Updated: Jul 24, 2022
The Twin Stars
The Coseema Saga, #1
Bridgette Dutta Portman
Released March 2022
Ouch. It's been over 2 months since I've read The Twin Stars. (Don't look at me like that; I know!) With that being said, my memory might be a bit spotty, but hopefully my review will still be good! It will at least be honest.
Also, let me preface that while my rating is only low–end 3 stars, I definitely think this really is a "it's me, not you" problem. TTS has all the makings of a GREAT YA fantasy, but it just fell flat for me, and I'm not really sure why. I think really it had to with being unable to connect with the characters, despising the MC, and not liking the prose. But again, I know these are likely personal issues, so just know that you may end up liking TTS way more than I did.
So now, without further ado, on to the review!
World Building ~ 9/10
Honestly, the world building was so strong! It was REALLY good, and the world itself was so descriptive and vivid. For me, this was THE STRONGEST part of TTS. I love the idea of the portal into another universe, and the universe itself is so well described. More than just the setting, I think the idea of the "Muse" was very interesting and well–built.
Characters ~ 6.5/10
I liked most of the characters. I liked both Jambol and Nestra, who both were realistic, but I liked Nestra better. Jambol sometimes did stuff that annoyed me (but isn't that really every character?). Zeph was probably my favorite, as he just seemed like a breath of fresh air. Bel, Reen, and Dewna weren't bad, but they weren't in my top 5. I didn't like Coseema (for obvious reasons, after reading), nor did I like Burnash (again, for a rather obvious reason).
However, my dislike for these characters is warranted and understandable; these are real characters, and you don't always like everything about a person, but that's what makes them real. The reason, though, that I docked so many points was exclusively because of Olive, the MC.
Boy did I despise Olive. Worse, I don't even know why! She was a perfectly realistic character, especially with her OCD. I could visualize her; I could understand why she made many of her decisions (most of which were due to her OCD). However, I could not, for the life of me, relate to her. And it's probably why I disliked her so much. She was extremely annoying and just rubbed me the wrong way. Because I didn't her, this made getting into the book so hard.
But again, I really think this is a me thing, so I can't justify docking any more points.
Plot ~ 6/10
Okay, so the plot itself wasn't bad; it really wasn't. I think the idea to save the universe through doing a certain task (which is kinda spoilery, thus the vagueness) is pretty brilliant, especially the build up. However, the build up to said task just takes far too long (which is a pacing issue), and it really makes TTS drag.
Personally, I would have liked the plot to a bit faster and to really drive through it and not go at a snail's pace, but again, this is partially a me issue. I say "partially" because, although a slow burn plot isn't necessarily bad, I think the pacing was just far too slow. Even just a bit faster would have been so much better.
Relationships ~ 7/10
There weren't really any "romantic" relationships in TTS. Sure relationships existed, but the romantic aspects were next to nothing. This is neither bad nor good.
There were, however, plenty of friendships and familial relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed Jambol's relationship with Nestra, his grandmother. I also didn't mind the frienships within the gang, but since I didn't like Olive, I couldn't really get into any of her friendships. And **SPOILER REDACTED**.
Ignoring Olive, I'd say my rating on the relationships would be much higher — somewhere around 8 or 9 out of 10. However, because Olive just grated on my nerves, that negatively influenced my overall rating for this section.
Prose & Pacing ~ 6/10
Okay, prose is like a 8.5/10. Pacing, on the other hand, is more like a 4.5/10. I didn't do an even average, so don't ask how I got 6/10 from those two.
The prose itself is great. BDP has a great writing style, and it shows. However, her pacing is just so slow, and not like an acceptable slow burn pace. It's just far too slow. If it sped up toward the end, I could justify a higher rating, but the whole book was just so slow, which made it really hard to get through, as well as extremely boring.
I think part of this is a me thing, but I still feel that this would move too slowly for many people.
Overall, TTS had a solid foundation, but it just really fell flat for me, in that it was slow and I didn't like Olive. It has all the makings for a good YA portal fantasy, so if that's your thing, then go for it! You'll probably really like it.
This, however, just wasn't for me, which is pretty disappointing because I really wanted to like it. But again, it just didn't end up being right for me. :(
I want to end on a happier and more positive note, so I'll note that the second book, The Silver Sail, was much better and more interesting. So if you've read TTS but aren't sure, I'd recommend trying TSS; you just may like it! :)
Major thanks to the author for the free e–copy, in exchange for an honest review
Full review posted to Goodreads
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