Friday, March 4, 2016

Book Review: Lions in the Garden

Today's review is on Lions in the Garden by Chelsea Luna

I received an  ARC of this book from NetGalley and Kensington and Lyrical publishers.

I have mixed feelings about this novel. In some ways I enjoyed it because it was set in Prague in 1610 which is during the time of the Reformation. It is not a Christian fiction book but it had some interesting insights as to what was going on during this time among both the Protestants and Catholics. It is also kind of a coming of age story for the protagonist.

The protagonist of the novel, Ludmilla or Mila for short, was interesting, especially as she struggles to understand the politics within the Holy Roman Empire, as well as struggling with whether the Protestants are truly as bad as she has grown up to believe. In the beginning of the novel she meets Marc who is a Protestant and she begins to realize that maybe the Protestants aren't as bad as her father had led her to believe, and she also sees why the see the need to revolt against the Holy Roman Empire.

One thing I had to  keep in mind while reading this book is that when the characters refer to themselves as Protestants, they are not necessarily Christians, rather they call themselves that because they are revolting against the Holy Roman Empire and the Catholic Church's tyranny. This is not to say that all Protestants during this time weren't true Protestants, meaning that they truly believed that the doctrine the Catholic church was teaching was wrong. However, based on this novel there were many who were just rebelling against the institution that had long oppressed them.

I can't go into too much detail because then it will give away spoilers but the plot was okay. I didn't like the fact that author seemed to use some modern sayings that would not have been around during this time period, it just annoyed me. I also didn't like one scene in particular when started to get a little bit steamy, it wasn't anything to explicit, it just wasn't something I was expecting in a YA novel and I don't like scenes like that.

I did enjoy the last 50 pages of the book because there seemed to be more action and I found it really gripping and I could not put it down, however the first 175 pages seemed to drag on. In some ways it was predictable, and in other ways there were things that took me by surprise, especially when the real antagonists are revealed.

I may or may not read the second book in this series, I am still trying to decide because I am kind of curious to find out what happens next, but at the same time I am worried that there will be more steamy scenes.

I am giving this book 2.5-3/ 5 Stars because there were certain things that I did really enjoy about the novel but there were also things I didn't like and I don't know if I could necessarily recommend this book to anyone I know.

Thanks again to NetGalley and Kensington for providing me with an ARC of this book for an honest review.

Happy Reading,
Janelle L. C.

P.S. If you have any book recommendations let me know and I will check them out! :)

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