Read Prophecy by Ellen Oh Online


For fans of bestselling author Marie Lu comes this heart-stopping first book in Ellen Oh’s trilogy about the greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms . . . a girl with yellow eyes. Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this incredible debut!Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and she’s also the prince’s bodyguard. A demonFor fans of bestselling author Marie Lu comes this heart-stopping first book in Ellen Oh’s trilogy about the greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms . . . a girl with yellow eyes. Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this incredible debut!Kira’s the only female in the king’s army, and she’s also the prince’s bodyguard. A demon slayer and an outcast, she’s hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And she’s their only hope. . . .Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King’s prophecy, but the legendary lost ruby treasure just might be the true key to victory. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost, while raising a prince into a king....

Title : Prophecy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062091109
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 316 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Prophecy Reviews

  • Steph Sinclair
    2019-02-26 05:15

    Actual rating is around 1.5 starsOn the back of my ARC it reads: "It's Graceling meets Eon in this action-packed fantasy adventure by debut author Ellen Oh." In all honesty, I think that statement does a huge disservice to all three novels. And because of that one little sentence, I went into Prophecy expecting something epic with rich descriptions, epic fight scenes and a main character worth rooting for. Unfortunately, I found none of that. I tried to love Prophecy. Truly, I did, but it just never worked out and I'm really sad it didn't because I love Ellen to bits.Prophecy and I had a very rocky time together that could mirror a relationship from a Taylor Swift song. The saddest part of it all is that I know I could have enjoyed this novel a lot more if it weren't for three very important factors.The Characters:Cookie cut-out, cardboard characters. That's the best way to describe every last character in Prophecy. Sure, the bare bones was there. We have Kira, the main character, who is a strong, warrior girl. Her sworn duty is to protect her younger cousin and Crowned Prince, Taejo, from any and all harm. She is also hated by everyone in the land, despite the fact that her job is also to protect those very people from demon attacks. In fact, the people call her The Demon Slayer, which is kind of funny considering we are told the people are kept in ignorance of the existence of demons. So why do the people call her that? No clue. It really never made much sense, and really, that's the least of Prophecy's problems. All of this is TOLD to the reader in the first two chapters. What does Kira like to do? Fight demons. Does she have any long-term aspirations? Protect the Prince forever and ever. Is that nobel? Sure. But how is it really any different from Bella's obsession with Edward? I'm not sure it is.The other characters are no better. We are given a brief introduction to Kira's mom and we are TOLD how kind she is. We are TOLD her dad is a great general. And Taejo. Taejo is the most infuriating character out of the bunch and only serves as a damsel in distress to give Kira something to do since her life long goal only includes taking a bullet for him. In the beginning, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but as the novel wore on, I began to wonder if he possessed any sort of training at all or courage or bravery or balls. Apparently, none of those things. And don't get me wrong. I love a strong female character that saves herself and friends, but not at the expense of the others looking useless or helpless.The rest of the characters did show promise, but they were never fleshed out and served more as sidekicks than anything else. For example, the love interest, Jaewon, I did like. He seemed to have a good story behind him. Troubled past filled with pain and a chance for redemption. Unfortunately, it was never really tapped into. Though, perhaps Oh is saving that for the subsequent novels along with the romance that was never fully formed, but instead thrown in at a blasé sort of way. Because of that, I felt the little line where he says he'd "always do whatever she asked" was a little much. Why would he? What sort of connection did he develop with Kira with their brief interactions in between fight scenes? However, I will say that I did appreciate the romance not being in the forefront.Show. Don't Tell:Immediately, from the first chapter I had a sneaky suspicion that this would be an issue. Readers are told entirely too much about the characters instead of getting to know them for themselves. With every character we are introduced to, the reader is told what kind of person he or she is. There is no surprise with thinking one character is good, but later turning to the dark side. It made Prophecy incredibly predictable and with flat characters, the element of surprise could have saved this novel. I'm supposed to like Taejo because he is young and the prince and is good. But I don't. I'm supposed to like their uncle, King of the neighboring Kingdom of Guru. Then Kira decides she doesn't trust him because slight ruthless nature, but it doesn't matter because I never liked him anyway. I'm supposed to like Kira because she is the main character who has poor self-esteem and must find her way in a kingdom that doesn't appreciate her. But I don't. See the problem here? I'm not shown enough about the characters to actually develop any feelings toward them one way or another.Also, because there was mostly telling the fight scenes were shorter and less descriptive than what I would have liked, making them just as eventful as if they were all frolicking through a meadow. This caused the pacing to feel very off at times. One paragraph they are fighting, then the next it's suddenly over and they're walking to an inn.Basic Writing:And even with the other negatives, I could have enjoyed it more if the writing style meshed better with me. This is the biggest problem with it being compared to Eon and Graceling. It's like a little kid trying to put daddy's pants on. He looks awfully cute in it, but just isn't ready to wear those digs. This is where I really think Prophecy would have been better marketed to the Middle Grade audience instead. There is just way too much hand-holding and explaining terms that are better left inferred to my liking. Prophecy does a lot of what Stormdancer did, where it used foreign terms (in this case Korean) that readers my not be familiar with. If there was more showing, the reader could have easily used context clues to guess the meaning. It just felt like there was a lot of "talking down" to the reader and it completely turned me off to the story. This lead to a very basic plot with predictable twists, causing the heroine to appear very slow on the uptake. And that in turn caused me moments of great frustration similar to when Eona couldn't figure out how to call her dragon for majority of a 531 page novel. *headdesk* (Oh, hey, look! There's the comparison.) Sad to say, veteran high fantasy and critical readers will not be impressed by this.Still, while Prophecy did hold significant faults for me, I do appreciate the amount of research Oh obviously invested into the novel. She had a clear outline of her world building and it showed. And there were a few lines that made me chuckle. I just wish there had been a little more time to develop everything. Truthfully, Prophecy isn't a bad novel and if my daughter was around age 10, it'd be a book I would buy her. For anyone else, I highly recommend anyone considering it to seek out a sample chapter first.  But as for me? It's not really my thing. Maybe the series will get better in the next book. Maybe all my concerns are cleared up. But Prophecy and I are like a pair of incompatible, bickering lovers. Fine on our own, just not so great together. And we're probably "never ever, ever getting back together."An ARC was provided by the publisher for an honest review. More reviews and other fantastical things at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.

  • Nafiza
    2019-03-09 08:17

    I had been looking forward to Prophecy ever since I read the synopsis. It sounds so bloody fantastic. But alas.Okay, this may be unfair considering that the novel is Oh’s debut but I could not help but compare Prophecy to Eon/Eona. Considering the thematic nature and the similarities in not just setting but also subject matter, comparisons are inevitable. The Eon/Eona duology, though not without flaws, is a sophisticated work where prose, plotting and characterization are concerned. The novels are well thought out and the world building is detailed and exquisite. So when I say the bar was set high…it would be an understatement.Prophecy is original in that the setting is a mythical Korea and while we have seen mythical Japan, we, or at least I, have not seen a Korean setting for any YA novel. I studied Korean for four years in University and I can speak and write it though not as fluently as I would like to. I am also familiar with the culture and the food of the place though I am not a great aficionado of the pop music. Dramas are what I love and keep reading for a chance to see me cast Prophecy with Korean actors. Anyway, back to the review.Kira could have been a very interesting character had Oh given her a chance to develop on her own rather than handing all aspects and facets of her personality to us. Showing rather than telling would have been better and the pacing is a bit too fast. Oh relies too much on reader familiarity with the trope. What I mean by this is that though readers have seen many female warriors in fantasy novels, each one is different and each one deserves careful development. Kira doesn’t get that development. We meet her and are immediately flung into the action. There needed to be more visual descriptions – that would have served to slow the pace as well as give us secondhand information about Kira – how she kept her room, what was in her room, her private conversations with her mother – these would have spoken immensely about her character. I also did not appreciate how the court ladies were immediately shoved into a stereotype – there was no delicacy to this and I would have loved to see something extra, a quick explanation about these court ladies, an explanation of their motivations and an understanding beyond the superficial “they hate me because I am not feminine like them.” Also, I really did not buy the hatred the King has for Kira. I would think that saving his son would be enough to overrule his objections to her femininity.It would have been so awesome to see a scene where Kira’s parents receive gifts from the uncle who wants his nephew to marry Kira. There was potential for so much in the way the gifts would have been received and Kira’s reaction to the gifts and to the evidence that someone desired her as she was and not as she should be. Instead, we have the first side of a love triangle forcefully established as Kira faces the dude who wants to marry her and instead of being totally repulsed by him she is unwillingly intrigued and that is it to their relationship. There is no gradual growth or conversation or any communication really apart from him popping up at odd intervals vowing to take Kira back as she is his betrothed and he cannot wait to have her writhing beneath him. I’m rolling my eyes here.The other love interest, Jae something, is very interesting and perhaps one of the few people I was really intrigued by. The prince is very annoying simply because he is not very princely. If there is trouble to be got into, he gets into it. I would think that he being the prince of a country, would be aware of his importance to his people and would act thusly. However, he lacks the gravitas which is a bit unbelieving because despite his young age, he has been brought up to be the next king so it makes no sense that he would insist on going to places and in situations that could potentially kill him.The pacing, as I have said, felt rushed and the plotting didn’t appeal to me either. Korean culture and myth is so rich and so many of the mythical elements could have been worked into the narrative. Alas, not many of them were and I was just disappointed.There were a lot of terms used in the narrative that I hope will be placed in a glossary so that those not familiar with the language will be able to better visualize and understand. I have now written an essay on the book. Sorry. If it’s tl:dr, just take this away: I wish I could have liked the novel a lot more than I did. It did not live up to my expectations. However, don’t take my word for it. Make up your own mind.

