Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sing Sweet Nightingale (The Dream War Saga, #1) by Erica Cameron

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Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

* * *
This was a hard one for me to rate. On the one hand, there were things about it a really liked, and on the other...there was Mariella. Yup. I hated an entire character, which almost never happens to me. I mean, I guess by the last chapter she was ok, not so bad, but for the rest of the book.... Here's the thing about her, she's been made to believe that she was miserable growing up and sad and lonely all the time when in fact she wasn't. This is a good premise, and with this knowledge I can see why she'd buy into Oran's whole spiel, not to mention the fact she's known him for pretty much ever. BUT that's not expressed until more than halfway through the book, so for the first half of the book she just comes off selfish and whinny and I couldn't even bring myself to feel bad for her. Honestly, I wanted her to get killed or whatever at the end just so Hudson could move onto someone else. That's how annoying and arrogant she was. I feel like if we'd gotten more about how she had this entire horrible fabricated childhood it would have been different, but because it came too late in the game it couldn't change my opinion of her. It's sort of like what happened to her with Oran. I'd spent so much time by them believing she was awful that I couldn't believe that she wasn't once I was told. There were moments where she'd get angry with her parents for not noticing she was trying to communicate with them through their scrabble game. Only, she's the one who decided not to speak. Ever. She has no right to get mad at them for not recognizing she's attempting to use a different form of communication, especially when we already know they had to twist her arm just to get her to learn sign language and spend time with them. She also thinks about how she doesn't want to hurt them and feels bad for it, but doesn't once feel guilty over the fact she's planning on leaving and never coming back.
Honestly, the saving grave was Hudson. It sort of felt like their POVs were being written by two different authors even, that's how good Hudson's parts of the story were. And not just because of his character, but also the other characters and how they all reacted. Whenever we met someone through Mari's eyes, they seemed flat and almost trope-like, but everyone in Hudson had personality and drew my attention deeper into the story. Hudson is also the opposite of Mari, in the sense that he's selfless, and always has been. He's also patient and acts more like an adult that she ever does. The only issue I had with his part of the story was that it never really gets made clear what "answers he's looking for". It keeps being mentioned that there are some, and that he hasn't gotten them, but I mean, we know why these creatures are doing this, how, what they're called, and where they come from by the end of the book. What other questions could he possibly have? I did really like the ending though, and really hope that we get another book focusing on these particular characters (because book two is about other characters who, kind of unbelievably, are related to these ones...yeah). I might read book two anyway though, because I really did enjoy it every time I read Hudsons parts.
All in all, I would recommend as it was creative and a fast read. I'm attaching my Reading Progress from Goodreads to give you a better idea what I mean about Mari.

Reading Progress
09/20 marked as: currently-reading
09/20 page 29
7.0% "So far the only issue I have is how damn naive she already is. I mean, I don't care how hot you are or how long I've known you, if you ask me to hurt my family I'm going to question it. Not talking for no reason? Hurts them. Why isn't she more suspicious of such a ludicrous request? It'd be a simple matter of him being like, hey just don't talk about this. On I somethings up."
09/20 page 51
13.0% "She's worried about hurting her moms feelings....yet she basically plans on running away and never coming back again......huh? Honestly, I really like Hudson but I'm hating Mari."
09/20 page 71
18.0% "I. Hate. Her.

It really doesn't help that he got shitty parents and came out selfless and she has great parents and came out selfish. Like, so much so, that I wouldn't be surprised to find her picture next to the word in the dictionary."
09/20 page 76
20.0% "Pay attention! He's not saying you'll never HAVE to, he's saying you'll never.

I don't usually rate books this way, but if I were to give it a rating right this second, I'd rate 5 for Hudson and -1 for Mari."
09/21 page 211
56.0% "The sad thing is I think I would love this book, if it was only told in Hudsons POV. I can't stand Mari. Even the attempts to make her seem more human and caring fail miserably. I get that she's been brainwashed since she was young, but she's also painted as this intelligent strong willed person and I just don't see that. She just seems selfish, naive, and moronic."
09/21 marked as: read

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