Reviews

Raybearer, by Jordan Ifueko

zarf1641's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful tense

4.0

time_travel_tragedy's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

This is probably my favorite book I read this year, which is saying a lot because I have read a lot of really good books this year. It reminds me a lot of Percy Jackson in terms of tone, which I loved because Percy Jackson was a childhood favorite of mine, but this book does have a main character that's 15, so don't think this is middle grade because I compared it to Percy Jackson. Anyway, it's got a found family trope which I found I love. It's got some lines that really hit me hard especially with the main characters relationship to her mother. It's also just such a unique story I have genuinely never read anything like it before in terms of concept. As soon as I can get the sequel, I will be devouring it. 

matheaandorsen's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

pearly's review against another edition

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5.0

I haven’t used this account, but I came back to say this book was such a delight to read omg... it gripped me from the beginning and held me until the end. I’ve read a lot of fantasy and even worse romances, but I felt like this book was rightings those wrongs, while being completely ignorant they existed in the first place. I love Tarisai, and there’s very few protagonists i’ll hold in the space that I do for her. Jordan Ifueko, you’re a delight.

shivali24's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional medium-paced

4.25

zymraay's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful inspiring mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

I love this book so much I read it in one sitting it is such a grabber and I absolutely cannot wait to get Redemptor soon 

wanderlight's review against another edition

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5.0

4.75/5

libbyco's review against another edition

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

4.25

leona's review against another edition

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adventurous hopeful lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

3.5 stars.
Raybearer follows a unique and fascinating world and culture that hasn't been explored much before. And whilst I really enjoyed this aspect and the overall atmosphere that was created, this book just wasn't anything really astounding for me. 

It's definitely an enjoyable, fun, quick book that was a good read, but the plot, characters and themes were all just very standard for me. I was initially really intrigued by the concept but I think I was just bored by some common tropes, like the chosen one, bad childhood, distant family etc. The pacing wasn't amazing and the plot was both predictable whilst also meandering quite a lot like there wasn't really an end goal. It didn't really have particuarly high stakes at all, until maybe right at the end, in which the problems / conflicts were solved pretty quickly with little consequences.

My other problem was the characters. For a book primarily about close bonds between 'coucil members' there was only really development from like 4 of the 11 members, the others were completely forgettable and irrelevant. Out of the 4 or so that we actually get to know (including our protagonist Tarisai), I didn't really like Kirah when she was first introduced for some reason, although she did get better, Sanjeet was okay,
Spoiler but his and Tarisai's romance wasn't developed amazingly well, it was a bit insta-lovey, and the only real chemistry for me was the fact that Tarisai helps him to sleep. Also the whole betraying Dayo thing and Sanjeet hating her, then forgiving her really quickly didn't feel right to me for some reason.
Dayo got barely any development or even that much page time, and all we really know is that he's a sweet kid and he's asexual (neither of which are really a personality!!). I thought the platonic friendship between Kirah and Tarisai was pretty well developed, but Dayo and Tarisai could have had a stronger relationship. I mean I just wanted them to give each other a massive sibling(y) hug.

The other thing that really weirded me out about the characters was
Spoiler this moment when Kirah shows up (conveniantly) to ease Tarisai's council sickness with Woo In (?) and they are having a thing? Did anyone else think that Woo In was like 50? He definitely seems considerably older than Kirah. It was just weird, and Tarisai just suddenly trusted him for no reason. I was so confused. Also back to what I said earlier about the stakes: the only character that dies is the Lady, who has a SaD bAcKsToRy so we are meant to feel sorry for her, but I didn't care that she died. It could have even been more gritty if Tarisai actually did kill Dayo, now that would be unexpected.
 

Many people have complained about the time skips, which didn't bother me that much, but some more time spent building the characters may have really benefited this book, or even if it was written in multiple perspectives, as we would at least be able to experience more of the other characters. 

My other annoyance with this book was a coupe of themes, especially the kind of feminist take. Whilst I found the author's exploration of gender inequality okay, I just don't feel like it really added anything to the conversation, or looked at anything that hasn't been done better many times before. Tarisai kind of just soaks up all the sexism, and people contemplating on her romantic relationships and acknowledge's that its bad and she wants change, but doesn't really do a whole lot. She doesn't really assert herself or actively challenge things (other than maybe when she crosses that fire pit and the very end of the book). A lot of people will probably disagree with me on this point, but I still think Tarisai just had the potential to be so much more kickass than she was, and just ended up kind of bland. 

Overall, I think I would recommend this book for something quick and fun in a cool fantasy setting based on African mythology, (and I should be reading the sequel) however, for me it was quite standard, and probably won't have much of a long lasting impact. (But I do think I would read other work with similar worlds, or future stories by this author once she develops more as an author.)

bluebirdreads's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0