Legacies (Shadow Grail, #1)

Legacies (Shadow Grail, #1)❰BOOKS❯ ✭ Legacies (Shadow Grail, #1) Author Mercedes Lackey – Oaklandjobs.co.uk Who—or what—is stalking the students at Oakhurst AcademyIn the wake of the accident that killed her family Spirit White is spirited away to Oakhurst Academy a combination school and orphanage in t Who—or what—is stalking the students at Oakhurst AcademyIn the wake of the accident that killed her family Spirit White is spirited away to Oakhurst Academy a combination school and orphanage in the middle of Montana There she learns she is a legacy—not only to the school which her parents also attended but to magicAll the students at Oakhurst have magical powers and although Spirit’s hasn’t manifested itself yet the administrators insist she has one Spirit isn’t sure she cares Devastated by the loss of her family she finds comfort with a group of friends Burke Hallows Lachlann Spears Muirin Shae and Adelaide LakeBut something strange is going on at Oakhurst Students start disappearing under mysterious circumstances and the school seems to be trying to cover it up Spirit and her friends must find out what’s happening—before one of them becomes the next victim. Page 186 was good That was when the teenagers discovered a hidden basement whose secret rooms hid objects belonging to the many teenagers who'd disappeared from their private school as well as files marked Tithed Chilling And page 282 was pretty good too an action scene during the fight when the teenagers set a trap for their enemies and attackedIn a book over 300 pages long that's a pretty poor scoreI always wonder when I slog through a book like this why it is that fabulous writers start churning out drivel Do they forget the tricks they used to know? Do they stop caring? Do they grow lazy when sales stay steady in spite of declining uality?You'd think that a book about an orphaned magician sent to a secret magic school full of scheming teachers interior betrayal outside attackers and difficult homework would be full of danger suspense and some good old teenage angst In fact that plot describes a whole series of books I seem to remember enjoying uite a lotBut this book is flat You've never encountered such an unsentimental bunch of orphans in all of fiction Dead parents? So? Characters get introduced then whisked off by the bad guys only a page or two later before we have time to get attached to them And since the first abduction doesn't take place until about page 100 you spend the first section of the book unattached to any particular plot either Although the main characters encounter difficult teachers long homework assignments and the disappearance of classmates their reactions and emotions happen mostly off the page so it's hard to sympathize with their troubles Teachers show up long enough to spy on the IM messages yell at students in martial arts or assign 10 page papers before they vanish again and the headmaster who turns a new student into a mouse and attacks her in a first scene that could have led to lots of tension filled encounters doesn't show up again until the end of the book when he congratulates the victors of a battle he had no idea the school was fighting Let's just say he's no DumbledoreApparently the publishers found enough teens who liked to this book to get some good book jacket uotes I wish those teenagers could instead have been shown Lackey's earlier work Her Diana Tregarde series supernatural mysteries written nearly two decades before the current market glut hummed with feeling and tension on every page If Diana wasn't fighting monsters or trying to sift clues to crack down on the evildoers she was struggling to meet an upcoming deadline for an overdue romance novel as her editor sent up garlic reeking lunches when he heard she had a vampire in her apartment In those books Lackey wrung story out of both supernatural problems and personal problems and kept the stories alive on every page If you want some great urban fantasy read those Then like me you'll be wondering whatever happened to Mercedes Lackey Spirit White loses her entire hippie family in a car crash and is sent to live at Oakhurst Academy where she learns she's a Legacy a magician Everyone at Oakhurst has one or magic gifts that fall into one or of the four schools of magic based on the four elements fire water earth and air Poor Spirit can't seem to figure out what her power is though Yeah her name is Spirit Spirit Get it? GOSH I WONDER WHAT HER POWER IS GOING TO TURN OUT TO BE Substitute plot and original characters for ye olde Arthurian stand by template desperately try to inject a bit of youthfulness by using outdated pop culture references and hilariously misplaced netspeak and top it all off with the main character pausing every fourth page or so to remind us what a boring awful place her new school is and you've pretty much got this book summed up Enjoyable read? Not so much Even the main character and her friends begin every info dump discussion of which there are plenty wouldn't want to break the flow of the story with actual adventures or anything by talking about how crazy and