  • Bookworm007
    2019-03-08 06:19

    Who else thinks this is a copycat of Graceling?I'm pretty sure Prophecy can be rewritten like this (bolded = Graceling copied, underlined = substituted with Graceling aspects):"The greatest warrior in all of the Seven Kingdoms . . . is a girl with green and blue eyes.Katsa's the only female in the king’s army, and the prince’s best friend. She’s the king's thug and an outcast, feared by nearly everyone in her home kingdom of Middluns. And, she’s their only hope. . . .Kidnaped grandfathers and tyrannical rulers point to a possible war, sending Katsa on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King Prophecy, but the missing treasure of myth may be the true key. With only the guidance of their Graces, Katsa must battle giant bears, brainwashed civilians, and the Twisted King himself to find what was once lost and raise a princess into a queen.Intrigue and mystery, ancient lore and action-packed fantasy come together in this heart-stopping first book in a trilogy."So yeah, that's that.

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-03-11 03:09

    Writing this review gives me no pleasure. I've been eagerly anticipating Prophecy for months, ever since I heard the comparison to Graceling. On top of that, Ellen Oh totally rocks and I've loved conversing with her on Twitter. Even more excitement stemmed from the Korean setting; I'm completely obsessed with kdrama, and Korea as a result of that. Perhaps I should stop adding books compared to Kristin Cashore to my reading list, as I think three out of three have been monumental failures for me.Much as I wanted to love this, Prophecy just is not good, especially not as a book for older teens or adult crossover readers. Oh's simple writing might better suit younger readers, just transitioning to fantasy. Those readers, too, might be less familiar with fantasy tropes and thus less aware of where the plot was going from page one. Kira sounded like my kind of heroine from the blurb. There are so many books that I have loved that centered on a female with major butt-kicking powers, including Graceling. While Kira does successfully kick and punch and smite a lot of bad guys, she never does manage to develop any sort of a personality. When not killing things, she has no clue what to do with herself, bumbling along in a naive awkwardness. She has no interests aside from fighting and thinks about nothing but that and her family. She is single-minded to the point of unreality. Worse still, Kira whines constantly, misunderstood by everyone in her kingdom. In theory, I should have her back; I mean, I've been friendless and it's incredibly awful, and certainly being the only woman in the army cannot be easy either. Because of the aforementioned lack of personality, I couldn't muster any feelings but annoyance. She also read much younger to me.Everyone calls her Demon Slayer, and loathes her, thinking her a murderer of humans, unaware that she is actually slaying demons, who secretly wander the kingdom in human guise. Anyone else see the problem in there? If the populace doesn't know demons exist, why would they be calling her Demon Slayer? Kira has increased strength, yellow eyes, and a powerful sense of smell to aid in her demon smiting. She mentions that the stench of unwashed people in a public house can give her a powerful headache, yet she wanders through several fetid sewer tunnels throughout the course of the novel without any ill effects. These plot holes irritated me greatly.Sadly, none of the other characters really have any more meat on their fictional bones. Taejo, crown prince of Hansong, has to be one of the most irritating child characters I have ever encountered in fiction. What a freaking useless brat! He has all of the fighting skills of the chick in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which is to say none; he exists solely for yelling, getting kidnapped, and needing to be rescued. Despite his inability to do much of anything, every one in the world is convinced that he will be the Demon Musado of prophecy, meant to slay the evil doer, and that he will be the king to unite everyone. All of his decisions are impulsive and cause more trouble, but no one seems to notice how incredibly awful he is or that, should they not start training him soon, he would be the worst king in the entire universe. Instead, everyone indulges his temper tantrums and does what he says.The only characters I found remotely interesting were Kira's two love interests, though nothing much has been done with them yet, since Kira is too obliviously unaware to get involved in a romance. For some reason, both are attracted to her, despite her inability to hold conversations for longer than five minutes. Both guys have a bit more depth and show some glimmer of promise.What really killed me, though, was how boring the action scenes were. If only the action had been great, the book could have been saved just a little bit. Unfortunately, everything happened too easily. Battles end in about a page and a half. People attack, Kira slices, Taejo gets grabbed, Kira chases and slices, and the battle is over. This formula plays out time and again. There's no sense of suspense. The style is very telling, and just does not give a good sense of what's actually happening or make me care at all.The best part of Prophecy was that I made it into a kdrama in my head. This little movie got me through the book much more quickly. Also, even though I clearly didn't love the book, if they made this into a kdrama, I would watch it in a heartbeat. They should definitely do that. It could be my first historical! A predictable plot, flat characters, and mediocre writing made Prophecy one of my biggest disappointments this year. Some may enjoy this, but it really was not for me. Hardcore fantasy fans will likely not be thrilled with Prophecy.

  • Cyna
    2019-03-16 05:13

    Prophecy is kind of a bundle of problems, but almost all of those problems can be directly attributed to the ultra-simplified writing style. Holy crap this writing is bad. It’s a rough sketch without shading or detail, a skeleton without innards or flesh. The bare bones of a story are here, with all the basic things that you need to get a plot from start to finish – this event happens, this character does x, this character feels y, this event takes x amount of time – but without any of the meat that gives a story depth, and makes it feel lifelike. It’s a wordy outline.And it doesn’t work. Like at all.The key factor here is telling: this book TELLS us everything. Directly, simply, and in no uncertain terms, we’re told who characters are, what they feel, what they want. There’s no room for subtle or showing anything, shit just HAPPENS and you need to know about it so that we can MOVE ON to the next THING.People feared Kira. They called her the Demon Slayer to her face and much worse behind her back. It didn’t matter that she was a first cousin to the crown prince or that she’d saved his life from a demon attack. Ten years was long enough for most to forget what really happened and instead to believe the rumors that began soon after.BAM, Kira’s backstory and social status, DONE. FIRST LINES IN THE BOOK.Kira beamed at the gentle monk from Kaya. He was one of Kira’s favorite temple companions. Whatever she needed, Brother Insu always tried to provide.Good to know, because we’ve literally never seen or heard of this character before. Thanks for not wasting time showing them interact or speak even once before this!Kira liked her uncle, sensing his sharp intelligence and his aura of power. He was a mix of her aunt’s assertiveness coupled with her mother’s kindness. But once in a while, she sensed a cold ruthlessness in him. She didn’t necessarily think it was a bad thing. After all, he was ruler of the largest kingdom in the peninsula. And it was clear that Taejo already idolized their uncle.If she were to be completely honest, some of her uneasiness stemmed from jealousy. She felt supplanted by Eojin in Taejo’s affections and she didn’t like it.BAM, all the stuff you might have learned about Kira’s uncle and her feelings about him through interaction, explained to you in two paragraphs. NEXT.“King Eojin is a good man, but he is set in his ways and immovable once his decision is made. When I arrived, I explained to the king the mission you and your friends must embark upon. But he refused to let me speak with any of you, for it is a long and treacherous route back into enemy territory for such youngsters, and not a one among you has yet to see twenty years.” “That wasn’t his decision to make,” Kira said. “I agree,” he said. He bowed in thanks as Seung set out a fur rug for the monk to sit on. “But remember the king’s tragic history. He doesn’t want to lose any more of his family.”But remember the king’s tragic history.But remember the king’s tragic history.BUT REMEMBER THE KING’S TRAGIC BACKSTORY.It’s like reading a book made of note to selves. NOTE TO SELF: REMEMBER THE KING’S TRAGIC BACKSTORY. EDIT IN DEMONSTRATIVE CHARACTERIZATION LATER.NOTE TO SELF: KIRA IS JEALOUS OF EOJIN, FEELS SUPPLANTED IN TAEJO’S AFFECTIONS. SHOW THIS!!NOTE TO SELF: INSU IS KIRA’S FAVORITE MONK. ADD SCENE OF THEM TALKING.The strange, kind of disjointedly direct writing undermines the story on every axis. Like, okay, the characterization isn’t great, but I could still theoretically get by if the book had a really interesting, detailed plot, or an engaging world. But those facets are just as thinly developed. The plot is a totally boilerplate fantasy Chosen One MacGuffin plot, and without any atmosphere or developed mythology or mystery to dress it up, the rote, naked utility of a MacGuffin plot is even more apparent. Like, why are there three items that have to be collected by the Dragon Musado? Well, because there are three books. These things aren’t imbued with any particular significance or meaning, it’s just like “The prophecy says three. NEXT.”And while it’s always nice to see even a stock fantasy story set somewhere that isn’t pseudo-medival-Europe, the world-building details are just as sparse as everything else here.So, swing and a miss on the characters, plot, relationships, and world, but the nail in the coffin is the unexpected girlhate. I was really disappointed to find so few women in this book, and almost no meaningful relationships. Instead we get yet another Strong Female Protagonist(TM) surrounded by men, who loudly derides girly things and the women who like them.Inside, Kira faltered as she caught the mocking glances and sneers of the queen’s court ladies. It was as if she’d stumbled into a beautiful flower garden filled with poisonous snakes. Kira was good at ignoring them, but still their contempt burned her. At her approach, one by one they flicked open their fans before their faces—a wall as fragile as butterfly wings and yet completely insurmountable.How she hated them.Kira let out a frustrated groan. She didn’t want to think this way. She was a soldier, not a simpering court lady.I thought at first that maybe Kira’s opinions about the court ladies would be challenged, but nope, they all literally throw themselves off a cliff later in the book, so there’s never any opportunity. Actually, come to think of it, almost every single significant female character throws herself off a cliff eventually.The queen, Kira’s mother, and the exposition goddesses are arguably positive influences, but they get no development, and less screen time than any one of Kira’s six named male traveling companions. They’re more plot devices than actual characters, even by Prophecy‘s lax standards.So basically we’ve got Kira, a textbook Exceptional Woman, complete with a hefty handbag of internalized misogyny. Tres disappointing. .There are other things that bothered me, that didn’t make sense, but if I were to examine them each individually, I suspect it would all come back to the sparseness of the writing. My confusion over the origins of Kira’s tiger spirit, the awkward tracking of time, Kira’s emotional whiplash re: her douchey fiancee, all come back to a general absence of development of anything.I was really hoping to enjoy this one, but like every single aspect was a complete miss for me. I hate to say it, but I probably won’t be following up with the rest of the series.ONE AND A HALF STARSMore reviews and bonus quotespam at You'reKilling.Us

