Thursday, June 20, 2013

Weather Witch (Weather Witch #1), by Shannon Delany

Barnes & Noble

In a vastly different and darker Philadelphia of 1844, steam power has been repressed, war threatens from deep, dark waters, and one young lady of high social standing is expecting a surprise at her seventeenth birthday party–but certainly not the one she gets!

Jordan Astraea, who has lived out all of her life in Philadelphia’s most exclusive neighborhood, is preparing to celebrate her birthday with friends, family and all the extravagance they might muster. The young man who is most often her dashing companion, Rowen Burchette, has told her a surprise awaits her and her best friend, Catrina Hollindale, wouldn’t miss this night for all the world!

But storm clouds are gathering and threatening to do far more than dampen her party plans because someone in the Astraea household has committed the greatest of social sins by Harboring a Weather Witch.

World-building is extremely important, whether you're creating a universe from scratch, or simply modifying a location for the purpose of telling your story.  The idea of Delany's Steampunkish world is compelling; the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

Within the first few chapters, we are treated to many details about Philadelphia and the individuals who reside there.  Many many many details.  It feels very much like an infodump: all of this data is presented to the reader with no relational map.  And the Proper Nouns.  Oh, the Proper Nouns.  Every new Thing or Group we meet is a new Classification.  And because all of these Proper Nouns are simply dumped into the reader's lap, one is left wondering how they all fit together.  While there is a plethora of information in one regard, there is a lot that seems to have been left out.  

I found it incredibly confusing and dense, especially considering it's a Young Adult novel.

I really disliked Jordan, our fearless (ha!) heroine.  The very first time we meet Jordan, she gives us a list of her faults and goes all emo on us because she's not perfect.  

I'm so tired of reading about I'm-so-pretty-but-I-think-I'm-ugly female characters.  It's such a stereotype in YA literature and I'm over it.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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