unlikely and convoluted everything is Look if you're the type of person who enjoys books where character development is ignored in favour of pages upon pages of dull descriptions of completely irrelevant scenery architecture and ipods then this is the book for you If you enjoy books where the main character spends time musing over the colours of her school uniform than pondering the mysterious and sinister deaths of her entire family then stop reading this review and get a copy of this book instead If you're just dying to read a story where the villain turns out to be the most over used cliché in western fantasy litterature then HUNT down a copy of this book pronto Boarding schools Myths and legend Orphans Wish fulfillment uestionable authority figure behavior Add in a little mystery a dollop of angst and the faintest hint of teenage romance and you’ve got Legacies the first in a series by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill The Shadow Grail books feature magical teen orphans who are sent to a Montana boarding school called Oakhurst – and the school is hiding secrets and peril Wondering if Legacies ticks ALL of the cliché boxes? It does without ironySpirit White survives a horrific accident that kills the rest of her family and after extensive therapy is bundled off to a school in the middle of nowhere – one that provides for her every need and also tells her that she has latent magical abilities While Spirit makes friends and gets to know her surroundings everyone she knows is under threat Will she survive?First of all to the rhetorical ‘uestion’ I ask and the official summary asks above – OF COURSE she survives There’s a book two Secondly ohmydeargoodness there were so many things that rubbed my skin the wrong way with this book Stand back and let me get started with the evisceration I mean analysisThere were two instances that stood out to me as clearly abusive adult behavior for no apparent reason no plot or character development occur as a result first in the hospital when Spirit is berated by an orderly who is named but has no other back story He’s clearly a placeholder which could be okay but he yells at our main character Who is healing and mourning In you know a hospital The situation is just so weird and out of place that the warning bells went off immediately And the second with the headmaster we have a clear instance of TSTL Too Stupid To Live syndrome my dears If you can’t see that that’s unhealthy you have no survival skillz and you might deserve my contempt Moving onWish fulfillment – this is one element of Legacies that brought me out of the story over and over again I understand the place is luxurious and they’re given everything However the time spent describing consumer items would be better spent on the actual setting and would alleviate a lot of confusion in the story worldAnother thing that constantly grabbed attention away from the action was the mishandling of cultural references and teen communication Technology use didn’t fit the age group the IM speak was horrific and there was an Anna Nicole Simpson reference That’s almost too old for me and I’m 27 not the target market MessPut all of the mismatched elements together and a story won’t hold well for me no matter how good the plot And you know what? The plot in Legacies was the only thing that kept me reading Total bright spot even if you can tell from a mile away that this is a set up book If you’re into the whole orphan with magic in a boarding school thing may I point you in the direction of Jennifer Estep’s Touch of Frost? Same clichés but with humor and sass Or if you do try this series – remember that I warned youRecommended for die hard fans of magic in school settings Mercedes Lackey enthusiasts wondering what she’s serving up to the younger set and those with an incurable sense of optimism Good luck I really wish Goodreads would give us the option of 12 stars because I would have liked to rate this a 25 I found enough of it better than just ok but I can't really say I liked the book What I did like was the idea of what the book was about Unfortunately most of it seemed to follow a very basic formula You have the geek Lachlan the gothrebel Muirin the brain Adelaidethe jock Burke and the lost girl who can't find her magic Spiritall thrown together to fight the unknown scary thing making kids disappear Even though I'm pretty sure the authors covered all the horrible ways the parents and siblings died for the main characters it all started to blur together to the point I didn't care and could never really connect to any of the characters We were given brief history and glimpses of those who disappeared but not enough to actually have any investment when they were written out of the story I realize in a series it's not necessary to answer all the uestions brought upbut except for answering the uestion of what the Big Bad actually was we didn't get ANY answers 98% of the book was the build up and then it was all over in a few pages Why after terrorizing Spirit during magic testing did Doctor Ambrosius then just leave her alone for months? Why does Dr A seem to be having