Friday, March 21, 2014

Book review: Firstborn by Lorie Ann Grover

Tiadone has been forced to live her entire life as a female accepted as male in her community in order to survive as a firstborn child. But when she needs to pass the rites of manhood, she finds the Creator may have use for her feminine traits after all.


NOTE: I received the book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

I honestly expected a lot more from this one and frankly, it had potential. But it failed to impress me because even though the themes were great, it lacked in writing and in well developed characters.

Writing style:
The story was told from a 1st person POV, with Tiadone as the narrator. However, everything felt so detached, as if nothing was affecting her, I was on the verge of dropping the book off my review list. I didn't, but was really close.

Story line:
This book is supposed to be a standalone, from what I gathered. But there's a cliffhanger in the end, and I didn't really like that.
The story as a whole had potential. It could've been developed way better, if things were explored deeper. No such luck.
There were several scenes that could've just been dropped, since they didn't have any consequence to anything at all.
Just when I thought that a scene would expand and lead to something exciting, it ended. It was frustrating, to say the least.

Themes:
-Living in a society that doesn't care about you unless you conform to its rules.
-Faith is the right/wrong deity
-The challenge to be yourself
-Forbidden love
-Women's rights

characters:
Tiadone(Tia) is a first born girl, declared male by her father, in order to survive. In this society, all firstborn girls are either killed or had to be declared male. Tiadone is the first to be declared, and she hopes that she'd give a better example to people to not leave their daughters to die.
As a result of who she is, everyone seems to distrust her, or despise her, or outright hate her. Even her best friend, Ratho backs away from her.
But Tiadone is braver and more capable than the other boys around her, and she's gifted with a special, rare bird as her companion.

Mirko, Tiadone's bird (a rapion, kind of like an eagle I guess, who has a special mental connection with their chosen human) is a special one. Unlike the other birds from his species, he actually sings.
He was smart and all, but there's one thing about him that stupefied me. How on earth can a bird smile? If anyone could explain that to me, please do.

Ratho is not only Tiadone's best friend, he's also the boy she loves. He distrusted her too, until she was brave enough to save him from a nest of (I think) rattlesnakes. Like every other village person, he was thickheaded and brainwashed by the Madronian society, laws and customs.

Tiadone's father... to be honest, I liked the dude in the beginning. He seemed to be strong and unwavering in his faith and the things he taught Tiadone. But then, he gave up all his beliefs and I wanted to punch him in the face. And they say men are the stronger gender.... yeah right. Tiadone went through so much more, and she still remained standing.

At any rate, I wanted to read the book, but was left extremely disappointed even though there was great potential.

My rating is