Monday, 23 May 2016

Review: The 52nd by Dela

Title: The 52nd
Author: Dela
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Pages: 461
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Review copy from the publisher

The 52nd
Not one of the sacrifices chosen over the long history had survived--until now.

On the tip of the Yucatan peninsula, the immortal Castillo family gathers in Tulum. Weary and haunted, they receive the names of fifty-two human sacrifices chosen once every fifty-two years for the Underworld, a tradition thought to have disappeared with the fall of the Aztec and Mayan empires.

Driving home one night, college freshman Zara Moss swerves to avoid hitting a ghastly figure in the road. Lucas Castillo witnesses the car crash, but when it comes time to supervise her abduction from the wreckage, he intervenes. Something is different about Zara: Lucas has been having dreams of her arrival for five hundred years.

As Lucas and Zara come together to put an end to the bloody sacrifices, they discover that the ancient tradition isn't so easily broken. The gods are angry, and they have until the Winter Solstice to drag Zara to the Underworld.
I had such high hopes for The 52nd but it turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the year so far for me. It sounds like such a brilliant story; the Mayan and Aztec mythology sounds beyond awesome and unfortunately there wasn't enough of it.

The problem mainly is that the story is so familiar... Zara is a virgin (which is important of course) who is of interest to this rich immortal Castillo family; the son, Lucas is inexplicably drawn to Zara and he slowly overtakes her life under the guise of protecting her from others who want to harm her. Lucas desires Zara fiercely but as an old fashioned guy, he wants to be married before he does the deed. I don't think I need to name the particular book/series this brings to mind... Every cliché and trope that exists in YA is in this book somewhere and although that may not bother some readers, it was just not my cup of tea.

In my opinion, most of the book is centred on profuse description of how rich the Castillo family is or Zara's mundane day to day existence with her boring friends. It was dull. The romance between Lucas and Zara made me physically cringe in places. Zara herself is a very flat character, there was nothing really that special about her; she was just this cookie cutter blond character who is irresistible to Lucas. Yawn. The ending was beyond infuriating also.

Despite the many issues I had with it, there were a few moments where The 52nd sparkled and showed real potential. The beginning of the book was particularly good as well as the premise of the story itself. Clearly this book is loved and has had some rave reviews but it just did not work for me unfortunately.

I received this book for free but was not required to give a review. All opinions stated are my own.

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