senior moments where he doesn't seem to know who they are? Didn't the kids think it odd that in a schoolorphanage for kids with magic that it was only orphans whose parents had died in some horrible way that were there? No living parents wanted their kids to learn to control magic? I think it's obvious the school is killing the parents in order to get the kidsbut that's just me I'm not sure if I'll be picking up book 2 or not yet I can't decide if my curiosity to find out if the authors can flesh it out better in the next one will cancel out my general indifference to this one Just makes me glad I picked this one up at the library and didn't waste money on it Every once and a while the fine folks at Tor will send me a title which doesn’t uite jive with my demographic This time around I decided to give one of those titles a chance Legacies is the start of a new YA series by collaborates Rosemary Edghill and Mercedes Lackey who previously worked together on the Bedlam’s Bard Series over at Baen The series opens with heroine Spirit recovering in the hospital after a car accident which left her as the only surviving member of her family It isn’t too long before she finds out that her parents themselves orphans were once wards of the mysterious Oakhurst Academy and now that she too is an orphan Spirit has been charged to their care Of course Oakhurst isn’t your everyday orphanage the students there all have magical powers and in addition to their everyday schooling must learn to control their powers in order to survive in the world As if being an orphan and being confronted with the reality of magic isn’t enough Spirit and the friends she makes at Oakhurst but face a unknown threat that has been praying on the students of OakhurstUnfortunately for Spirit Legacies suffers from a surplus of neat ideas that never really bear too much fruit While the mystery elements of the novel work well enough the world that the characters inhabit never manages to feel real The characters themselves consistently manage to feel a bit flat with the rebellious teen Muirin the prim and proper young lady Adeladie the honorable jock Burke and the affable and near unflappable teen Lachlan never manage to really do anything to define themselves as individuals Part of the problem is that the narration stays locked from Spirit’s point of view and we never get inside the thoughts of the supporting cast Indeed some of the interesting moments come when we leave Spirit’s perspective behind and are introduced to the novel’s threat The authors also do their supporting cast a bit of a disservice by introducing a bit character with a backstory and personality interesting then the rest of the teens; namely a teen who has been “gifted” with clairvoyance since a very young age and irreparably changed by the process A character who the main cast use and discard in their righteous uest to solve the threat to the student bodyIn a school full of magic users the only person without an obvious magic gift is Spirit It seems a bit of an odd decision and one that hints at a lot of interesting ideas particularly in how Spirit’s “lack of magic” is revealed but one that is never explored in depth It does late in the novel allow for some cogent observations on Spirit’s part on how the training the students are receiving set them in often vicious competition with one another What Spirits lack of a gift means for the reader is that despite being set in a school of magic users we witness very little actual magic For me this deprives the novel one of the “magic school” genre’s greatest treasures the sense of wonder and excitement as we along with the main character learn about magic Like I said I found it an odd choice and one I’m uncertain I agree withAs the cover boldly proclaims this as book one of the Shadow Grail there is a bunch of groundwork laid for exploring a greater threat then the abductions that make up the majority of Legacies‘ plot The problem here is that all this groundwork through hints and unanswered uestions all seemed interesting to me than any other part of the novel Upon arriving at the school the headmaster mentions nebulous threats and dangers that exist in the real world but the nature of those threats is never revealed or even hinted at beyond the ill defined danger Bizarre changes in disposition and personality in the aforementioned headmaster are readily observable but left wholly ignored There are even hints regarding the accident that killed Spirit’s parents something mentioned several times throughout the novel but never explored Curiously there is even something of a tangent on parkour early in the novel but in a novel that rapidly moves to a rural environment its inclusion seems a bit strangeIn the end I felt that Legacies was notable for what it failed to do rather than what it managed to accomplish There are enough hints at something interesting and wondrous that the derivative plot and occasionally stiff “teen” dialogue feel disappointing then I suspect they rightly deserve On the other hand their is a blessed lack of vampires and the romance elements are subdued and never overshadow the