  • Eden
    2019-02-25 05:23

    The writing. The writing, the writing, the writing. Awkwardness abounds. There's telling instead of showing, a lack of flow, character emotions that jump from one to another, and through it all, there's no sense of voice to get us engaged into Kira's third-person perspective. The characters tell each other information that's already been told; dialogue tags ("Brother Woojin said", "Kira asked", "Kwan said to Kira") are all over the place. It's like a new speed bump, every time you come up against a slice of bad writing, and it really takes the steam out of this book.There is an authentic Korean feel to this book, thanks to the character names, the food and the lifestyles. However, the worldbuilding falls short. Names of cities and the Seven Kingdoms litter the pages, so numerous that when it comes down the politics, there's no intrigue or anticipation on the part of the reader, since we don't even know who's who. Not even the prophecy ("Seven become three; three become one") makes the lands more memorable or interesting. As well, there seem to be no ground rules for the fantastical creatures: beyond demons and imps (who are apparently blanket-evil), it seems that anything goes.Fight scenes that spot the novel regularly are a highpoint: authentic fight vocabulary describes Kira's every movement and swords, arrows and appendages are flung about with convincing efficiency. However, they match the pacing of this book: short and stilted. Extremely short chapters cut off the scenes that would normally develop the characters and their interactions, and the multiple legs of the story's journey seem circuitous.Without solid writing, worldbuilding basics or characters worth investing in, this novel founders. Not recommended.*Review originally published at Pass the Chiclets.

  • Mitch
    2019-03-08 08:18

    If you’re looking for the start of the next great fantasy series, I’d suggest looking elsewhere, because Prophecy isn’t it. However, if you’re just looking for a serviceable fantasy with some straightforward demon slaying action and don’t mind the middling to poor writing, well, there are plenty of worse books I can think of than this one. So while I wouldn’t recommend picking up Prophecy over the book it’s obviously reminiscent of, Graceling, plotwise at least I wouldn’t say it’s leagues (or li as it may be) worse either.But yes, one hundred percent of this book’s troubles is the writing. Ellen Oh’s style isn’t bad per se, isn’t unreadable per se (believe me, I’ve seen unreadable writing...), it’s just simple. Sometimes, that works, like Kira’s introductory scene with that no good nameless thief who filches her bag of coins, but most of the time, it’s flat, telling instead of showing, strings of short sentences by way of action, clunky dialogue, you know how it is. The keyword here though is serviceable, because I had no trouble following the narrative and the prose didn’t drive me bonkers, but neither is it the greatest thing since sliced bread. The characters were active and did things, but they weren’t outstanding or fully connected with me. The descriptions of the Korean inspired setting were there, but they weren’t impressive or captivating. The details added to the story, but they weren’t memorable or wowing. In short, for a genre with awesome characterizations, fantastical settings, richly detailed descriptions, and even whimsical inanimate objects, Prophecy falls kinda short in all the requisite departments.The bigger issue though is that the poor writing bleeds into the other aspects of the story and really does a great disservice to this book. Probably the biggest example is Kira’s cousin, Prince Taejo, who’s supposed to be this brave and eager little guy who gets himself into trouble because he can’t help but do the right thing - at least I assume that’s Oh’s intent, because in reality he reads more like an annoying brat who’s only purpose is needing to be rescued - all the time. The problem? All his dialogue basically consists of a bunch of short clipped sentences, the majority ending in exclamation points - probably to show how excited or emotional he is, but the effect just makes him seem like he’s whining every time he opens his mouth. I can also point to the first of Kira’s two love interests, Shin Bo Hyun - it just feels like Oh’s trying too hard to create this romantic tension between him and Kira, like two star crossed lovers on opposite sides of the conflict, but in reality Oh’s dialogue makes the guy sound more like a lecherous psychopath. And the second guy, Jaewon? Hardly felt his presence at all. However, if I look beyond the writing, there’s actually a pretty good story buried beneath the mediocre prose - a brisk action adventure based on Korean mythology starring a girl trying to prove herself and stop an extremely dangerous foe. Yeah, to do so requires giving Oh the benefit of the doubt and looking at her intentions rather than what’s actually written on the page at times, but like I said, that’s really the writing’s fault. Like Oh overemphasizes Kira as the lone woman in a man’s world, a Demon Slayer feared and maybe reviled by her people, but even if it’s a common enough theme that’s been done much better in many a fantasy before, for me at least it still worked because the medieval Asian societies Prophecy takes its inspiration from are notoriously misogynistic to the point that many of the over the top reactions Kira gets could be considered accurate if melodramatic. That, and the actual plot involves wide scale conflict between what are obviously the Korean kingdoms and Japan, lots of action packed searching, defending, and killing goes on, and obviously loads of demon slaying occurs throughout, so there’s a lot to keep anyone busy, even if the pacing could’ve used work because I got little to no sense of many of the minor characters.So would I recommend Prophecy? No. But I liked it, even if the clunky writing made the characters seem like they were shouting at each other when they were merely excited, because, even after finishing this, I can still imagine myself reading this on a rainy day if there was nothing else.

