Review by Bonnie Shelby -- Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

This forum is for volunteer reviews by members of our review team. These reviews are done voluntarily by the reviewers and are published in this forum, separate from the official professional reviews. These reviews are kept separate primarily because the same book may be reviewed by many different reviewers.
User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Review by Bonnie Shelby -- Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 12 Sep 2018, 09:41

[Following is a volunteer review of "Apollo's Raven" by Linnea Tanner.]
Book Cover
2 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


Many years ago, in the land of Ancient Britania, a malicious son is banished from his village by his father, King Amren of the Cantiaci. Furious, the powerful Blood-Wolf named Marrock seeks help from the Cantiaci people’s rival, the Catuvellauni, for revenge on his father. This neighboring tribe considers his offer even after having made a recent truce with King Amren. Enter a senator from Rome, his son Marcellus, and a horde of soldiers on the hunt for Roman wealth, and the resulting political tension is heightened to mountainous peaks.

Catrin is the youngest daughter of King Amren, a warrior princess with the Raven as her spirit animal. She’s in the midst of discovering her newfound magical abilities as a powerful Druidess when the Romans first show up spewing threats. Soon after, she also learns of a curse put on her by her half-brother’s mother. To top it off, forbidden feelings for a certain senator’s son causes her to question her place in her family and her village. Will Catrin be able to strike a balance in her decisions that will appease her family, her people, her lover, and her own happiness?

Apollo’s Raven by Linnea Tanner is a historical fiction/epic fantasy novel that instantly captured my attention. Unfortunately, it ultimately failed to meet my expectations. I wanted to love this book but was sidetracked from its impressive blend of history, mythology, magic and political intrigue by poorly written characters.

The relationships throughout the book felt forced and the characters weren’t believable. I was especially disappointed by the romance between Marcellus and Catrin. After the first heated look cast upon her by Marcellus, Catrin was smitten. So smitten that the connection she instantly felt toward the Roman — an enemy of her people — caused her to make unintelligent decisions before even having had a conversation with the man. Even after supposedly getting to know each other, I never once understood why they were so in love, and I don’t know that they knew the reason either. Marcellous often doubted their connection and wondered if the powerful young girl cast a spell on him. Ultimately, their relationship was unconvincing.

I liked seeing the cultural differences between the Romans and the Cantiaci people. The Romans had a patriarchal society in which the men were in complete control of their families - wife, children, and slaves. Women didn’t get much of a say. On the other hand, the Cantiaci treated women with respect, allowing them to own property, be a ruler, a warrior, a Druidess, or a mother. Unfortunately, while Catrin was portrayed as a fierce warrior princess, rarely did I find examples of these qualities. She seemed rather passive and showed little growth throughout the book. There were a few other women who demonstrated these strong characteristics but were also difficult to connect to.

One last thing to mention was the ending. Even though this is book one of a series, I would have appreciated some form of closure. Instead, the book concluded abruptly on a confusing note, without answering any remaining questions I had.

Taking everything into account, I’ve decided to rate Apollo’s Raven 2 out of 4 stars. Because I only detected a few minor errors, I’m happy to report that it seemed to be professionally edited. However, while the political intrigue kept me somewhat invested, awkward dialogue and a lack of character development took away from my overall enjoyment of the story.

I’d recommend this book to those interested in themes such as shape-shifting, time traveling, and magic fused together with a touch of history, politics, and romance - on the condition that you’re also able to overlook poorly drawn characters. As a final warning, there are some adult scenes as well as some brief, gruesomely violent portions that may not be for everyone.

******
Apollo's Raven
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon | on iTunes

Like Bonnie Shelby's review? Post a comment saying so!

User avatar
Bianka Walter
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1181
Joined: 10 Feb 2018, 15:22
2018 Reading Goal: 40
2017 Reading Goal: 0
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 125
Favorite Book: The Old Man and the Sea
Currently Reading: In a Cottage In a Wood
Bookshelf Size: 327
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bianka-walter.html
Latest Review: The Face of Fear by R. J. Torbert
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Bianka Walter » 16 Sep 2018, 17:16

I always feel like it's a cop-out to end a story abruptly because it's the first in the series. I get very irritated, and I often choose not to read the rest of the series because I don't like the assumption by the author that I will. My little bit of defiance :)
I really enjoyed your review! I think I'll take your word for it and give this one a skip.
Thanks!
You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.
- Dr. Seuss

User avatar
Rosemary Khathibe
Posts: 493
Joined: 05 Jul 2017, 16:48
2018 Reading Goal: 55
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 47
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 66
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rosemary-khathibe.html
Latest Review: The Neighbour at Number 18 by Hawa Crickmore

Post by Rosemary Khathibe » 17 Sep 2018, 05:24

I wonder what Marrok did for his own father to chase him away. Were the characters well written and believable, It could have been a great read with Catrin torn between choosing her lover and her kingdom. Your review is intriguing and helpful.

