S. C. Flynn

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Children of the Different

Children of the Different

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Erschienen am 19.09.2016

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Rezension zu "The Hidden Face (The Fifth Unmasking Book 1)" von S. C. Flynn

Rather disappointing
Cattievor einem Jahr

The Hidden Face is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series by S.C. Flynn and my second book by the author. I enjoyed Children of the Different, however, The Hidden Face failed to thrill me and I was oftentimes about to abandon it.


But first things first, I enjoyed the setting. Even though it is fantastical, it reminded me of ancient Greece and the Greek mythology. I could really imagine I was somewhere warm and sunny, bathing in a stream or travelling on horseback. Furthermore, I liked the female warrior Sunniva, more than the male protagonist Dayraven. She takes matters into her own hands and while Dayraven comes along a little bit whiny sometimes, Sunniva is tough and determined. Even though it is only a small aspect, the novel includes a list of characters and a chronology of the setting which I find very useful.


Still, there were major aspects I disliked. Most of all, I could not get into the story and find access to the characters. Sunniva is overly sexualised in some scenes and I do not see this as pivotal to the plot. The story would have well worked without her being reduced to her body. Other parts of the novel show that this is possible and Sunniva is an independent woman and a good fighter making any such reduction not only counterproductive but unnecessary. Thus, I was disappointed when reading her being exposed to the male gaze in that way.


Moreover, the writing was at times rather obvious and failed to thrill me. Especially one scene that included a series of riddles that had to be solved is more boring than exciting and the outcome is already foretold in the beginning. While the different ways in which the riddles have to be solved are interesting enough, the scene lacked passion and emotion. I believe this to be partly due to the fact that the novel tells more than shows. In my opinion, the dialogue is rather halting and emotionless and, thus, the story would have benefitted from being narrated to the reader more than being told by the characters.


I also wish the story world would have been more extended. Despite the outlines of the world being huge, we only get to see a small bit of it in the story and the centre on Sunniva and Dayraven, although understandable and needed to bring the story forward, could have included a little more of the setting and to provide a bigger picture. I would have enjoyed reading more about the societies of the different cultures and have more characters interacting with one another. Nevertheless, I believe that Flynn will write more about these aspects and extend them in his sequels, so this is something I am looking forward to.


All in all, I believe that some characters and the story have potential, but I fear this was not fully exploited and there is definitely room for improvement regarding the writing style. I really tried to give The Hidden Faces a chance, but as it turned out the story just did not connect with me.

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Rezension zu "Children of the Different" von S. C. Flynn

A Dystopian Story Set in Australia
Cattievor 2 Jahren

I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for that.
My review can also be found on my blog.
I rarely read books set in Australia, so I was very glad that Children of the Different is set there. Moreover, it was refreshing to read a dystopian novel set in an existing country other than the USA (or being based on that). The mentioning of gum trees and the like constructed a scenery of Australia that was nice to read about. 

In addition, the inclusion of mobile phones, computers and other technical innovations that are rarely featured in dystopian novels (at least the ones I have read) worked well. The mentioning of Perth and how it used to be, e.g. referring to modern-day Perth, made the impact of the Great Madness even more visible. As I have never been to the city myself I cannot really say if you would recognize outstanding features of the city, but I can very well imagine that to be the case.

We immediately get introduced to the two protagonists of the story, the twins Arika and Narrah. Gradually, their world is revealed, and with it the hard life that they live. However, I had difficulties getting close to any of the characters. While I do not specifically dislike Arika and Narrah, I do not find them really likeable either. Toura and Zehra were the two characters I found most interesting, because they are mysterious and even though not much is revealed about their past, they are still well-rounded off. They are two strong female characters who take their faith in their own hands and try to save their people and friends. Zehra slightly fell out of favour when she forced Arika to come with them, but I believe she had good reason for her actions and in the end made up for that, too.

The first half of the novel proceeded rather slowly. It could not grip and captivate me like I hoped it would. Luckily, this changed in the second half, once Narrah reached Perth and Arika met the Hermits. The story took up speed and I forgot the time while reading, as I wanted to know what happens next and even got more involved in the characters. Therefore, I believe the lack of interacting characters in the beginning did not do the story a favour. I am aware that it takes time to establish them, but Arika and Narrah were not able to carry the story on their own. They stayed more one-dimensional and their full potential was not exploited. The plot needed more people to bring it forward, just like the twins needed help from others on their missions to find each other and a cure for the Great Madness.

What I could still not get into was the Changeland. At first, I thought the whole story would be set in there and was glad to read about Arika and Narrah both coming out of it more or less unharmed. In my eyes, the Changeland did not bring the story any further and was uninteresting to read about. While the idea is good, its implementing lacked tension and a twist. The Anteater was a bit ludicrous to me and the Ferals were much more of a threat to the characters. They reminded me of zombies, such as the walkers in The Walking Dead, which I enjoyed.

Children of the Different is an enjoyable dystopian story with a nice setting. While the first half drags along rather slowly, the second half is much more entertaining and thrilling. There is definitely room for further sequels and exploration of the characters.

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