Review originally posted on Bibliophilia, Please.
I've been burned a lot lately with the indie books that I have agreed to review, so The Exemeus
was a pleasant surprise. The story was way
different than what I've come to expect from "fantasy" or "dystopia" tags. The characters were also odd, but easy to relate to. The humor that permeated the novel was fantastic, and the story itself reminded me a tiny bit of The Neverending Story
The prologue of the novel confused me a little. I thought that The Exemeus
would be a fantasy novel similar to Daughter of Smoke and Bone
(okay, maybe it was the blue hair), but almost immediately in chapter one we meet Dephon, a high schooler who is terrorized by the football team and failing math. The way that The Exemeus
was able to stand apart - nay, outside - of the typical YA genre made the story something unexpected and fresh. Yes, there was dystopia, but high school was still high school, and it sucked.
What reminded me of The Neverending Story
in The Exemeus
is that when Dephon began reading The Exemeus
(the book that the story takes its name from), he could see past events as he read them. (There was also an annoying female associated with the book, but that's about the extent of Mallea's resemblance to the Childlike Empress.) He was able to see his mother's own awkward high school moment when she woke up a beautiful Asian one morning after going to bed a dirty blonde. (No, she wasn't literally
dirty! It was her hair color! *sigh* Nevermind.) I would have been hard-pressed to take it in stride like she did. Of course, there was a lot more too The Exemeus
than that, but I snickered at it. A lot.
The one problem that I did have with The Exemeus
is that it was so long. Don't get me wrong, I love a huge book as much as the next person, but I think this one would have been better served to have some of the content shaved or split into another volume. The names also killed me on the inside, just a little bit. I try not to complain about it too much, but some of the names in fantasy kill me. Let's take Hyalee for instance - my brain wanted to read it as Haylee, and then it would go crazy because it's spelled wrong! *flails* And the twins, Singleton and Dupleton... *stares* Really? Yes, I know I'm being nitpicky, but it took away from my enjoyment of the book.
So weird names and it being über-long aside, I think The Exemeus
was a great read. If you're looking for something unlike most of the options being offered in the book world, I suggest you pick this one up!To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher or author through CBB Book Promotions in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.