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 18 Sep 2018, 09:50

Bianka Walter wrote:
16 Sep 2018, 17:16
I always feel like it's a cop-out to end a story abruptly because it's the first in the series. I get very irritated, and I often choose not to read the rest of the series because I don't like the assumption by the author that I will. My little bit of defiance :)
I really enjoyed your review! I think I'll take your word for it and give this one a skip.
Thanks!
Haha, I agree! It's super frustrating when the author doesn't at least give you some form of closure. It is the end of a book, after all.
Thanks so much for commenting! :)

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 18 Sep 2018, 09:54

Rosemary Khathibe wrote:
17 Sep 2018, 05:24
I wonder what Marrok did for his own father to chase him away. Were the characters well written and believable, It could have been a great read with Catrin torn between choosing her lover and her kingdom. Your review is intriguing and helpful.

It definitely had the potential to be an un-put-downable book, especially given Catrin's tough choices. It was unfortunate that the poorly written characters didn't quite get it there. Thank you for commenting :)

User avatar
Allyseria
Posts: 390
Joined: 18 Jul 2018, 16:33
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 58
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 68
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-allyseria.html
Latest Review: Of Zots and Xoodles by Zarqnon the Embarrassed

Post by Allyseria » 19 Sep 2018, 15:13

Thank you for your review. I really get annoyed when a book concludes randomly and abruptly. It's worse if it ends in a confusing note - even if it's part of a series. It just makes me feel mad because of all the hours I put in reading it, I want it to at least wrap-up. I'll have to give this book a pass.

User avatar
JR Mercier
Posts: 696
Joined: 23 May 2018, 05:03
2018 Reading Goal: 0
Favorite Book: The Bear and the Nightingale
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 130
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jr-mercier.html
Latest Review: Betrayal by Maggie Walsh

Post by JR Mercier » 20 Sep 2018, 02:34

"So smitten that the connection she instantly felt toward the Roman — an enemy of her people — caused her to make unintelligent decisions before even having had a conversation with the man."

Because of this, I think I'll give this book a pass. I'm not one for shallow characters like that. Thank you for the honest review.
Dream up something wild and improbable.
-Strange The Dreamer, Laini Taylor

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 20 Sep 2018, 09:45

Allyseria wrote:
19 Sep 2018, 15:13
Thank you for your review. I really get annoyed when a book concludes randomly and abruptly. It's worse if it ends in a confusing note - even if it's part of a series. It just makes me feel mad because of all the hours I put in reading it, I want it to at least wrap-up. I'll have to give this book a pass.
I know - it's super frustrating, especially when reading the next book is not a guarantee. Thanks so much for commenting!

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 20 Sep 2018, 09:46

JR Mercier wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 02:34
"So smitten that the connection she instantly felt toward the Roman — an enemy of her people — caused her to make unintelligent decisions before even having had a conversation with the man."

Because of this, I think I'll give this book a pass. I'm not one for shallow characters like that. Thank you for the honest review.
I'm not either. Thank you for commenting! :)

User avatar
jjmainor
Posts: 221
Joined: 06 Aug 2018, 23:58
Currently Reading: Bug Hunt
Bookshelf Size: 169
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jjmainor.html
Latest Review: Chrome Mountain by Ben Schneider

Post by jjmainor » 20 Sep 2018, 22:06

Ah, I just selected this book. Drives me nuts when an author presents a serial as a series. There is a difference, and while there's nothing wrong with serializing a story, it is false advertising when you misrepresent a serial as a series.

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 21 Sep 2018, 11:05

jjmainor wrote:
20 Sep 2018, 22:06
Ah, I just selected this book. Drives me nuts when an author presents a serial as a series. There is a difference, and while there's nothing wrong with serializing a story, it is false advertising when you misrepresent a serial as a series.
Agreed! Thank you for leaving a comment :)

User avatar
teacherjh
Posts: 1244
Joined: 15 Apr 2018, 23:16
2018 Reading Goal: 48
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 97
Currently Reading: The 7 Experiment
Bookshelf Size: 294
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-teacherjh.html
Latest Review: Easiest Short/Long Term Plan For Saving Money by Jennelle L. White

Post by teacherjh » 23 Sep 2018, 22:22

I can't deal with a story that has poor characterization. Thanks for the warning.

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 24 Sep 2018, 08:21

teacherjh wrote:
23 Sep 2018, 22:22
I can't deal with a story that has poor characterization. Thanks for the warning.
Thanks for the comment!

User avatar
Irene C
Posts: 308
Joined: 15 Jan 2018, 16:18
2018 Reading Goal: 13
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 246
Currently Reading: The Orphan Master
Bookshelf Size: 145
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-irene-c.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by Irene C » 24 Sep 2018, 11:10

I agree with you about the poor character development, which is why I also gave this novel only two stars. Thanks for this honest review.
History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul. Lord Acton

User avatar
Bonnie Shelby
Posts: 346
Joined: 12 May 2018, 20:07
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-bonnie-shelby.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Bonnie Shelby » 24 Sep 2018, 14:43

Irene C wrote:
24 Sep 2018, 11:10
I agree with you about the poor character development, which is why I also gave this novel only two stars. Thanks for this honest review.
Thank you for reading and commenting!

Post Reply

Return to “Volunteer Reviews”