In arc review

ARC REVIEW: The Lady Rogue

Title: The Lady Rogue
Author: Jenn Bennett
Genre(s):  Young Adult, Fantasy
Release: September 3rd, 2019
Rating: ✭✭✭/5

"He said the beauty of travel was that if you never came home for long,
 you never had to face your problems. 
There was always another town, another country, another treasure to distract."

Pitched as The Last Magician meets Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Jenn Bennett's latest YA Fantasy novel The Lady Rogue immediately peaked my interest. As is hopefully well-known, The Gentleman's Guide is one of my all time favorite YA books, so I'm always on the hunt for something that could potentially give me that same feeling. I'd also previously read a few of Jenn Bennett's contemporary YA's, and her writing style is right up my alley. Needless to say, I couldn't wait to dive into this one!

What is this book about?
The Lady Rogue is quite different from Bennett's usual YA's. This fantasy follows Theo, who is hungry for adventure. Having been under her father's protection her whole life, she longs to discover and explore. Together with her once-upon-a-time-lover Huck, the two embark on a trip through a Gothic Europe to find a ring that belonged to the infamous Vlad the Impaler. 

“I’ve yet to hold the devil’s handiwork. 
Everything evil I’ve found was made by human hands.”

What did I think of The Lady Rogue?
First of all, this book reads like a dream. As I mentioned in my introduction, Bennett's writing style is completely my cup of tea in the sense that it's fast paced and very witty. I find that the lighter undertone and the comedic moments mixed with the slightly heavier fantasy setting provides a very nice balance. In that way, it's also indeed very much like Gentleman's Guide as the comparison blurb mentions. I'm someone who very much enjoys speedy fantasies, fantasies where the world-building doesn't generally take ages, and I'm able to immediately jump into the story. This, then, absolutely was one of those.

Now for the negatives: where this book loses some points is the plot. The plot of The Lady Rogue reminded me a lot of Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. It has the historical setting, and the subject too is Dracula's lineage. However, contrary to HPD, I didn't find this to be too groundbreaking or original. Some of the plot-points and problems felt a little contrived and were solved a little 'too' quickly. The ending too, is kind of underwhelming and solved the major issue of the book in what feels like seconds. This all meant that a large part of the story didn't really manage to capture my full interest, and I wasn't shocked by any of the revelations or the major twists (because they were already solved by the next chapter!)

Then, the reason I'm giving this book such a high rating is be far characters. Huck, to start with, provided such a refreshing take on the stereotypical YA love interest. He's witty, cocky, but also somewhat of a scaredy cat, which adds a humorous layer to his character. However great Huck is, the real star of the show was the female protagonist Theo. Theo's witty, quick way of thinking and her fiery personality really made the story come together as a whole. Her somewhat impulsive perspective in combination with Bennett's writing style provided such a nice reading experience that pulled me into her as a characters despite the plot not being that interesting. I really enjoy the way Bennett builds and portrays her characters, and because of that, this book almost read like a movie at times.

All in all, I think the main issue with this book, hence why I didn't give this a full 5 stars, is that the plot was too weak for a standalone. When I read a standalone, I expect to be blown away by the plot and world-building since you have less time for build-up. The plot thus has to pull you in. In conclusion, whereas the writing was great and did keep me reading, the storylines weren't original enough to justify a five-star rating. I overall really enjoyed The Lady Rogue and do give it a solid 4 stars thanks to Jenn Bennett's way with characters and her witty writing style. This was, however, definitely a nice fantasy debut, and I hope to see a longer fantasy series in the future! 

*Thank you to Netgalley for this Advanced Review Copy!

Related Articles

Powered by Blogger.