Crystal Kingdom

Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: The Kanin Chronicles #3
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Oh, Amanda Hocking.  Why is it that, no matter how played out or disjointed your plot is or how juvenile the writing, I can’t stop reading your books?  I started Crystal Kingdom yesterday, and only took a break to finish Ink and Blood before coming straight back to this story.  It doesn’t matter how annoying I find Bryn and her narrative sometimes or how unplanned out the plot feels (a polar bear?  Really???), I had to know how this series ends (the ending by the way, is a bit underwhelming, even if it does wrap up nicely).

I think the fundamental problem that I have with this series is that it plays off my love for the Trylle series.  It wasn’t that the Trylle was a groundbreaking series itself, but it was an interesting world.  And sure, those characters and plot suffered from a few of the same flaws, but the good and originality outweighed the bad.  If the Trylle series wasn’t linked to this one, and if Wendy and Loki didn’t make guest appearance, I doubt I would have even finished the series.  But maybe I would have; who knows.

Here, I just feel like Hocking is letting us down.  For one, the writing is far from stellar.  At least for the first few chapters, Hocking tries to make each chapter end on some dramatic last line, which leaves it feeling rather disjointed and over emphasized.  Then, as if to make up for the less than stellar dialogue that feels juvenile, Hocking throws in a few curse words and a random sex scene to try to make it “relevant” to young adult readers.  The lack of research in some areas and attention to detail got to me as well.

So in the end, yes, I’m disappointed with The Kanin Chronicles as a whole.  I doubt I’ll be buying this trilogy to add to my collection.  It can stay at the bookstores and libraries, next to the Watersong series.  That being said, it could have been worse.  After all, it kept me reading all three novels through, and finishing it didn’t make me want to tear my hair out like Watersong did.  It just also could have been much, much better.  But I haven’t given up hope on Hocking completely yet.


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