  • Alz
    2019-03-01 08:22

    This book is extremely clunkily written, rife with summary, half-scenes, and nonsensical chapter breaks. Everything is told, not shown, with bald statements and explanations of reasons for jealousy/anger/etc. told upfront. Kira was angry. Kira was jealous because she'd always been closer to Taejo. Kira's wounds magically heal overnight because of her magical tiger spirit.The plot is a basic quest fantasy mixed with wartime because of an invading country, but everything is summarized or not even summarized, things just happen or people just appear. At one point I thought the main party had lost its entire retinue, and then suddenly a chapter later a character I thought was dead suddenly spoke up, and I was like WTF WEREN'T YOU DEAD, AND IF YOU WEREN'T THEN WHERE WERE YOU THIS ENTIRE TIME?All characters are exactly as they appear. If Kira doesn't like someone, said character has a 100% chance of being evil. If Kira likes someone, said character is 100% good. Subtltety and intrigue, thy places are not within the realm of Prophecy.Even the titular prophecy itself becomes more than a plot device--as you'd expect, there's a twist or two involved, but it's one of those twists where, if the thought occurred to you beforehand, obviously it's not much of a twist--but then again, the prophecy itself is so poorly-explicated by the various monks, well, you might not have guessed otherwise.The quest too is both very long (in that it takes them forever to get there, in part because they're supposed to wait for a certain time, but it's only explained in a one-liner pages later why they had to sit around and wait) and very short (in that once they get to where they're going, they pretty much just walk in and find their thing and walk out). One does not simply walk into Mordor, but one simply does walk into the Diamond Mountains. Easy-peasy.As for villains, well, you know that evil shaman mentioned in the blurb? He feels like an afterthought thrown in to give Kira something to focus on. He's the vaguest token villain ever who hardly even matters in the story. There are traitors and other villains/antagonists too, but they're Really Evil right from the beginning and don't develop any depth or interesting motives, so they're non-villains too.Depth. The book lacks it in every way. The characters have none, the writing has none, the themes only dip a toe into depth--for instance, Prince Taejo's road to his coming-of-age was the best part of this mediocre story, and by "best" it's still mediocre because there's not enough of it. Too much of the book is spent on Kira Feeling This and Kira Smelling That and Kira Roundhouse Kicking Demon-Possessed Japanese Soldiers in the Groin.The only good thing about this book is the Korean-based setting. The details and research seem authentic, but even so the depiction of many details feels mechanical because of the clunky writing-style, like reading a Wikipedia page describing a building with hexagonal rooms or mentioning the floor has a unique floor-heating system without bothering to explain how exactly said floor-heating system works. Like, I mean, that's a good interesting world-building historical detail, but all the research and details are under-utilized and poorly-represented.I still can't get over the poorly-written summarized "scenes" that make up 75% of this book. There's a scene of what is essentially mass suicide that Kira witnesses and it's covered in approximately one paragraph. There are other scenes where you'd expect an account of their harrowing escape from etc. or sneaking away from etc. and instead, they just leave, and that's it. Other times there will be exciting summary along the lines of "and then on the way there, they were attacked by demons and barely escaped soldiers", followed by a riveting scene of our intrepid party sleeping bundled up against the cold, because that's really what I want to read about.Actually, I take that back. I was getting tired of reading the action scenes because 1) they're very mechanically described while at the same time being 2) unclear. Does that make sense? Kira will be kicking ass in one place and suddenly she's in another and suddenly more demons "appear" (that is a word that frequently pops up in these action sequences) and she'll be fighting them and suddenly other people are dead and others are kidnapped and then it's two hours before Kira rides off to the rescue. And I'm just like WHY WERE YOU WAITING AROUND FOR TWO HOURS????Basically, there's not enough description that matters; all the words are wasted on telling us how Kira waves her sword around--which comes with another extremely frustrating element of this very problematic book.Kira is supposed to be this super badass Demon Slayer. At one point, she's literally shooting in the dark at demons (and regular-but-evil-or-enemy soldiers) and kills like 30 of them with all 30 of her arrows, and then she's decapitating them and cleaving them in two and stuff, and then in the next instant she's easily disarmed by this possible-love-interest-that-I-didn't-buy. Not only does he disarm her with a single move, he also sweeps her up into an embrace against her will. WTF?At critical times, the odds are 50/50 that Kira will suddenly become totally incompetent. And I mean each critical time individually; in the same scene, she will go from Badass to Martial Arts Moron within the span of a page. Outnumbered in this part? Never fear, she hacks her way through! But then suddenly a named character/villain shows up, and alas! Kira gets served a hot dish of smackdown.Hmm, maybe I have pinpointed it there. Against anyone with a name/that she actually knows, Kira is suddenly rendered helpless or at least at 30% of her normal implausible badassery.I wish this book had been better. If it had just been written better, it could have bumped itself up anywhere from 2-3 stars. The plot is generic, but the setting and basic details are good--it's the characters and writing style that make this book a chore to wade through with no real reward at the end.

  • Joy (joyous reads)
    2019-03-10 07:12

    Prophecy is a mediocre fantasy that would be appreciated well by those who are daunted by the other door stopper novels in this genre. Clocking at 312 pages, it had enough of the elements to consider the book as such but sadly not enough to make it a memorable piece of literature.At the end of the day, it all goes down to the author's inability to beef up her characters. They're what you see is what you get and therefore hardly remarkable. This is unfortunate because the synopsis alluded to a very strong female character that had the power to save mankind. In fact, a lot of the hype surrounding this book had to do with her similarities to Katsa, Graceling's main character. And I'm a fan of Katsa; Cashore developed her in such a way that she's become one of the strongest female standard, in my opinion. Kira, however, didn't really live up to it. Oh she can slay demons, I give you that. However, she's not a very convincing character; she lacks heart and the chutzpah. It all comes down to writing, I suppose. I'm supposed to admire her because she is what she is. But that's not how I fall in love with characters. It's a process, you see. I need to see how she came to be; I need to feel how she felt.I must say that Shin Bo piqued my interest. He's Kira's supposed betrothed but was in league with the bad guys. But because Oh didn't really spend too much time developing her characters, the romantic elements in this book just made for an awkward read. I had so much hopes for these two because I've always been a fan of two strong clashing personalities who found it difficult to resist their attractions for one another. There's also another guy in the picture but in all honesty, he's not even worth the mention. Again, flatness abounds.I didn't sense any urgency with their quest as well. It was as if the characters were following a step-by-step procedure written by the author. As much as I'd like to say her legends and myth were researched well, I can't. I'm not going to pretend I know anything about Korean ancient world. I can only take her word for it. If I dismissed the fact that this book was based on an interpretation of that world, then I can truthfully say that it was well done.There's a wide-spread usage of Korean colloquialism in this novel that may hinder the readers from fully enjoying this book. Even though there was a glossary of terms to help us, it made for a choppy read because I ended up stopping just to find out what the word means.In the end, I think this is one of those rare instances when I wished the book was longer than it was. It could've used a hundred more pages of substance, in my opinion.

  • Damaris (GoodChoiceReading)
    2019-03-21 07:08

    Prophecy is a book that I can easily see making it to the top on NYT Best Selling list. This book was fantastic! I read through it in a day and found myself craving more.What gets me is that there is no romance whatsoever in this book. Usually I need at least a kiss, or a pinch of romance to keep me going. With Prophecy it was the main character that kept me going. Kira is a character that I found myself loving from the first chapter, and think that she is very well written. I was so engrossed in the story that a romance wasn't even on my mind. I loved every little thing about the book, the world, and the characters.I can see a romance coming, but if I am wrong I will be okay with that. Prophecy has enough action to keep you glued to the pages. the fight scenes are so detailed and put together well that it was so easy to picture it all in my head. I felt like I was watching a movie play out. Everything that takes place left me at the edge of my seat.With Kira killing Demons, protecting her family and friends, every chapter revealing a little at a time, all the betrayal, secrets, what is there not to like about this book? It's just a non-stop roller coaster ride.The only thing I had a bit of an issue with was the names of the characters. They were very similar or hard to pronounce. After the first couple of chapters, though, I caught on and was able to look past it. The book started out a 4 star for me, but turned into a 5 star well before the middle. Loved it!This book can be read by adults and teens. A definite Good Choice for Reading! You will be entertained from beginning to end.5 out of 5 stars!

  • Erika
    2019-02-25 03:00

    I need this book. I NEED THIS BOOK! If you still don't get it well I'll say it again. I need this book or I think I might go insane. It sounds so good even if it sounds a little like Graceling but that's ok because I LOVED that book.Can I have one? Please?So I CAN'T wait for this book. It needs to get here sooner. Oh please let me read it soon. Don't let the world end.When I get this book I know I'll be like thisIf this book had a house this would be meYeah so now I'm done and you all probably think I'm a little strange but its ok because...

  • Emily Anne
    2019-03-23 06:22

    Hmm, this is a hard book to review. Overall, I enjoyed Prophecy but some things just didn't seem right to me. Prophecy was pretty cool in some parts, dull in others, and sometimes the parts just moved to fast to catch anything. (There were so many "bad guys" I started getting confused about who did what!)A lot of times I look at a dragged-out series and think that it could have easily been one book. I have a whole opposite complaint for Prophecy. A whole boatload of things happened to fast to grasp. The author could have expanded a lot of things, and either made a bigger book, or cut Prophecy into two books. I never thought I would say a book was too action- packed. Wow.Because of the whole rushing-the-story thing, I never felt I got a connection with any of the characters. Which is a shame because Ellen Oh did create some great characters, and I definitely hope in the second book, Warrior, the audience gets to dwell on each more. Kira, the demon hunter, was overall a cool main character. She was different from any of the other main characters I have read about. I also enjoyed reading about her brother and her dad. To be honest, I never felt connected to the young prince. I had an extremely hard time visualizing him, and he acted like a variety of ages. Kira's love interest (I think, so far all the readers can do it predict) who will go unnamed because I forgot it, was very sweet and I was disappointed we didn't see more of him. Maybe in Warrior? Please?The plot was, as I have ranted about, rushed and all we can do is hope Ellen Oh slows down in future sequels. The Asian mythology was interesting, though had many complicated names I was prone to forgetting. Demons and other creatures bounded from the pages pretty vividly when they turned up. These were some of the better scenes. I especially enjoyed the beginning demon scene. Overall, Prophecy didn't meet my expectations, but I will definitely check out the next book!3/5 bookcases

  • Renee Ahdieh
    2019-03-15 07:57

    I was one of the lucky few given the amazing opportunity to read "Prophecy" ahead of schedule, and I was completely blown away by Oh's writing style and subject matter.Kira is a refreshing kind of heroine -- exactly the type one hopes to see young girls emulate. She embodies the best qualities of an epic hero, and also retains a level of accessibility that makes her refreshingly relatable.The story itself is masterfully told. Oh includes just the right amount of the Korean culture to bolster authenticity, and yet ensures that the reader will not become boggled down by new terms and ideas so much so as to lose sight of the tale . . . and it is SUCH a tale! Dragons, sword play, demon chasing, a hint of romance, and a quest for the truth of purpose all make "Prophecy" exactly the kind of story to read with a youngster or all on your own.Ellen Oh has written a wonderful tale, and I feel privileged to recommend "Prophecy" to readers of all ages with the strongest conviction that you will love it just as much as I did.A floor-touching obeisance, Ms. Oh!

