Sunday, August 23

Joint Review - House of Shadows by Rachel Neumeier

This month Blodeuedd and I will be reading "House of Shadows" by Rachel Neumeier

Author: Rachel Neumeier
Title: House of Shadows
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Fiction, & Sci-Fi
Pages: July 10th, 2012
First Published: 352
Where I Got It: My shelf (Dollar Tree)

Orphaned, two sisters are left to find their own fortunes. 

Sweet and proper, Karah's future seems secure at a glamorous Flower House. She could be pampered for the rest of her life... if she agrees to play their game.

Nemienne, neither sweet nor proper, has fewer choices. Left with no alternative, she accepts a mysterious mage's offer of an apprenticeship. Agreeing means a home and survival, but can Nemienne trust the mage? 

With the arrival of a foreign bard into the quiet city, dangerous secrets are unearthed, and both sisters find themselves at the center of a plot that threatens not only to upset their newly found lives, but also to destroy their kingdom.

B: Yay! First, thank you for picking a great book! I think this has been the best so far, at least for me

C: It was a random find and it sounded interesting and different. LOL Thank my local Dollar Tree!

B: So, did you enjoy it as much as I? I thought it was great, though the end was lacking a bit.

C: I did like it a lot! I was bummed that there were was a lot of POV changing and the ending was lacking a bit. I want to know what happens neeeeeeeeeext!

B: Yes. I would have liked it better with more focus only on the girl, I felt like one of the POVS took over. So make it about her instead then. And at the end I did want more. I felt like it was not finished. But there is no more *sobs*

C: I did like Leilis, but I really wanted to focus more on the two sisters. I know! I want more of a solid end. I know the author prolly wanted to leave it up to the reader to decide what happens next. It was left as “open ended”, but I hate those type of endings. I like solid and concrete endings. BUT this was certainly good. Maybe a short story or another novel would make me happppppy!

B: I did. O Leilis too, her end, I can see that. She lives happily ever after with her guy. But I want to know!! Karah’s end, I do not like her ending. Seriously! How can she ever be happy!? Her daughter’s growing up like her. Her always second to his wife, kids. Good that we got no ending there. But Nem, I can not see her ending….she becomes a great magician. But I want to read about that journey, and maybe she meets a guy too *whistles*.

C: I feel bad for Karah, because I do not think she will be happy in the future. And I agree….what about Nem? What is going to become of her? *sighs* Hopefully she gets a HEA! I have a question….if you had the choice what would you choose? A mage or a keiso/dasia flower?

B: To become? A mage. I could not become a keiso. Yes yes, they are geishas, but that is just a fancy word. In the end they do sell themselves to a man. Sure they can get a house and stuff for their kids. But they will never be a true wife. And I certainly did not like that daughter’s followed in their mother’s footsteps. Mage it is.

C: I will be honest…I was undecided until I realized that the guy keeps the sons and the daughters become keisos like their mom. I was not happy with this, so mage it is for me as well. At least I can travel and do what I will. I may be poor, but I will be happy. 

B: Yes good choice. And if I want to become a rich man’s mistress I still can, but then I can also leave him and marry someone if I want to ;) 
But we both agree that the daughter thing was...creepy in a way. They are a bit brainwashed in my opinion.

C: It was kinda creepy!! It was like a cult! BTW I hated that Lily girl. I wanted to punch her! She was a snot and malicious. >___> Where is the “sisterly” love and all that?

B: Aye, that sister thing was a joke at times! And Lily was a bitch, grrrrr. *hits her* Now I got so mad at her that I forgot what I meant to say next ;)

C: Hahaha sorry.. ;) But yes she was an evil little thing. Did you expect the twist that happened? The true bad guy? I did not and I was certainly bummed! I was hoping he would change his mind and be good again. :/

B: I missed that too. But then the end came upon us so suddenly and everything got thrown out of the window. I was all what, oh, what, oh no. I wanted more explanations. We got some yes, but just...more.
And I remembered what I meant to say! So I gotta say it now ;)  This book was YA. Yes I saw it in the language and more. But what kind of YA has sisters selling their own sisters into sexual slavery? Not cool.

C: Yeaaaah a very strange YA. They seemed to glorify that women should be “perfect” to be able to sell themselves. I do not think I would have liked this book as much as I did if Nem’s story wasn’t there. She choose the less glamorous life and she (so far) is happy. It seemed strange that this was considered a YA. I wish it wasn’t in that genre. hahahaha

B: I do think it would have done better as an adult book. The grim side of the lesser flower houses. Some action and so forth. As YA now it is what you say. And with Nem it would just have been pretty and happy Karah who is happy even though she is sold into prostitution and must make a lot of money to get out. But by then she will be so brainwashed that she will not want to.

C: Agreed. Having it be an adult book would have been better. More explicit scenes and what not. hahaha. BUT what did you think of the world? I liked it. I am glad we slowly got to learn about the world and not have it ALL thrown in our faces at the beginning like some stories do.

B: To me it was a bit eh, I love good worldbuilding. I want more and more and more. BUT I liked what we got here. I did not need more cos I liked the story. So it was enough for now. But she should totally write Nem’s story and give me more world ;)

C: Another book needs to be written! It was a good opening and now we need a book or two now! 

B: Agreed. A Nem trilogy! She can travel and meet old friends, and we can see what becomes of the rest of her sisters. Listen up, more please :)
Hmmm, I do not have a lot more to say. I really enjoyed this book.

C: Nothing more on my end. I liked it. It was a good random find! :D I mainly picked it because the cover caught my eye and knew we needed a change up in our joint reading!

B: Oh no, my turn next *bites nails* Will I pick another fail? *scared*
On another note, BF is telling me to wrap it up, dinner is ready

C: Hehehehe go eat dinner!!!! I will go back to studying. Thank goodness BF is at work today (poor guy), but I have soooooooo much to do! And heck...I’ve had a few bad choices ;) I have faith you’ll get a good one!!!!!!!!!!!

I will let ya know!


****Carole's Conclusion****
Overall, I really did like this book. It had an interesting set of characters and intriguing storyline. I do wish that the ending was not an open-ended type ending. I wish that it was more concrete. What happens to Nem? That is my biggest question! There needs to be a short story or more novels! That would be glorious! I want to explore this world and the characters more. I also wish that the book was written as an adult book, not a YA. I think it would have gotten a solid 5 out of me if that was the case. Speaking of which...I have been very undecided on what I want to stamp this book with. HOWEVER, there are dragons in this, so I shall give it a solid 4 stars! :D