Monday, November 19, 2012

Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst

Publishing Details

Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult 
Recommended For: Readers who enjoyed Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Buy: B&N|Amazon


Liyana has trained her entire life to be the vessel of a goddess. The goddess will inhabit Liyana’s body and use magic to bring rain to the desert. But Liyana’s goddess never comes. Abandoned by her angry tribe, Liyana expects to die in the desert. Until a boy walks out of the dust in search of her.

Korbyn is a god inside his vessel, and a trickster god at that. He tells Liyana that five other gods are missing, and they set off across the desert in search of the other vessels. For the desert tribes cannot survive without the magic of their gods. But the journey is dangerous, even with a god’s help. And not everyone is willing to believe the trickster god’s tale.

The closer she grows to Korbyn, the less Liyana wants to disappear to make way for her goddess. But she has no choice: She must die for her tribe to live. Unless a trickster god can help her to trick fate—or a human girl can muster some magic of her own.


Okay, okay, I have to admit: this book was okay-ish. Not bad okay-ish. But okay okay-ish. Here's why:

Sarah Beth Durst's idea intrigued me from the start. Hot gods? Vessels? Desert? Count me in! Flipping through the first few pages, I knew this was a book I would like. And, though I didn't immensely love it, Durst mostly delivered. The action was good, writing superb, the characters relatable, and the romance was, you know, bearable. But elements were missing. The plot began as this amazing idea, but then kind of snowballed into a story that underwhelmed, with a lot of repetitiveness and confusing twists and turns. The fantasy aspect of this story was a bit ridiculous, with Korbyn and Liyana's powers kind of almighty. It was hard to imagine a situation that they couldn't get out of with the use of their magic, which really undermined the whole survival aspect of the novel. And a sloppy love triangle was kind of interwoven into the whole thing, which did try, really hard, actually, but failed to leave an impression and only left the reader a bit confused and a bit "Um, you ended up with this guy?"

But, there were some good parts, of course. Vessel was this first book in a while that kept me wanting to pick it up again and again. The world is extremely rich, with myths and culture and legends that weave seamlessly into the story. The colorful cast of characters were entertaining and delightful, even. Durst's writing is poetic and was beautiful to read.

Vessel is a haunting novel filled with philosophical notes that question religion, love, and sacrifice. Overall, I thought it was a lovely story, but it is a book, I feel, that could have had a bit more sustenance to bring to the world a more satisfying and fantastical read.



GReat review! sounds like an interesting read...will check out!

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