  • Krispy
    2019-03-21 05:20

    Disclaimer: I'm Twitter acquaintances with Ellen Oh.I wanted SO MUCH to love this book. It's set in a fantasy version of ancient Korea, written by an Asian American author, starring a strong female character! Yay! Plus, from what I know of Ellen from the blogosphere, she's a smart, thoughtful, and nice lady. Oh, how I wanted this book to be The One. Unfortunately, there were a number of issues that I couldn't overlook, things I couldn't connect with that kept me from loving it.PROS: I don't need all my strong heroines to be butt-kicking warriors, but I do like girls who are tough, who can do what the boys do and then some. Kira fits this bill. This makes her an outsider in her patriarchal society, but so does her appearance and supernatural abilities. She is struggling against a lot, and I like that even though she's tough, she's also vulnerable in her loneliness.There's a hint of romance in this book, but I like that the overriding themes and most important relationships are about family and duty. The setting and world-building is also a plus. I'm always thrilled when fantasies stray away from the generic medieval Europe scene, and while I've seen Japanese and Chinese-based fantasies appear here and there, Korea has been a relatively untapped East Asian source. So it was definitely cool to see the similarities and differences in the folklore and history of Korea compared to the somewhat more familiar representations I've seen of Japanese and Chinese folklore and history. The cultural influence was obvious and it seems well-researched.Plot-wise, there’s nothing mind-blowing here but it is serviceable. The book moves along at a quick pace, and there’s plenty of action and magic. The elements of a fun and riveting adventure/quest story is there.CONS: Other reviews have mentioned this too, but there is too much telling and not enough showing in the text. I couldn’t connect with the characters because I basically knew them at face value. I was told explicitly what they were feeling and thinking, and if I was shown behavior that might be kind of ambiguous, the text immediately clarified after the action what the character’s motivations are. This led to characters without layers, and the few who seemed to have more depth to them never have that depth explored.The text was also too heavy-handed at times, constantly emphasizing and re-emphasizing the same points. I understand the need for this to show theme or to make a point (e.g. Kira’s outsider status), but it felt like too much because of the whole tell-not-show quality of the writing. For example, we see Kira being shunned and insulted, but we’re also told how shunned and insulted Kira feels at being shunned and insulted. There’s also a plot point involving the prophecy that could have been a pleasant little twist or even outright surprising if it weren’t for the text’s obvious hint dropping - the literary equivalent of a *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*.On top of that, I often felt like the pacing of scenes was a little off. Scenes would start off mundanely enough and then suddenly veer into the very dramatic and then end abruptly. There were a few potentially powerful scenes where I couldn’t help but wonder why there wasn’t more time spent building them. Before I could process the terrible thing that was happening, the terrible thing would be stopped or over and then the scene would end. And then there’s little to no follow through on some of these emotional threads. Depth. More. Depth. I never felt like enough time was being spent exploring character motivations/emotions or letting a scene play out.CONCLUSION: It was hard for me to rate this book because it was so frustrating to me. I can see that it has the elements and framework for a decent to good fantasy read, and I can see the research and thought that went into this story. But to me, it just didn’t live up to its potential. I think a lot of that had to do with the way this story was written and my inability to connect with the writing and characters. All in all, it was an okay read, and I can see that it can appeal to younger readers, especially those new to fantasy or looking for a different flavor of fantasy. As an older, more discerning reader though, I liked the world, but I need more meat on those story bones.

  • Emily (Book Jems)
    2019-03-13 05:06

    As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!I really like books that spin off Asian heritage. My love of the Eastern culture is pretty recent, but I will admit to having an addiction. I expected Prophecy to blow my mind, and I was really looking forward to read Ms. Oh's take on a Korean fantasy world. Too bad I noted that I was bored within the first ten percent.I honestly cannot think of anything positive to say about this novel besides the gorgeous cover. It fooled me into thinking this novel would be amazing. The premise was glorious. Demons, murder, prophecies and royalty? It's everything a fantasy lover could wish for! The cover makes you believe that dragons will be involved, and they really weren't… Boy, was I in for a shock when instead of the epic story filled with dragons, magic and swords, I got swords and a tiny bit of magic!Kira is the king's niece, the prince's bodyguard and the only female in the army. These are not the only things that makes her an outcast. She's also a demon slayer, which makes those around her immediately fear her. After her home, Hansong, is invaded, it is up to Kira and a small group of her companions to unfold to the Dragon King Prophecy and save the people and the kingdom.Now what exactly was wrong with Prophecy? It was completely predictable. The characters were obnoxious, few seemed realistic and none of them were likable. The writing was an unsettling combination of modern and historical. I honestly couldn't get a good idea of the exact era the story was supposed to take place in--so obviously, the world-building is dreadful. This needed so, so much work.It's almost impossible to like a book when you don't like any of the characters. And these characters were not easily to like. Personally, I didn't like any of them--to the point where I don't remember anyone's name besides Kira. The were unmemorable. No one else felt "solid," if you will. Kira's relationships with everyone were awkward. I absolutely could not stand her cousin, the prince. He might have been my least favorite character, which is sad because that means I liked the villains more than him.The author really focused on the wrong aspects. She didn't write characters to connect with, or a captivating plot. She seemed to want to fill the story as much as possible instead. I mean, had the book been expanded, it held enough to really make an entire series! So much happened in such a small book. …I've never read a fantasy novel as short as this. I know that longer doesn't necessarily mean better, but Prophecy desperately needed some extra girth. So many details were brought into play, but nothing was expanded on enough to help the audience understand. The information that needed to be in the story was left out.By the time it was over, I felt immensely relieved. FINALLY, I COULD START A NEW BOOK! But there was also some disappointment because I wanted so much for it to be good, but it fell totally and completely flat. I'm extremely annoyed because Prophecy was an utter mess. Nothing about the book made sense to me. It just did not work.I received an e-copy of this novel from the publisher for my honest opinion and review. I also received a finished copy after winning a giveaway.

  • Marina
    2019-02-26 09:00

    Prophecy is a refreshingly non-European fantasy set in mythical Korea, where demons have started leaking into the world and a legendary Dragon Masado is prophesied to save them all. I enjoyed the story overall. The plot line, while not that original, is interesting enough, since it's set in Korea and not generic medieval-England world. The characters were a bit static and the writing suffered towards the end; I would recommend this for younger YA readers.The main characters were okay, although I think Kira could have used a bit more personality aside from the kicking butt skills. It doesn't seem like she does anything else aside from fighting and protecting the royal family.The main cast also consists of mainly men and all the women --aside from Kira's mother-- get painted in a negative light. Of course, all the ladies in court hate her and make fun of her and she doesn't have a single friend aside from her brothers. I'm glad that at least her family didn't hate her guts.Also, for someone who was practically raised to protect the prince, she is incredibly incompetent at protecting him. She constantly leaves his side when they are being attacked to fight the attackers. Listen I'm not a body guard, but you kind of need to stay by someone side when they are being attacked in order for them not to be killed. What, does she think the attackers will wait in orderly fashion to attack, or just not attack him while she fights them? Not only that, but she constantly allows him to accompany them into dangerous situations in which he may be killed. All he has to do is throw a tantrum and she bends. Listen, maybe if he was fifteen or sixteen fine, but the boy is twelve. He is incredibly immature and spoiled. He is also the last of his line, so maybe instead of letting him go on a dangerous mission, you-- Oh, I don't know, lock him up, throw away the key and put guards every two feet. But no, she lets him come, and of course, he gets captured, threatened with death, and she of course is subdued. Who the hell left her in charge?The secondary characters were so static, that I honestly had trouble telling them apart sometimes. I did like the romantic interest and the slow progression of their relationship as they earned each other’s trust.The novel starts off great, but I feel like the quality of writing deteriorates from the beginning to end. In fact, if I didn't like the story as much as I did, I would have most likely stopped reading. For one there is way too much telling and not enough showing, the details sort of ebb away, and we are just told "They succeeded. Kira felt happy now."Also big spoilers but: I don't get why Kira has a tiger spirit and ends up being the dragon masado, why doesn't she have the dragon spirit? or would that have been too obvious? I mean it was obvious that she'd end up being The One, but really?The story was interesting, but the characters could have been better defined and flushed out.The writing could have used much more editing towards the end as well. I’m not sure I want to read the rest of the series.

