Friday, February 7, 2014

Book review: Venture Unbroken by R.H.Russell

Incredible finish to a great trilogy!

NOTE: I received the ARC from the author. Thank you!

So, there is no way this review will be free of spoilers. I'll try to keep it as clean as possible, but some things need to be mentioned. Just keep that in mind.

Writing style:
Just like the previous two books in this series, I have nothing to say about that. I mean, it was clean, it was well structured. Every word oozed attention and emotion. It was incredibly written. So much so, that I didn't want it to end. Not really. Much like Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices.

Story line:
This is the conclusion to this grand series. This is where we see how Venture Delving behaves after winning his title of Champion of All Richland. This is where we witness his - I can't call it downfall, because he was such a super GOOD guy, you know? - I guess I'm gonna go with demise. Not entirely appropriate, but partially at least, it was true.

So, here's the tidbit/spoiler I was talking about. Venture won the title. But he also won a LOT of POWERFUL enemies. He couldn't fight the way they did - dirty, unfair, bloody, with no honor. So when they put him in prison for no real reason but to satisfy their own EGO's, my heart broke. His too. And his soul was on the way as well. It was infuriating. It was seriously overwhelming. Reading about it was more like FEELING it seep through the pages. It was unbearable at times. Choking. Breathstopping.

Gosh, I hated and loved it at the same time. All ended well, but to get there... man! It took a while, lots of action, lots of fear, lots of variables that could've gone wrong. Intense - that's what I choose to call it.

Themes:
- in brightness there is dark; in darkness there is light
- even the strongest person CAN be beaten emotionally
- everyone has a breaking point
- love conquers all - or does it?
- friendship must be honored at all costs
- the rich and powerful can be taken down, just not the physical way.

Characters:
Like I said, Venture suffered a lot in this book. More than the other two combined. And it wasn't physical either. It was emotional and mental. He was going nuts at one point and I just wanted to go grab him and tell him to get himself together. But truly, if I were in his place as others had been... I wouldn't have lasted a week, let alone the many months he endured. He was an admirable young man. Honestly, I could only bow down and say "Thank you for not giving up." Because honestly? Most books aren't about the characters, but about the action, the adventure, the STUFF going on. These books were about the characters. Venture, mostly, but the rest of them too, and I loved the focus on the person, the individual and how that STUFF that was going on changed him/them to fit or to fight. I loved that Venture decided to fight. He is a hero.

Jade changed as well. She was not the little girl, blinded by what everyone told her. No. She now saw reality. She saw the rich and the powerful. Their twisted sense of power and rights. I sensed her desire to fight - not only physically - but for the cause of the bonded people, who practically had no rights at all to defend themselves. I loved it that she stood strong if not by Venture's side, then really really close. As close as that prison cell could let her.

Dasher... I thought there, just for a moment, that he might pursue his feelings for Jade while Venture was locked up. But he proved to be a true friend. I loved him even more for that. A respectable man is always needed. A respectable and honorable friend? Unchangeable.

I can say the same about Earnest, really. He and Dasher did whatever they could to get Venture out and back on the mat.

Grand Fieldstone, Jade's father, finally came to his senses. I respected him in the other books. Here? I admired him.

If you want to know why I loved these books so much, go buy them and see for yourself. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

My rating is