A review by jessca
Namesake, by Adrienne Young


The story, the world, and the characters of Namesake all come together to make an intriguing tale. Where the story ends up is satisfying, although the journey was, at times, a struggle to get through. There are a few laughs, a few emotional parts, and a few surprises of varying degrees. Overall, a decent read.

Some of the individual characters and some relationships became more interesting to me, while others became less endearing due to choices they made throughout the book. Sneaking around to make decisions without group input became really irritating, and was too obvious as a means of pushing drama and strife into the story; it was excessive and made those characters less likable, the relationships less admirable. The reappearance of one particular character was pleasant
Spoiler Koy
, and I liked many parts of the character's arc, but there was one huge hole in the storyline related to this person, which really needed to be filled in for it to be believable (
Spoilerum, why did he never behave in any way as if he'd made a major threat to Fable in book 1, or explain why he wasn't behaving in such a way? How could the author/ editors let that just fizzle out with no explanation? His explanation of cutting the rope doesn't cover this gaping hole; the former threat needed to be directly addressed

Overall criticism: The duology relies too heavily on cookie-cutter plot devices and scenes that are written like "fictional character behavior 101", rather than actual, real human behavior. It didn't feel like stepping into someone's life, which I think the best books do; it felt very much like reading a book of standard fiction writing, and lacked sufficient immersive storytelling. There was also a lot from book 1 hinted at, which should have had more information here instead of assuming the reader remembered that whole book. I had to refer to it multiple times, and am thus glad that I own a copy. There are some mysteries that Fable 100% should have solved fairly easily, which are dragged out solely for the purpose of furthering the plot, which grated on me to have to read about; another example of noticing what the writer was trying to do, rather than being able to just be immersed in the story.

Even with my gripes, I am glad to have read Namesake, and may actually read the series again someday; it's just not one of my favorites, and I think it could have been written a lot better. 5-star story, 3-star execution.

Something on the cover that I thought was neat:
SpoilerAnyone else see the midnight in Fable's eye on the cover? That was kind of clever of them, I think.