  • Whitley Birks
    2019-02-27 07:20

    This book was very...abrupt. Things had a tendency to just happen, out of the blue, with no rhyme or reason and with no build up. They get word that someone is invading a few hundred miles away, then the viewpoint character leaves for a couple days, and when she comes back the whole capitol city is taken over. Done deal, fat lady has sung, end of the matter, it's over. Boom. It's just a whole book of stuff like that happening. On top of being very abrupt, it was all extremely overblown, too. People didn't just fear Kira, they called her names to her face and spit at her and cried out at her very presence. (Out of curiosity, why would you openly insult someone you believe to be a fire-spitting fox demon?) They don't just look down on her for being female, not, they scoff at her and call her names and say "get back in the kitchen." Yeah, it's that blunt. I couldn't take any of her adversary seriously because I was too busy rolling my eyes. Hey, author, misogyny is a bit more complicated than that, but congrats on pointing out that we shouldn't be called 'stupid creatures' to our faces.Speaking of misogyny, maybe try not to explicitly state that every single female except your main character is a simpering, feather-brained moron who's good for nothing but to look pretty. (Not making that up or exaggerating; Kira really says that. She also calls all females weak.)The whole book is just so simple. The plot is simple, the characters are simple, the motivations are simple, the writing is simple. There's crazy amounts of telling and characters that will just stand up and deliver backstory and motivation like a soliloquy. Nothing about it ever feels real or natural. I thought the world might save it. I picked it up thinking "Yay, Korea!" Nope. Like so much else, this is just Stock Fantasy World #230943284 with Korean names for things pasted on. It doesn't feel like a different culture so much as it feels like high school with hanboks. Where's the complicated social structures to determine superiors, the different forms of address for different people, the dedication to family, the incredible merit-based values system, all the things that make Korean culture awesome and different? If you took the italicized words out of this novel, no one would have a clue it was supposed to be different.

  • Booknut
    2019-03-11 05:59

    A book among books, 'The Prophecy' is truly a Chosen One - bringing light, fantasy and a brilliant adventure to readers' bookshelves.I never thought I'd find the book. You know the one. Like the chocolate brownie, or the guy, or the place where no one can disturb your reading experience no matter how hard they try to (take THAT siblings!!). But here it is. In all its beautiful, prophetical glory. I am so happy!! *dabs at eyes*My only regret?Jaewon and Kira.Like...come on. Seriously. The chemistry between them was as obvious as Big Bird from Sesame Street at a funeral. WHY are they not more than friends?! I'm serious. As a heart attack.Really! Every time I saw a paragraph with the words 'Jaewon' and 'Kira' in it...(e.g.)She smiled up at him."Thank you."The warmth and steadiness of his gaze made her nervous...He leaned close to her ear and whispered, "It makes you look very dashing. Like a lady bandit. You can be the most dangerous criminal in all Seven Kingdoms!"She laughed.That's all it took, guys. One measly shove and it would have been perfect! :D

  • AO
    2019-03-03 08:11

    I'm so glad I finally read this. It was so much fun. It's definitely a book that gets better the further along you read. It follows a warrior, Kira, who must protect her cousin, the future king of the Seven Kingdoms (an ancient fantasy-inspired Korea). The writing style reminded me of Tamora Pierce - straightforward, action-packed, with a fully complete story arc (although it's the first in a trilogy). I especially appreciated the extra content at the end of my edition which talks about Asian Mythology and Ellen Oh's wish for diversity in children's books (and this was back in 2013 before #WeNeedDiverseBooks, which she founded). Looking forward to reading the sequel, Warrior!

  • Faye, la Patata
    2019-03-11 10:04

    Can be read on The Social Potato.Thanks Edelweiss and HarperTeen for providing me a digital copy of this book in exchange for a review. This did not influence my review in any way.Okay, as a Filipino who pretty much grew up in a society obsessed in Korean songs and soap operas, I've come to respect the country's culture, especially their history (that doesn't make me a fangirl in any way, though... I just respect it, not love it, hehe). I remember watching 4-5 years ago this Korean TV show called "Jewel in the Palace" and I thought the execution of the drama, most importantly its portrayal of Ancient Korea, was just fascinating and mesmerizing - from their clothes, to their foods - everything. So when I heard that Prophecy by Ellen Oh was set in Ancient Korea (with a twist of fantasy, of course), I was ecstatic. Now that is something new, don't you agree? Unfortunately, I think I've set my expectations too high, because it didn't deliver... at all.Don't get me wrong - the premise is awesome. We have Kira, a kickass girl hated by everybody because of her yellow eyes and her reputation of slaying demons (which is... a good thing? Who'd want demons in their midst anyway? She's doing all these pathetic people a frickin' favor), who is also the niece of King Yuri of the Hansong Kingdom, one of the seven kingdoms in the country. There have been reports as of late that other kingdoms have fallen to the demons, a sign of a prophecy coming true... "Seven will become three. Three will become one. One will save us all." Kira then with the young prince, her brother, a handful of monks, and a mysterious stranger try then to find a way to stop the fiends from taking the lands before it's too late.See, I told you it's awesome. Sounds like something a good movie could be based on. So what happened, then? The writing, unfortunately and sadly, disappointed and fell terribly short. Sigh. I'm a fan of good writing, so if you screw that up, you pretty much screw everything else up - the characters, the world building, the escalation of events, the tension, everything. It pains me to write this review because I know deep in my heart that it could have worked, that it could have been better, and if it was, I could have loved this book to death and could have talked about it for hours on end with my friends, some who are hardcore korean fans as well. I tried to like it despite its shortcomings, but I just couldn't. :(One, lack of internal narration. It was a "they did this and then did that and then did this and that" narration that it drove me crazy. The story was mainly told in Kira's eyes (3rd POV), but where were her thoughts? It was full of "Kira said to Kwan" "Kira said" "Kira asked" and no thoughts from her at all that it made her one dimensional. She had no personality. Her internal narration, if done correctly, was supposed to make me (or the reader in general) become attached to her and feel what she was feeling. Her internal narration was supposed to make me feel sad when she was sad, angry when she was angry, happy when she was happy, but in those moments that were supposed to evoke a strong reaction from me, I felt absolutely nothing. Why? Because I was so detached from her! Because I didn't know her intimately! All I read were what she did every 5 seconds and a passing sentence or two of how she felt annoyed by something or by someone, and that's it. I mean sure, this writing style isn't totally bad, but for someone like me who needs to know the character through internal narration, this particular style leaves me dreadfully bored and disconnected. Instead, in my eyes, from being such a kickass character, she became whiny, impulsive and annoying for no particular reason at all. It even left me feeling empty towards the other characters because I hardly knew anything about them. Sure, Taejo was the prince and her cousin, but what else? What else about Kwan, her brother, is there that could make me like him and admire him as Kira does? Empty, that's what I felt. Disengaged.So without substantial internal narration, what else aside from the characters were affected? The action scenes. This is a story of warriors fighting demons, of the people fighting against fiends from another plane, so action scenes were supposed to be exciting, thrilling, blood-pumping - but unfortunately, they all went too fast, too easy, and alas, too boring. Soldier A wields his sword, Soldier B parries the attack and pivots his foot and counterattacks. Soldier A gets stabbed and falls to the ground. Soldier B turns around and attacks another. After a page or two, the battle is finally over and the good side has won. Yawn.Yes, the novel is fast-paced but it's too fast-paced for a fast-paced novel... the action scenes are already done before you know it (and still boring, too...), leaving no room for any excitement at all. Tension buildup is little to none, and the escalation of events is just too quick for me to connect myself entirely. The political drama felt forced and superficial because, well... the novel tells us there is supposed to be political intrigue in the chaotic mess, but it doesn't really show due to, again, lack of good narration, internal or otherwise. I'm okay with verbs and stuff but it can get highly tedious if it's pretty much all over the place, and believe me when I say that the rest of the elements WILL suffer from it.Overall, despite my complaints, it is still a good story, but if polished it could have been so much more, and I'm really, really hoping that the next book will be better than this. Do I recommend it? Well... to people like myself who depend a lot on internal narration and the likes in order to fully connect to the story and to the characters, you may have to read this book with caution. If you're someone who doesn't mind a more simplistic kind of storytelling and are a fan of ancient Korea, it wouldn't hurt you to give this a try. In spite of the flaw in the writing, it still has a good premise.

