2 Apr 2018

Review: Rebel Song (Rebel Song #1)

'' ''But only if you promise me something.''
He nodded.
''Stay alive.''
''I will.''
Easier said than done. ''


From Goodreads:
A reluctant hero
A determined princess
The revolution that stands between them
The once prosperous European kingdom of Arelanda has been plagued with poverty and corruption since the failed rebellion tore it apart. Now, rebels stir again in the capital’s underbelly, vowing to depose the monarchy and overturn the unjust government.
Seventeen-year-old Rogan Elwood, son of a rebel leader executed for treason after the first rebellion, has borne a tainted legacy his entire life. As he is pulled deeper into conflict, Rogan must face his calling in the future of the rebel cause—waging his want for peace against his desire for vengeance. Everything changes when he falls for Elyra—beautiful, idealistic and determined to bring Arelanda a better future. She also just happens to be next in line to the throne—if the corrupt Minister General doesn’t beat her to it.
Caught in the midst of a budding civil war and surrounded by enemies on every side, Elyra and Rogan must fight to save themselves and their country—and choose between each other and their duty.

We have seen many heroes and heroines beat the impossible. We have seen them thrive during the hardest of times. And now we have seen what it actually is when you can do nothing but wait for the inevitable.
Let's start with the setting. The story is set in the 'real' world. There are no magical elements, no supernatural beasts to aid the people in their quests. Just the real world. The small kingdom of Arelanda used to thrive, but then rebellion crashed the already wobbly country down. The world building happens in the background slowly. There are many things that might confuse the reader because the reasons behind the decisions or events are not explained fully until further on. Because of this, I got too often mixed up about the time period Rebel Song is set in - is it in the present or int he past. I know it is set in the present time period since there are modern weapons and appliances, but sometimes it feels like the author forgot to utilize all those things. Like half the chapters are set in the past and half in the present time.

Rogan's character is what I enjoyed the most in the book. He tries his everything without being the insane-risk-taking-overly-macho-male lead. In the beginning, he is very modest in behaviour, not trying to attract attention to himself. Then, when he meets El, his character begins hatching to the more confident version we see later on int he book. What struck me as a bit odd thing, that at no point, Rogan didn't become someone I was attached to. Yes, I liked him, but (it pains me to say this) if he would die in the book (SPOILER ALERT: he doesn't) it would not crush me after that particular chapter had ended.

Looking back now, I realise, that I hardly got to know Elyra's character. She goes through multiple challenges in the book beginning from facing a corrupt government and not being taken seriously because she is a bit of 'a silly little girl' in the beginning. She does try to make a huge difference in her life and in the way the country is led, but most of the time she forgets that (how much do I hate this saying!) you need to learn to walk before you run. That saying actually defines Elyra well. She tries to run everywhere, but since she has no clue about the basics, she falls down.

The plot is a bit slow starter. It takes almost to the middle of the book before I could say that I know what is going on and what Rebel Song really is about. So a bit more, in the beginning, would keep the reader anticipated for what's to come. Then the latter half of the book. It's packed with action. Just speeding through event after event after event. You don't have time for breathing and don't even dream about bathroom breaks. That being said, yes, I liked the book, but I could have loved it.

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