Starling by Lesley Livingston

StarlingTitle: Starling

Author: Lesley Livingston

Genre: Mythology/Paranormal/Romance

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 352

Rating: 2.5/5

Mason Starling is a champion fencer on the Gosforth Academy team, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Not until the night a ferocious, otherworldly storm rips through Manhattan, trapping Mason and her teammates inside the school. Mason is besieged by nightmarish creatures more terrifying than the thunder and lightning as the raging tempest also brings a dangerous stranger into her life: a young man who remembers nothing but his name–the Fennrys Wolf. His arrival tears Mason’s world apart, even as she feels an undeniable connection to him. Together, they seek to unravel the secrets of Fenn’s identity as strange and supernatural forces gather around them. When they discover Mason’s family–with its dark allegiance to ancient Norse gods–is at the heart of the mystery, Fennrys and Mason are suddenly faced with a terrifying future.

Set against the gritty, shadowed back-drop of New York City, this first novel in award-winning author Lesley Livingston’s epic Starling Saga is an intoxicating blend of sweeping romance and pulse-pounding action.

I enjoyed Lesley Livingston’s first trilogy, the Wondrous Strange series, and was excited to read this spin-off that partially centered around a secondary character from the Wondrous Strange books. Unfortunately, this book didn’t entertain me nearly as much.

Much of the blame has to be on the protagonists, Mason Starling (despite the fact that all the Masons I’ve ever known are boys, this is a girl, which took a little getting used to for some reason) and Fennrys from the Wondrous Strange books. I liked Fenn in the original trilogy, it was the main reason I wanted to read this new series, but apparently I prefer reading about him, especially when he’s the interesting second love interest who has no chance but you hope he’ll win the girl in the end anyway. Unfortunately, when you’re reading from his point of view half the time, often thinking about the irritating Perfect Mason, it gets quite annoying. And Mason in general just annoyed me. I like the fact that the clichéd mean girl started to get more character as the book went on but Mason still mostly looked down on her. Mason was really quite judgmental in general, especially of her older brother. I kept hoping that the author would twist the character so that it seemed he was maybe the horrible person Mason quite loudly thought he was but would end up being a good character, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

It also doesn’t help that this book involves mythology. Now, I love mythology, especially Greek and Norse mythology. Norse mythology was just one of the many included in the book, but that made it worse when I didn’t enjoy the book. If I have a book about mythology then I want to read about the mythology not the boring romance that I don’t care about. The combination of different cultures’ mythologies had the potential to be such a great story and it just wasn’t, which made it even worse.

There’s a “twist” ending but unless I hear really, really good things about the second book, I don’t think I’m going to bother since this was one of the first books I’ve read (not for school, that is) where I’ve mostly skimmed because I just need it to be over.



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