  • Ashley
    2019-03-14 02:01

    BookNook — Young Adult book reviewsPropecy, Prophecy, Prophecy. How do I review you? As for my rating, I was constantly juggling between 2 stars, 3 stars, then 2.5 stars.. I thought I had settled on 2.5, but then after I wrote my review, I decided to change it to 2. I just think 2 stars better reflects my review and overall feelings.I think Prophecy fell into my hands at a very inconvenient time. Suddenly, I just wasn't in the mood for a high fantasy book. In the two weeks before I started this book, I had been reading a lot of new adult contemporary romances. Maybe I was just out of my high fantasy zone... Whatever it was, I just couldn't connect with Prophecy.For someone who wasn't in the mood for high fantasy, Prophecy was very intimidating. I was totally overwhelmed by the sheer amount of historical Korean information, locations on the map (I kept having to reference it over and over again), and the names of characters. Note to self: Shin Bo Hyun and Lord Shin are two different people. Overall, it was just a little hectic!The pacing in Prophecy was a little odd. The chapters were super short, which resulted in quick, brief, vague scenes. There wasn't that much detail and I think the short scenes made the book a little choppy. We were constantly jumping from one place to another, so I had a hard time getting fully immersed. Sometimes days or even weeks passed by in only a few sentences. But I'm not even sure about that, because it was just very unclear how much time was going by! By the end of the book, I literally felt like the whole story was one very long day. But in reality, I'm pretty sure it was over the span of at least one month.The romance in Prophecy kind of confused me. The story starts out with Kira being told that she has to marry a certain guy (basically an arranged marriage). She hates the idea and has no interest in getting married. Then later on, she gets meets a new guy: Jaewon. When Jaewon was introduced, I imagined Kira slowly falling in love with him and then ending up with him instead of with her betrothed. But Kira's relationship with Jaewon didn't develop at all. Jaewon was oddly obsessed with Kira (see quote below), but their relationship never veered out of the friend zone. I was left confused by it. Is it supposed to be the beginning of a possible-future-romantic-relationship? Or are they actually just friends? I can't even tell."I will always do whatever you ask."—Jaewon, Page 192, ARC of ProphecyWoah, where is this unyielding dedication coming from, Jaewon??(He said this like 3 conversations after they first met)So it's safe to report that there is zero romance in Prophecy. Some people might find the lack of romance refreshing, but I love having romance in all books I read so I was a bit disappointed.Prophecy wasn't a bad book, so I'm sure there will be some people out there who love it, but it just wasn't for me. I felt distanced from the characters and the story. I like books that are leaking with emotion; those are the ones that really suck me in, latch onto me, and shake me to my core. While reading Prophecy I constantly felt distanced. There wasn't enough emotion to pull me in, so I didn't get very attached to the characters or invested in the story.One thing I applaud Ellen Oh for is for being realistic. She didn't write Prophecy as a fairy tale. People die. Families get torn apart. Prophecy is about war and Ellen Oh isn't afraid to write about the harsh realities of it. In many fantasy books, family members and friends of the main character seem to magically survive the toughest situations. Not in Prophecy! She was killing people off from page one (almost :P).In a way that's disappointing, because all the deaths in the book could have been a great platform for a heartbreaking story of revenge, honour, and heroism, but the author didn't really take advantage of that. The intensity and emotion was lacking. I didn't care when the people died. I wasn't distraught at the way people treated Kira with hostility. I was simply indifferent.There are some interesting ideas in Prophecy. The lore and mythology is certainly interesting. My favourite part of the book was the questing and the introduction of fantastical/mythological beings. But at the end of the day, I just couldn't connect. It wasn't for me. Something another reviewer said really resonates with me:It wasn't that I disliked this, or that there was poor writing, it just never won me over.—Andi Ruggles (Rywn)But if you're really into high fantasy stories—especially in a Korean setting—then I would still encourage you to give it a try!

  • Heather
    2019-03-21 10:18

    I really wanted to like this book. The premise encompasses all the things that I love to read. I love fantasy, especially fantasy that features a kick butt heroine. And a kick butt heroine with deadly skills? Even better. I also liked that this book has Asian influences. And honestly, I thought the fact that it was being compared to Graceling, which I have read and loved, and Eon, which I have not yet read but hear great things about, was a GOOD thing. There are definitely some similarities to Graceling. Like Katsa in Graceling, Prophecy's heroine Kira has a special power, she can sense (smell in most cases) a disguised demon. She is the only female warrior in the royal army and is the personal bodyguard of her cousin, the prince and heir. And like Katsa in Graceling, her abilities frighten people and, as a result, she is shunned within her kingdom. But that is where the similarities end. Prophecy is an interesting story but as I was reading I kept feeling like there was something missing. Even with all the action scenes, and there are many, I felt as if I was reading a chronicling of an adventurous journey, but not living it alongside the characters. When I'm reading an action/ adventure, especially one in a fantasy setting, I want to be caught up in the book. I want to feel like I am there, fighting alongside that kick butt warrior, facing the challenges, and journeying along on whatever quest has been undertaken. But unfortunately, Prophecy didn't elicit any of these feeling in me. It lacked emotional depth. It lacked heart.Now to be fair, there were some aspects of the book that I liked. I liked the descriptions of the demons. They were pretty atrocious and scary. I liked that they could conceal themselves within a human host and only Kira could pick them out in a crowd. I also liked the Asian mythology that was incorporated into the story. I understand that many of the customs and language are Korean inspired and I did appreciate that this lent an exotic feel to the book. There is the possibility of a love triangle. And I admit to kind of liking the bad boy/ possible evil guy Shin Bo Hyun the most. He's kind of a nasty character but of the two possible love interests, he is the one I found to be most intriguing. Probably because the other love interest, Jaewon, while sweet and attentive, was rather bland and boring. Shin Bo Hyun may not be the most moral of characters but the fact that I was able to feel that way about him was a small victory because I felt so little for all of the other players.As far as story goes, it moved forward at an okay pace, but again there was a lot of telling and not showing. A lot of "And so they set out for the mountain range. Ten days later, they arrived..." There is a big reveal of sorts in the book, but it was something I had already figured out well in advance so it was anticlimatic. So in closing, Prophecy was a disappointment to me. The comparisons to Graceling (and Eon) made me want to read this book but in the end they were only surface comparisons. Whereas Katsa was a fully fleshed, complicated, emotion- filled character (in addition to being a bad ass warrior) Kira, and the other characters in Prophecy felt stiff, flat and lacking in depth. I think that some readers may feel differently than me after reading Prophecy, but in my case, this one didn't quite cut it.

  • Sue (Hollywood News Source)
    2019-03-04 07:09

    Actual Rating: 2.5 starsThis book isn’t for me… Maybe if I have read it two years ago I would’ve probably liked it better, but now no. The Prophecy opened up with a promising note.People feared Kira. They called her the Demon Slayer to her face and much worse behind her back. It didn’t matter that she was a first cousin to the crown prince or that she’d saved his life from a demon attack. Ten years was long enough for most to forget what really happened and instead to believe the rumors that began soon after.That was a sinker introduction. I was hooked, but then everything went down after a few chapters. Here’s why: I was expecting a lush and lyrical writing instead we have a watered down one. I usually can endure this, granted the characterization is great or passable even, but alas, I did not get lucky in this part either.Truthfully speaking the characters are bland, however they have their own moments. I wish this had been developed better.There’s no element of surprise for me, I was so bored. I badly wanted to DNF it. Things I appreciate:PLENTY POINTS TO FEMINISM. This is a very diverse high fantasy. I appreciate how Oh, provided explanation and supplementary details to Korean culture most readers are not familiar with. Overall, Prophecy is not a bad book. Just not for me, for its worth, I will recommend this to younger crowd especially to middle graders.

  • Pam Victorio
    2019-03-21 03:21

    Wonderful fantasy. Plot moves super fast and our main character is badass and evolves monumentally.

  • Miranda
    2019-03-19 09:57

    Reasons in the comments.

  • - ̗̀jesś̖-
    2019-02-23 03:27

    Oh man, I really wanted to like this. I'm here for any fantasies that aren't inspired by European lore, and one thing I have to say is that the worldbuilding is really interesting and different. It's based on Korean historical lore, and it was cool to see. The reader isn't bombarded by too many unknown concepts at once, which I appreciate. I think my biggest problem with this was the writing. There's so much telling and not much showing, and I felt so disconnected from Kira to the point where I didn't really care about her or any of the characters. It also affected the plot, because everything just felt so slow.

