Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: Warped

by Maurissa Guibord
Start Date: 19 August 2011
End Date: 19 August 2011
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 11th 2011

Summary (from Goodreads):
Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

My Review:
Warped wasn't a top-notch book, but I liked reading it. As it as a debut novel, I'm confident Guibord's writing will improve in future books. There was a lot I enjoyed about Warped. The main character, Tessa, felt real for much of the book and was consistently relatable. I loved the incorporation of mythology into the magic of Tessa's story. Thankfully, there are none of the regular old paranormals, but Guibord incorporated elements of mythology such as the Norns (also known as the Fates). I wish I could have had more story focused on the Norns. The parts that were included in Warped were very well done. Also, I liked Hugh's twist - I didn't see it coming but it definitely fit, and very cleverly too.  On that note, the whole ending was very well done. It was one of my favorite parts.

The three main complaints I have about Warped are about the romance, the character development, and the inclusion of unnecessary plot devices. As for the first, I didn't really see why Tessa and Will fell for each other (spoiler, but it's pretty inevitable, not to mention obvious, so I'm not hiding it). It's kind of bound to happen in a YA novel where there are male and female main characters, but I didn't really understand why Tessa and Will were attracted to each other. Tessa seemed to like Will just because of his looks, and Guibord didn't present Will's reasons at all. However, I was pleased that their romance developed very gradually - no insta-love here, thank goodness!

As for the second issue, none of the characters seemed as developed as I would have liked, and many I wish I could have read much more about. For instance, although the reader learns a lot about Tessa's mother, I'm not sure if her name is ever mentioned (at least, I can't remember it, and I read the book this morning). Similarly, Will got a lot of backstory, but as a character he seemed rather shallow. I also wanted to know more about the village girl whom Tessa dreamed through. It seemed like she should have played a much larger role than she did in the end.

Finally, some parts of the story felt a little too clich├ęd, and didn't seem to contribute to the main storyline. For one, I didn't feel it was necessary for Tessa's mother to be dead in order for the story to play out as it did. Yes, it shaped Tessa as a person, but somehow it didn't seem that important to how she reacted to the situations that arose. It's just such an overused plot device, and it seems like Guibord could have just as well left it out. I felt the same way about Tessa's father's relationship with Alicia. Tessa makes a big deal out of it, but ultimately it isn't that important. Also, the whole backstory to Tessa's name seemed to give more insight to her mother's character than her own. I didn't find it relevant to the story at all.

There were a few instances of cursing (both the spell kind and the "bad words" kind), but its very infrequent. Some readers might shy away from this, but Guibord uses swearing very little. Just so readers know what they're getting into.

Overall thoughts: I felt like all of the characters could use a little more developing, but I enjoyed reading Warped. I didn't want to put it down, and luckily I didn't have to. The ending is wonderful, and although I couldn't find any plans for a sequel, I will be looking for more by Maurissa Guibord. 

Also, I found a trailer on Maurissa Guibord's Goodreads page


Small Review said...

I agree. I liked the book, but I wanted more from the characters. I also could have done without the dead mother cliche.

Pica said...

I agree with both of those things, but I'm definitely looking forward to more from Maurissa Guibord. I think she has a ton of potential, and perhaps just needs experience. Warped could have been a fantastic book if she had only changed a few things, and I think (hope) eventually she will figure out on her own what those things are when she's writing future books.


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