Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

November 26, 2015 Review 34 ★★★

Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Del Ray
Source: Borrowed
Pages: 435
Release Date: May 21st 2015
Genres: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy, Fiction, General, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy
three-starsthree-starsthree-stars
“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.
This book may be unsuitable for younger readers due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence. Note that this review itself does not contain any inappropriate material.
alise

I was so sure I would fall in love with UPROOTED I almost purchased it before I had the opportunity to check it out at the library. It sounded like it was made for me and I was convinced I’d adore it. Sadly, it was like THE FIFTH WAVE all over again-another book that everyone loved and yet found myself wanting to DNF.  I stuck in there and finished UPROOTED though, and while the ending was impressive, getting there was a serious challenge.

The pacing is my number one complaint. There was slow pacing when the plot could have benefited from a faster pace, and vice versa. Huge chunks of the book were just so slowwwww. It didn’t help that the pages were rarely broken up by dialogue, so most of them are just filled with long paragraphs of random descriptions. Needless to say, the pacing brought me down.

sleepy.
When it comes to the characters, Agnieszka, the heroine, is the stereotypical Chosen One with an “endearing” flaw: she’s clumsy as hell. If I had a dollar for everything we are told how disheveled she was and how messy she looked… Argh.

I found the other characters to be lacking depth and some of them just felt there. Taking up space but not really contributing anything. Even the mysterious Dragon felt one-dimensional and I’m still not entirely sure what’s the deal with him 430 pages later. There’s distant and aloof and then there’s just cold. The Dragon was just straight up mean to Agnieszka sometimes.

There were two romance scenes. TWO. And those two were so randomly interspersed with the rest of the story the actual romance development felt like it came out of nowhere and disappeared for the next 200 pages. I’m not even sure I could tell you what happened in those in-between pages. I was just kind of half there, turning the pages at that point.

bored.
All I wanted to do was get through this so I could start something else. I usually love any fantasy book with a hint of romance but this one just stretched out my patience.

UPROOTED’s beginning was intriguing and its ending felt truly magical and inspiring. I seriously loved the ending; the last hundred pages made me bump up the rating and the resolution was so great-things were revealed and it all came together nicely. However, I can’t forget the extremely tedious middle.

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Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
Romance
Overall: 2.8

34 Responses to “Review: Uprooted by Naomi Novik”

  1. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    Awww, I’m so sorry that this one didn’t give you all of the feelings Alise! It sucks when you’re so sure that you’ll love a book and everyone and their dog loved the book but then you read it and you’re just like: uhhhmmm what is this?! I am happy that the beginning and the ending managed to somewhat save this one for you…and hey: at least YOU DID IT! You finished it! And now you can move on to something better :D
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday *120*

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Omg THIS IS ME TOOOOOO. I was actually really startled when the romance scenes turned up because I was like “Wait…they don’t….hate each other?” *falls asleep like Boo basically* SO UM YEAH. It was a deathly boring read for me too.
    But the world building was gorgeous. that creepy forest…yessss.
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…What Is The Worst Type of Character Death?

    • Alise

      RIGHT? They kissed out of nowhere, he even insults her before he does it. Yeah, it did have some good qualities!

  3. Wattle

    Oh no D: this book is so pretty (I’m totally shallow and bought it for the cover, oops lol) and I’m so sorry you didn’t love it. It sounds so tedious in the middle, lame (and that sounds like a strange romance :/ )

    I’m totally going to read it (eventually) but I’ll definitely be keeping the pacing in mind when I do!
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Sinful by Jennifer Dawson

    • Alise

      You changed your picture and got bangs! You look great :)

      Hmm, I’m not sure. I actually liked the beginning the most, the middle the worst, and the end wasn’t bad so I was all over the place xD

  4. Romi

    Okay, so lovely review, Alise. Your Boo gifs do the perfect job of getting those sleepy, bored feelings across. I actually got a review copy of this months back, but put it on pause and a week or two ago picked it up. I’d always been unsure whether it was YA or adult and sources seemed to go between the two, but apart from the factor of so much description and a character I felt nothing for, the near rape scene (and how all approached it) and the sexual advances (with a question mark around them) from the Dragon really left me irritated, and I did end up dnfing. It does sound like the end was a lot better than the beginning, which is unfotunate- I’d also been hoping for greatness all the way through- but I couldn’t keep going from what I read, sadly.

    I can’t wait to see how you and Bec’ve been doing next year, when I come back from my hiatus! Have a happy holiday! xx
    Romi recently posted…Perceivable Intensities (8) See you next year. But not.

  5. Sara L.

    Awwww, I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Uprooted. I adored it, but I did think that parts of it were drawn out longer than they should have been.

    Btw, I think you’re the one who told me to let you know what I thought of The Night Circus, right? I finished it over Thanksgiving weekend, and I liked it a lot. Le Cirque de Reves is one of the most stunningly imaginative settings I’ve ever read about it – to the point that I wish it was real!
    Sara L. recently posted…The Cotopaxi Challenge: Eleven Favorite Adventure Stories (+ Lessons From Each)

    • Alise

      No worries! I’m not really known for my patience so xD

      YES I WAS. I’m so, so glad you liked it, Sara! How about that ending though

      • Sara L.

        It was a little too open-ended for me. I mean, I know what happened to Marco, Celia, etc. as a result of the climax… but what happened to them after that? It left me with a lot of questions, even though other aspects of the ending were pretty clear. (If that makes any sense… *lol*)
        Sara L. recently posted…The “Be Thankful” Challenge

  6. Kelly

    I’m not really a fantasy reader Alise, and I know how much of a an you usually are. So if you struggled with this being pretty mundane, it’ll probably send me into a book coma. It sounds pretty much like a book about nothing in particular, just a couple of characters, a soft barely there romance and a whole lot of meh. That’s such a shame, I was really looking forward to this one as well, thanks for saving me the trouble. Awesome review poppet and hopefully your next read knocks your socks off <3
    Kelly recently posted…The White Rose… I love this series!

    • Alise

      Tis true, fantasy is my jam. Yeah, if you have a hard time with the genre I wouldn’t recommend this one. Meh for sure. No worries, thank you :3

  7. Lonna Y.

    I’ve been trying to get my hands on this book for some time now. I’m number (too far back it’s ridiculous) on the waiting list at the library. I think because so many people want to read it that I have this really high expectation that it would be A-MAZ-ING! I prefer consistent pacing. I drives me nuts when a book drags forever and then ends well. I don’t know whether to be happy or annoyed. Haha. But, I’m not deterred from reading Uprooted because I’d like to know about that ending, too. P.S. Thank you for dropping by my blog to sprinkle your comments throughout. Wish I could comment back to your comments but for some reason I can’t. So, I’ll just do it here. =)
    Lonna Y. recently posted…The Banished of Muirwood (Covenant of Muirwood 1)

    • Alise

      Oh I can definitely relate to that, the struggle is so real when you are in the 100’s of a library hold. It seriously sucks. Yeah, I think that was one of my issues too, I had such high expectations. If you do read it, let me know what you think! No worries :D Thanks for stopping by here as well :)

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