Title: The Charismatics
Author: Ashley R. Carson
Type: Fantasy, Adventure, Suspense, Action, Romance
Rating: 4 stars
I can’t shake this feeling that I’ve been lied to, nor that I’m partly to blame. I’ve spent my life following orders, never questioning Legalia’s decisions for me, for the world. I had food, shelter, better living conditions than most-why rock the boat?
Because you can choose between doing what is comfortable, or doing what is right, answers the small voice within me.
I was afraid of that.
An arranged marriage. A corrupt government called Legalia. A forbidden spiritual realm.
Duchess Ambrose Killaher was just seventeen years old when exiled to Shinery-a city of snow and darkness-to marry a man who despised her, finding her only solace in an invisible companion named Roan.
Now as the poor starve in the streets below and rebellious acts become a frequent occurrence, Shinery holds its yearly celebration to commemorate Legalia’s rule. But when Ambrose stumbles into a hidden courtroom and witnesses a violent murder, she is thrust into a secret world of the supernatural-one that could endanger everyone she’s grown to care for. With the help of a handsome stranger, Ambrose learns of the past Legalia has covered up, and that she alone possesses the power to stop their unspeakable plans for the future.
This book made me feel ecstatic, anxious, enraged, and depressed, not necessarily good for my mental health. Reading this book turned out to be one hell of a roller coaster ride, and I seriously wanted to either hug the book, or throw it on the wall :D. If you enjoy books that make you feel, this is definitely a read for you.
The book starts off with Duchess Ambrose, who lives a privileged life in Legalia. She has riches, beautiful dresses, and is sheltered from the outside world. However, her husband hates her and she has an invisible friend that no one else could see. Truth to be told, I was a bit puzzled by the first chapter of the book, since I had no idea how the author will build upon the story from this point. But I stuck to the story, and so far that was the best decision I have ever made this month.
In the beginning of the book, I first disliked Duchess Ambrose because of her cluelessness of the struggles of her people. I revised my point of view of her later on and started cheering for her throughout the whole story. I soon loved her character, even though she had her less-than-pleasant moments (crying about Vasser). Out of all the characters in the book, she had the best character development, and when she started fighting back against the government instead of being a puppet, I was elated to say the least. Duchess Ambrose is certainly one of the main reasons why I love this book.
The other characters are well-written as well, and their personalities shone throughout the whole book. There was such contrast between the characters, and their interactions towards each other kept me at the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading. Add to that the steampunk setting, and heaps and heaps of suspense and political intrigue, it was safe to say I was hooked on the storyline. One more thing about the characters. Evelyn. If there was a character that I would choose to hate on for the rest of my life, it would be Evelyn. I hated her so much, that I loved her. If that did not make any sense, pick up this book and read it. You will understand.
There were a few things that I wanted to change in this book. The first and foremost thing I wanted to edit in this book was the pacing. The pacing…just no. The moment I was introduced to the Charismata and Roanie, I wanted to bust out of my seat and find out more about them. This was not to be the case. I waited for one half (one half!) of the book to get on with the plotline. I could wait for a little while, sure, to read more about them, but to wait for one half of the book? No. No. Not happening. Moving on, the second thing I wanted to change ties back to my first point. The writing gets off track sometimes, and that makes me feel confused about where the storyline is going.
Other than that, this book receives 4 whole stars from me, since it’s just that good (one star off because of the pacing). I would certainly recommend this to my friends and family, and will look forward to the continuation of the series.