6 February 2012
Daughter of the Centaurs by K.K. Ross
Release Date: January 24th 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Add it: Goodreads
Overall: ♥♥ 1/2
This book was strange to say the least. It's about a girl named Malora who ends up being the last known human in the world. Malora also has a way with horses (and this book kinda made me like horses a little bit - I'm terrified of their heads) and takes over her father's job as horse master.
I found the beginning of the story to be the best part of the book, however it was still quite strange. There are some creepy creatures called 'Leatherwings', bat-human hybrids that love eating horses and people. I loved the beginning because of the Leatherwings, I thought they were awesome enemies/predators and it really got me into the story. However, once Malora is cast out into the bush on her own, we don't really hear anything about them again which disappointed me because I thought they had such a significant part in the beginning, I assumed they would throughout the novel.
It took me a while to figure out whether this was set in the distant past or the veryyyyy-distant future. Turns out it's waaaay in the future! "'The earliest known examples of mosaics were found at a temple in Ubaid, in Mesopotamia, and they are dated to the second half of the third millennium.'" So we can assume from this sentence that they are in the fourth, or possibly the fifth, sixth, seventh millennium which is seriously insane.
As Malora lived in the bush (in Africa I'm assuming because of the animals), she finds stray horses and ends up with her own herd. After a few years combing the bush for food, killing lions, zebras etc etc and basically just surviving, she and the horses are trapped in a cave by centaurs.
The centaurs. Okay, they just weren't really interesting - they were very prissy and I imagine centaurs as fairly primitive and vicious. These centaurs basically live in luxury and lead peaceful lives. They have freaking mansions and gold trimming on everything. They also have little slave animals (that apparently LOVE slaving after them - like the house elves from Harry Potter) called Twani, these are cat-human hybrids that looked like a transparent fluffy white cat that could talk in my head - not a very pleasing image.
The thing that did my head in was the descriptions of the setting and the clothing (oh yeah, centaurs have to cover up their bits with magnificant cloth and whatnot). BASICALLY EVERYTHING HAD BLUE AND WHITE STRIPES. Including a lot of the Twani's clothing! So I ended up picturing this:
(Aren't my editing skills on Paint just AMAZING!) That was basically the image I got whenever the description came up and even when the freaking decorations were white and blue striped. Ugh.
Whilst I appreciated the world building, I wasn't a fan of the writing. It was written in third person (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE) but sometimes the POV would randomly switch in the book or in the middle of a chapter. When it first switched to Orion's POV, I had to do a double take, it just didn't flow.
Oops I lied, I appeciated but didn't love the world building. Apart from the centaurs, Twani and Leatherwings, there are apparently a whole assortment of hybrids... HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Was it the result of evolution? Magic? A scientific experiment? (This seems possible as I *think* it mentions something about a scientist, somewhere).
The middle of the book was pretty boring and consisted of Malora having hallucinations of Sky (by the way, where did he go) and some other random bloke whom we find out nothing about, eating bread and cheese and learning how to read and write. Towards the end, it doesn't get much better - she races a horse and becomes accepted by the centaurs and then BAM. It ends. Like, literally! The ending was so abrupt I thought I had accidently skipped some pages on my tablet. I would have much preferred a cliffhanger to such a boring ending.
"Herself and Father feel that I've been adversely influenced by reading far too many books about love. Ancients like Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen and Victoria Roberts and Danielle Steel and Nico Simonette and Shakespeare and Stephanie Meyer"
Dear God, no. No no no. You can't tell me that centuries, perhaps even thousands of years from now, that Stephenie Meyer will be considered one of the great writers of love. Just, NO. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen and Shakespeare I can understand because they've basically already proved themselves. But Meyer? The author may as well have put Nicholas Sparks down too. Pfft.
And one more thing that pissed me off - the centaurs constantly called Malora 'pet' and Orion said she was "his pet". She doesn't even complain about it!
Overall, I loved the concept of hybrids and how far in the future it is, however there are so many plot holes and things that just bugged me, that I couldn't enjoy this as much I would've liked to. I was quite disappointed.
I received this for review from Netgalley and this has not influenced my review at all (obviously.)