  • Dark Faerie Tales
    2019-03-06 08:05

    Review courtesy of Dark Faerie TalesQuick & Dirty: Korean mythology story mixed with family themes creates a fantastic journey across the continent. Opening Sentence: People feared Kira.The Review: Kira is the most feared person in all the land. And only by misunderstanding. Others consider her a demon, when in reality she is the one killing demons, keeping the citizens of Hansong safe from demon invasion. But when the King becomes captured while Kira and the Prince are out hunting, it’s up to Kira to protect the Dragon King. Traveling across nations, running from the demon army on their tails, Kira and company have to find the lost ruby before it’s too late. But is the prince the actual Dragon King? Or is it their uncle, the king of the northern part of the peninsula, the self-proclaimed Dragon King, who fought against the demon attack and united the kingdoms? Kira only has a limited amount of time left before the demons retaliate. Should she trust the monks and follow the prophesy?I expected this to be better. At least the writing could have been more creative. The plot was general and straight forward; there weren’t any loops or side stories to go along with it. This makes the book seem less complex, less developed. It made the characters seem flat and the plot stretches on with boring spots in the middle. BUT there were some parts of the book that were great. I loved the relationships between the characters and how they were developed, especially the family ties. The setting was also fabulous — set in medieval Korea, with mountains, deserts and forests. Oh created a beautiful and well detailed world in this book.Honestly, the writing was terrible. Well, I wouldn’t say terrible because this was published and anything published can’t be terrible, but seriously, the writing was bland and Kira’s point of view was boring and naive. There is a thing called “show, don’t tell” in the writing world that Oh didn’t often do. “Show, don’t tell” means show the audience details, instead of telling them, like someone hit their head on a door frame, instead of saying they were six feet tall. Techniques like this make writing a whole lot more interesting. Also, Kira’s point of view was very straight forward, which is great if you can make it interesting. This also has to do with “show, don’t tell,” but there is a way to avoid this if it’s through a character’s point of view. Take Legend by Marie Lu, for example. June is also very up-front and to the point like Kira, but unlike Kira, June’s descriptions and narration is exact, like the military. The use of accurate numbers and exact details gives June’s narration a military style, instead of a boring, general (as in vague, not as in a general from the army) narration like Kira. It’s minute details like these that make a story ten times better.Although the writing was lacking, the plot was action packed and had multiple edge-of-your-seat moments. Although very predictable, the plot created anticipation and was fast-paced (ignoring a couple slow spots in the middle). Overall, I would recommend this easy read to anyone who loves the quest-and-adventure arc. It may be a bit too gory for a younger audience, but with everything that’s on TV it shouldn’t be a problem.Notable Scene: Kira nodded in admiration. Baduk was a very simple game to learn but an incredibly difficult one to master. The object of the game was to take control of as much of the board as possible by capturing or surrounding the opponent’s stones. It took most people a lifetime to get as good as the player before her.He looked about to be Kwan’s age–nineteen or twenty years at most–with long, dark-brown hair tied loosely at the nape of his neck. Kira studied his narrow face. He had handsome features that bordered on prettiness, with large, deep-set eyes that stared unwaveringly at his opponent. In fact, Kira thought he was prettier than half the court ladies of Hansong. She grinned at the idea of how incensed the noblewomen would be at such a comparison.Suddenly, she realized that the baduk player was gazing at her. Embarrassed, she looked away and relaxed only when he returned his concentration to the game.FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of Prophecy. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

  • Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide/Novelly Yours)
    2019-03-04 06:20

    Initial Impressions: little more than four starsThanks to Epic Reads and Jamie from The Perpetual Page Turner for the ARC copy of this book! I won it in their giveaway. I was really hesitant to read this book at first, mostly because I find myself not connecting with a lot of foreign settings (most specifically Asian settings for some reason - Maybe because I don't know a lot about the culture and the language?) so I was so glad that it didn't seem to be a hinderance with Prophecy. Okay, well it was for a little bit when there were so many foreign words/jargon that I got overwhelmed for a little while in the beginning and it prevented me from remembering all of the different regions and the names of the characters. I've only recently gotten into high fantasy so I'm glad to say that I really, really enjoyed a lot of the book! I think the only thing that really kept me from enjoying it even more really was all of the different names/terms/regions that I just couldn't keep straight. Especially during the big action sequences it all breezed by me so quickly and it really just took a little away from all of the excitement when I was trying to figure out which character was which!Full review originally posted on The Book Addict's Guide: Firstly, I want to say that I probably wouldn't have picked up this book if I hadn't won it from the giveaway hosted by Jamie & Epic Reads so a big thank you to them for that!I was really hesitant to read this book at first, mostly because I find myself not connecting with a lot of foreign settings (most specifically Asian settings for some reason -- Maybe because I don't know a lot about the culture and the language?) so I was so glad that it didn't seem to be a hinderance with PROPHECY. Okay, well it was for a little bit when there were so many foreign words/jargon that I got overwhelmed for a little while in the beginning and it prevented me from remembering all of the different regions and the names of the characters.I've only recently gotten into high fantasy so I'm glad to say that I really, really enjoyed a lot of the book! It definitely had a GRACELING sort of feel for me, which really makes sense since GRACELING was one of the first high fantasy books I've ever really read and enjoyed. I really liked the world building and all of the magical elements that were involved. I really thought Kira made a great heroine and even though she's an even fiercer warrior than the men she fights alongside, I didn't feel like her attitude was cocky. She's very humbled by the fact that her yellow-eyes and ability to sense and kill demons target her as a unnatural creature herself.I actually really liked that the romance side of the book wasn't really fully explored. Obviously you can see the spark between Kira and Jaewon but their relationship doesn't really progress past friendship. It was nice that the romance wasn't forced into being. I've read a few reviews that felt like the relationship between Kira and Jaewon seemed a bit insta-lovey because he seemed immediately taken to her and was willing to follow her anywhere, but it didn't really come off that way to me. I took a lot of his interactions with Kira to come off in a sly, joking manner and sure - if he was kind of a vagabond anyway, why not team up with an attractive girl with unique abilities and an exciting mission? My personal take is that I wasn't bothered by it at all! Of course, that's really up to each individual reader to decide for themselves.I think the only thing that really kept me from enjoying it even more really was all of the different names/terms/regions that I just couldn't keep straight. Especially during the big action sequences it all breezed by me so quickly and it really just took a little away from all of the excitement when I was trying to figure out which character was which!The ending was a bit predictable in some ways, but I was okay with being able to foresee that because that's really how the book should have ended and no other way! I was very satisfied with how everything unfolded and then all came back together in the end.

  • Savannah (Books With Bite)
    2019-02-24 04:02

    A tantalizing tale it captured me, I loved this book!What captured me the most about this book is the great plot. It had a nice fantasy world building to it that is drew me in like a fly to a bright light. The beginning of the plot began with a girl, a warrior, strong, capable, and bitter. I like that all of these elements worked well with Kira's life. She is so busy helping others that she fails to take care of herself. Kira sacrifices everything for her loyalty to the prince after a war breaks out. What she discovers about herself, left my mind reeling and really waning more.The characters in the book all play an important role in Kira's life and the future of the kingdom. Each character had secrets, lies, and keys to unlock what lies ahead. I really loved getting to know each character through Kira's eyes. She assessed everyone inside out, questioning every question, every motive. She has such a touch shell that she never gives anyone a second thought...which brings me to her love life...Because of her tough exterior Kira's never allows herself to love. There is not really a love yet, but a nice slow-building friendship that allows Kira to feel safe. She can relax around him, not feel the need to be tough, she can be....well she can be a normal girl.Prophecy is a pleasurable, rich fantasy that is hugely entertainingly. Every facet of information, creates a vivid and beautiful world for the reader to dive into. The source of the story, the prophecy wields great information that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. Fulfilling and thrilling, Prophecy is crafted to be wondrous!

  • Nicole
    2019-03-18 02:20

    I don't keep it a secret that I am not the biggest fantasy fan. In fact, I avoid most high fantasy books for that reason. This book though, I adored. It was a little difficult in the beginning, but once I fell into the quick pace of the story, it was easy going as far as the plot.I loved the amount of dedication that Kira has when it come to defending her family and their honor. It was a little confusing when you are introduced to Kira because there is a lot going on. Oh alludes to the fact that demons are kept a secret from the people of the realm, but what isn't explained is why and I feel like that information would have helped to understand why there was such a hatred for Kira other then people fearing her.Its very clear that part of Oh's inspiration is related to an Asian culture, although I'm not sure which. You can see it in the names as well as the honor code and the fighting styles. I've actually asked Oh to come to a guest post on her inspiration for the book so you can find out more about it there.I liked the cast of characters that we had, although through the entire book I wanted to shake Taejo because he acted like a silly spoiled brat the entire time. He wouldn't let the big kids do what they needed to do when it came to saving the kingdom, instead he just interfered and made an even bigger problem for everyone.Like I said, fantasy is not so much my thing. I felt really disoriented when I started the book (although I did love the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon like fighting at the start. I'm glad that I toughed it out for this book because it wound up being entirely worth it.