I feel like it has been forevah since I sat down to write a review! You know, we do the school thing for ten months out of the year…only having a break for about two months…yet, that two months during the summer is just enough time to aid my brain in completely forgetting how to be a mother to school-aged children. I kid you not. We have now officially been back at the school routine for one month, and I think I finally…maybe…have the routine down, once again.
Sigh. Mom Brain.
Anyway, needless to say, I was really looking forward to getting back into the book review scene. I have a stack of books here waiting to be read and reviewed, and so decided to begin with those I’ve had the longest and jump right in.
The first book that I dove into is called “The Book of Esther” by Emily Barton. I was pretty intrigued by the plot of this book. The story follows Esther, a 16 year old Jewish girl, born in the nation of Khazar. When Germania forces come knocking, Esther is forced to stand up to her foes, as well as fighting against the gender roles that are holding her back. Sounds really great, right? Also sounds a bit like the Esther of the Bible, whom I adore.
Except, that I really ended up disappointed with the book.
Now, I’m pretty sure that many people out there would absolutely love this book. It’s just not my personal favorite. Mostly because it had a pretty strong steampunk feel throughout, and I am not a fan of steampunk. The author’s writing is, in itself, very rich. She gave quite a lot of detail, which is always enjoyable, although by the middle of the book felt a bit tedious. While I enjoyed Esther’s strength of character, I found myself annoyed with her at times. I can’t especially put my finger on why she irritated me. Partly because of some decisions that she made. Partly because I couldn’t help but compare her to the biblical Esther, which she did not live up to. Partly because of her youth, I am sure.
All in all, I really think this is a book that you will have to judge for yourself. If you enjoy a bit of mysticism, not a little steampunk, a reimagined world and a little bit of Jewish…well, lore, for lack of a better word…then you might enjoy this book immensely.
**Thank you to Blogging for Books for the opportunity to read and review this book!