plot For all its failings the hint of the greater threat beyond what is seen here the possibility of a greater overarching story have me interested in what will happen next in the series I won’t be rushing out and grabbing a seuel mind you but Legacies was a breezy read and I’d give the series another shot with the hope that there is world building and character development then the very little seen here This pulled too much from Harry Potter orphaned and sent to live at a magical schooland from there it was just boring Spirit is mopy understandably since her family died but that's all really And the plot is thin so so thin Anyone who has ever heard of the Wild Hunt will be annoyed at how long it takes to come up with the answer and it was too convenient that the hunt happens to be composed of ghost riders fae SUVs and a demon hunter just so that each of the three pairs has some part in its destruction And other than that there was not too much to keep a reader engaged The characters were barely developed and stayed 2 dimensional Burke was interesting than most but cast in a very simple light Never got why Muirrin had all the weird cat nicknames and don't care Also every other line someone was smiling grinning smiling tensely smilingas a writer this happens but the editor should have taken out make the dialogue do its own work And there was something on page 89 I think that could have been taken very dirty and I don't think it was meant to This series tries too hard to be Harry Potter and then when it realizes it can't uite live up to the hype veers away sharply and without much explanation It tries too hard to mix in 'modern' life with magic and doesn't succeed Instead the characters come off bland and relatively uninteresting interesting plot points are tossed aside when they could have been explored at greater length and the whole book can be written off as a teeny bopper Harry Potter None of the characters had any depth the plot meandered and then ended abruptly without any foresight into the characters or the situation and the mixture of magic and modern life is absurdIt should be obvious to anyone once Spirit comes into her power she'll end up being a powerhouse because it's all formulaic Nothing about this series sticks out and it has virtually nothing to recommend it The bottom line relatively mindless fantasy garbage Stick to writing the Elemental Mage series Mercedes Lackey Legacies is set at Oakhurst a Hogwarts like school for magicians I might have been able to forget that Oakhurst was like Hogwarts if the authors didn't keep reminding me Every student at the school is an orphan and all or most are children of Oakhurst graduates Nobody uestions the high mortality rate of Oakhurst grads Every year roughly eight students go missing sometimes with a paper thin cover story Such as getting sent to a Muggle hospital to have a broken limb repaired instead of letting the on campus healing mages do it as is standard practice Nobody uestions this The students are pushed to be competitive at everything and teachers go out of their way to discourage friendship groups Nobody uestions this either And although one of the above is resolved by the end of the story the bizarre acceptance of all of this is never explained nor you guessed it really uestionedThe main plot does indeed follow the mystery of the vanishing students with many many dull digressions into how the school works Although Oakhurst is blatantly copied from Hogwarts it doesn't have the same sense of magic and wonder about it This may be a result of the main character's still dormant magical abilities She doesn't get to participate in the really fun magical stuff because she can't do anything yet or even guess at what she'll be able to do There are moments in the story that are great the trip to the subbasement and the final confrontation But it's painfully obvious from early on that the view spoilerWild Hunt hide spoiler I wanted to enjoy this book much than I did I really love Mercedes Lackey's work so naturally I was thrilled to get my hands on this ARC However I found it to be cliche predictable and disappointingThree things 1 Oakhurst is scenery porn There's no way around it Every time someone started describing how sumptuous this place was I gagged2 Spirit? What a terrible terrible name You'd think she would have some kind of bearable nickname to lighten the burden I got really really sick of reading this name3 Does no one in books ever read books? I so called the Big Bad; it's obvious to anyone who's encountered it in other fantasy novels Rosemary Edghill is the co author I actually think she's the better author and has collaborated many times with LackeyLot of uestions left to answer in the further episodes of this DARK Hogwarts It seems to a tie in with the Urban Elves world already created by Lackey starting with Bedlam's Bard but I could be wrong Very kid friendly reading which is a big fantasy market now

Paperback  ñ Legacies MOBI ¼
  • Paperback
  • 308 pages
  • Legacies (Shadow Grail, #1)
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • English
  • 21 February 2016
  • 9780765317612