Monday, October 23, 2017

Battle Schooled! Review

Battle Schooled! (Chronicles of the Floating Continent #3)
By: Billy Wong

Rousing fantasy adventure with a few butt-kicking heroines.

Rupert, a young loner with a dark history, is sent by his parents to the University of Ostuh in hopes of him learning to be less withdrawn. He continues to avoid social contact until an extraordinary encounter with Meg and Patrick, famed monster hunters turned students. Making new friends for the first time in years, he and the duo navigate school life alongside other standouts such as warrior noble Charlene Lyonesse and Peggy "PP" Petunia, a tiny pigtailed girl with a big secret. When a series of brutal murders rocks the university, the students must come together to stop the deadly threat.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Usually I'm a one-book-at-a-time kinda girl, but the book that I am currently reading isn't doing much to keep my attention and I happened to see the intriguing cover for Battle Schooled on my e-reader, so I decided to take a break from my book and read something new. I was hoping it would jog my reading juices again and help me regain my focus enough to help me get through my original read. Unfortunately, it did not do that. I read Battle Schooled within a few hours, and had to fight myself the whole way through to keep going and not to give up and start a third book. I should also tell you that I had never heard of Chronicles of the Floating Continent before cracking open this book, and if this book plays off previous ones I had no idea. However, there weren't any times that I felt as though I had missed anything by not reading the first novels in the series and found that this book could easily act as a stand-alone read.

My main obstacle with this book was how boring it was. It was based on a group of kids in some sort of school, of which the main purpose of in the kids lives was unclear. The author did mention a few times however, that teaching fighting skills was a secondary venture, so perhaps it was all about a standard curriculum of maths, science and language? Who knows. Either way, the fighting that takes place in the novel overtook anything else that the school may have been about. The fighting itself was also pretty anticlimactic for the most part. A lot of the fights took place between the students who had challenged each other based on ego and then when they lost became friends with each other. Even the fights that happened against more arduous opponents were anticlimactic and sometimes hard to follow as so many characters got involved in them and so many different fight moves intertwined with other characters. Sometimes it was easier to skip over the fighting narrative to the aftermath of it than to read the action scenes themselves. 

The cast of characters includes Rupert, who begins as the main character as the book seemingly takes place from his point of view, but that sometimes changes, especially towards the end and becomes more a third person account. His character begins as being mysterious and feared and apparently rightly so, as he has the ability to become uncontrollably dangerous. The author seems to play with the idea of making Rupert one of the strongest and most intimidating students in the school, as he is unwilling to lose in a fight, no matter the cost to himself or his opponent. However, in the only real fights he takes part in he seems no better or worse a warrior than any of his comrades, making the author's build up of his abilities all for not. Meg and PP become the heroines of the story as their abilities seem larger than life, but they both also have winning personalities making them the most like-able characters in the book. The author introduced Charlene as a superior snob, and her character maintains that trait to the end of the story but along the way she also becomes a snitch, a challenger, a comrade and her ego takes a nose dive making her seem weak and pathetic. None of the characters evoked any real emotion from me, and I really didn't care whether any of them lived or died in the story.

I did like the concept of the book, and found the idea to be fairly original. But the author seemed to change his mind too often during the writing in this book making it seem as though the evolution of the characters and the trials they faced went in circles, never really progressing past their introduction. All together it was a dull read and I was grateful that it was a shorter book, had it have been any longer and I don't think I could have finished it.

Final Rating:
Probability of Rereading:

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

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