but unfortunately I didn’t like this as much as everyone else.
The Unspoken Name
by A. K. Larkwood
Series: The Serpent Gates #1
Release date: February 11th 2020
Genre: Fantasy, Adult, LGBT+
What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.
DNF at 20%
I’m so disappointed that I didn’t love this book! Thank you so much to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC copy to read, but unfortunately I couldn’t finish the book.
I’ve seen so many early reviews of people RAVING about this book and I thought that I would be one of them, but unfortunately, 20% was as far as I could get.
The reasons why I couldn’t get past that point are:
– I was so confused as to what was happening, and the multiple worlds that you travel through a maze to get to wasn’t really explained. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t always need a laid out explanation, but they continue to mention ships in this maze and I don’t know if it means air ships, ships in water, or space ships!
– Csorwe seemed like such a flat character with no personality, ambitions, wants, or needs. This means that I couldn’t connect with her and to top it off, she was kind of rubbing me the wrong way how she just does nothing.
– We are told things happen, but we don’t actually see it! For example, we are told that Csorwe is deadly and dangerous, but we never see that. There is a part where she spends a lot of time training with a group of mercenaries (but we aren’t shown her training, just told that it happened) and then after leaving them she suddenly mentions how she misses them but we never got to see how close she was to those characters to feel sorry for her that she misses them.
– The pacing was really weird, the first 20% of the book covers 2 years of Csorwe’s life. 2 YEARS. It’s really tough to get to know your characters with such a huge timeline in such a small portion of the book. I didn’t feel like I could believe anything the characters were saying they felt, because it felt so rushed and we were jumping all over the place.
– Also, this is a story with an orc as the main character. We are told about her tusks and the color of her skin and that her blood is a different color, but other than that, there isn’t anything to distinguish orcs from humans from…elves? At least, Sethennai has pointed ears so I’m assuming he’s an elf as we aren’t ever told that. I wanted to be able to really see the differences between the races, not just based on their appearance.
– I realize that since we are following Csorwe, she isn’t privy to all of Sethennai’s thoughts and behaviors, but I was hoping that after spending 2 years with him she would know a little more about the world around her and what they are even doing, at least enough to think about it so the reader can figure out what is going on because I was struggling.
– I found myself rereading paragraphs because I was reading them, but was so confused that I had to go back and reread those paragraphs to figure out what’s happening. It didn’t help me at all. In fact, I had to talk myself into getting to the 20% mark before DNFing this.
Usually when I DNF a book, I give it a low rating but I also usually get through more of the book than I did with this one so I won’t be giving this a rating. I really really wish that I had loved this book, but it definitely comes down to a case of just not for me. I’m happy that so many people are enjoying this though so far!