Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review of The Waking Land by Callie Bates

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review

Synopsis: "Lady Elanna Valtai is fiercely devoted to the King who raised her like a daughter. But when he dies under mysterious circumstances, Elanna is accused of his murder and must flee for her life.

Returning to the homeland of magical legends she has forsaken, Elanna is forced to reckon with her despised, estranged father, branded a traitor long ago. Feeling a strange, deep connection to the natural world, she also must face the truth about the forces she has always denied or disdained as superstition powers that suddenly stir within her.

But an all-too-human threat is drawing near, determined to exact vengeance. Now Elanna has no choice but to lead a rebellion against the kingdom to which she once gave her allegiance. Trapped between divided loyalties, she must summon the courage to confront a destiny that could tear her apart."

My Review:  Upon reading the synopsis this book sounded vaguely familiar but different enough that I wanted to give it a try. I have to say even with the interesting synopsis and beautifully detailed cover, the story itself fell rather short. I almost DNFed this book multiple times. The pacing is very slow, and not because it is building up to something either. We spend nearly 3/4 of the book following Elanna around as she waffles about who she wants to support, who she wants to be, what she believes or wants to do, all without knowing what exactly is going on. So basically she is in the dark, and so are we as the readers. We are always reading along the sidelines of the game changing events, always late to battles, hearing half whispered conversations, etc. until the very last battle so you aren't really invested in the outcome. The story also got lost with the romance, which should have stayed completely out of the picture because it came on sudden and then took over but with no real purpose in the long run. All in all this was really a long, slow read with no actual investment or excitement for the reader.

My Rating: This was really an unfortunate book, I so wanted to like it but it fell flat for me.  Everything about it felt undeveloped and incomplete, the world building, the characters and the overall point of book. I can only give this one a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can find out more about Callie Bates and her work on her Goodreads Page or Website.

The Waking Land was just released on June 27th so if you want to give it a try and see if it suits you better you can get your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


  1. Oh dear. Yeah, these slow moving plots with little direction are so annoying. Too bad. It sounded like it could have had promise.

    1. It really did have promise but there was no real direction and it is so frustrating to wade through an entire book like that, I don't mind if the plot is slow but it better be working toward something.

  2. Oh no! Sorry this one fell short. I'm impressed that you stuck with it. "Waffles about" is my new favorite phrase. Ha!

    1. Hahah, I must have been hungry when writing this review! I am shocked I stuck it out too, I almost gave up so many times.