This is later than I wanted, but last weekend, there was a beautiful wedding I refused to miss out on, so I finished reading the last installment of the Trylle Trilogy during this past week. As a heads up, this three book series is long. At least, longer than I expected. And, so much happens in each individual book, that I’ve decided to do an overall review. I figure this will lead to less casualties due to spoilers.
I’ve also dubbed my little books reviews as Literacy Lunacy because, well, why the hell not?! You’ve already been warned about spoilers, so go forth at your own risk!
At six years old, our protagonist, Wendy Everly, is attacked by her mother. She is convinced Wendy is a monster. Years later, Wendy learns that her mom may be right. It isn’t long before it’s revealed she is a changeling who’s been switched at birth and Finn Holmes has appeared to bring her home. From there, Wendy deals with love, friendships, and the responsibility of her role in the Trylle kingdom.
Amanda Hocking has an interesting way of writing, which isn’t a bad thing. All books would be boring and predictable if we all wrote the same. A quick pet peeve, as I read, is the over-explaining and reminding that Wendy does throughout each novel. It would be more understanding if it were reflecting on topics from the beginning of the trilogy or each novel, but Hocking’s character would mention recent events as if the reader hadn’t already read about it in the previous chapter. In the first novel, Switched, it’s established that Wendy’s real mother has the gift of premonition, but it seems to be brought up every few chapters since we first learn about it.
Another thing that stuck out like a sore thumb is character development. With a need for more strong female characters, it’s easy to say Wendy is one of them, but that’s all she is. As I ready, I quickly found that Wendy is never wrong, always has the right answer, and no one ever challenges her. This most likely can be explained away by Wendy’s own Trylle ability of persuasion, but I don’t see her growing as a person from beginning to end. It’s like she’s born ready to save the day and has all the answers.
Something else I disliked for in Hocking’s writing style were her comparisons to scenes in some (fairly) current films. There are a few times where Hocking has the opportunity to describe a room or scene and she sums it up with a “like that one place/scene from (insert relevant movie).” Honestly, it reminds me of the episode of Family Guy when Peter becomes an author and he’s narrating these horrible erotica stories by describing the sexy women as “hotter” versions of celebrities. (You should totally like/follow if you remember Peterotica!)
Continuing on that note: Wendy’s vocabulary is questionable for a teenager. It didn’t happen often, but enough for me to notice that Hocking’s character used some big words for not having finished high school or gone to college. Hell, I did both and still needed to look up the random word drops. Im an avid reader, have been all my life, but it isn’t mentioned once that Wendy is or the kind of education she’s had. Not to imply the character is an idiot, but she didn’t come off as a person who enjoyed learning. It’s pointed out a few times in Switched and Torn when she has to learn about Trylle history.
Last complaint to throw out there is: there was no serious character death. Weird complaint, I know, but hear me out on this. People die, it’s a given even in every day life. Given the fact that there was a war going about, there weren’t any tragic loss of lives by the end of it all. Only two important deaths, but they were expected half way through the story in order to move the story forward and end it.
If you concluded I don’t like the series, don’t assume too quickly. I truly believe Amanda Hocking has a great and impressive imagination. She’s the first author I’ve read to bring trolls into a story and not have them be evil (well, not all of them) or out to kidnap or eat children. While there were some other characters who lacked development, there were quite a few who did and grew marvelously from beginning to end. A big saving grace was the addition of Loki to the story, but I’m most likely being biased with this since I was rooting for him since his debut in Torn. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who enjoyed his character, so Hocking did something very right with Loki.
Another great thing, and this stands out more in Torn and Ascend, is that there isn’t a love triangle or guys swooning over Wendy. It’s become such a trope and it’s refreshing that Hocking chose not to follow the wave that has yet to die down since 2008. If there are any readers who want to argue this isn’t true, it is. Wendy never ends up stuck with the difficult decision of who she wants to be with. Admitting who she wants to be with, for sure, but she doesn’t lead on any of the men she’s interested in or are interested in her.
Though I’m sad it isn’t mentioned until the very end, I enjoyed learning there were more troll races. Luckily, there’s another series, The Kanin Chronicles, which can be picked up and read at a later time. I’m interested in what the rest of the world of trolls and Amanda Hocking has to offer. That being said, I found a few other stories Hocking has written based on mermaids, vampires, zombies, and a handful more. Honestly, I just wish I could crank out as many novels as Amanda does.
Have you read the trilogy? If so, do you find I’m being too harsh or lenient? Or have I hit the nail on the head? Have a suggestions on what I should read and review every next? Let me know! You’re thoughts are always welcome.