Dark Horse (Class 5 #1) by Michelle Diener Review

mediakit_bookcover_darkhorseI’ve enjoyed the historical fiction novels by Michelle Diener and decided to give this a go. It was okay, but it didn’t even come close to blowing me away.

For one, the beginning was very abrupt, so much so that I checked whether it was indeed the first page of the first chapter and once that was done, then I checked to make sure that I was reading the first book (should have probably done that first though) So yes, the beginning was strange, it picked up right in the middle of an escape. It was jarring because as far as introductions though, it’s a bumpy method. Throughout the book, there was also never a sense of true danger, I was never worried about the two main characters which lowered the stakes considerably.

Rose McKenzie was okay as a character. There were things about her that were done well, for instance, I liked that she was cautious even with her rescuers. She didn’t automatically trust them. She was also inventive and proactive and didn’t sit around waiting for stuff to happen.

Dav Jallan wasn’t bad either. He was drawn to Rose from the beginning but also knew that she was keeping things from him. And yet, he never pressured her to tell him. He was calm and reasonable when she finally told him everything. He was even understanding as to why she kept things from him. He was genuinely protective of her without being overbearing.

Sazo was probably my favourite character in the book though. I liked that we saw him grow and develop a sense of self.

Dark Horse wasn’t a bad book per se, it’s just it can feel quite underwhelming and while the characters aren’t bad, they weren’t particularly interesting either.

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Currently Reading and Watching

I’ve been in a reading slump of late, partially becauseĀ  I was working and partially because I couldn’t pick what to read. Since my project ended, I’ve picked up two books (by the same author and dropped them both) The first was, The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova and gave it up because it was very slowly going nowhere. It was slow and dull and I didn’t care for the characters either. Also, rainbow coloured dragons! Give me a break. Then there was Air Awakens, also by Elise Kova which was marginally better but also super slow and I just didn’t care enough to stick around.

I am now reading Dark Horse by Michelle Diener. I’ve been a fan of Michelle Diener and love her historical fiction titles. This is a completely different ball-game considering its sci-fi so let’s see how it turns out. I’ll explore that in the full review.

In other news, I started watching two new shows, Emerald City and Riverdale. Emerald City is the re-imagination of The Wizard of Oz and, apparently it’s more faithful to the books. So, if you’re expecting to see shades of the Judy Garland version, you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re prepared to watch something different, then it’s not half bad. Dorothy’s character is played by Adria Arjona, a Hispanic actor and there are a number of women in powerful positions. There is also a character who is bi and so far has been in no danger of dying. There is also a character who is physically a girl but identifies as a boy, but its a whole lot more complicated than that and so far the show seems to be handling that well. This is also a Tarsem Singh project, so the costumes are visibly amazing and one of the best parts of the show.

Riverdale premiered the first episode on the 26th so it’s only been a few days since it first aired and with just one episode down, is somewhat hard to judge. To be honest, I haven’t read a lot of Archie comics so I’m not quite as invested as the die-hard fans and the readers who’ve stayed with the comics so far. Having seen the first episode with realistic expectations, I was pleasantly surprised that I actually quite liked it. Sure there was a bit of shameless queerbaiting, and that’s all it was since the actors have since come out and said that the characters are straight (at least for now) and don’t have romantic feelings for each other. My favourite part of the show were Betty, Veronica and Jughead. I really liked that Betty and Veronica were supportive of and communicated with each other. I loved that Veronica was observant enough to see when Betty was getting stressed out. I was also glad that she wasn’t just another mean girl. I want these two girls to be friends. I am sick and tired of seeing women fight each other all the time in films and television (with the exception of a few shows.)

Then there was Jughead. I have no idea if the show is going to make him asexual and we saw so little of him in the first episode that it was hard to tell anything from the little we saw. But he seems like the kind who’s going to start sniffing around Jason’s death. Archie was ok, physically attractive but dull in terms of personality. But I liked the overall tone of the show and the fact that there’s more to these characters than what we expect. All in all, it was a surprisingly good pilot.