Book Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates (spoiler-free)

9781473638730Hey booklovers! How are you? Sorry for being MIA for a while due to some personal issues, I am still getting my stuff together but in the mean time – I’ll be reviewing The Waking Land by Callie Bates! Thank you to NetGalley for providing my with an ARC in exchange for a honest review! Here it goes!


It’s been fourteen years, since King Antoine took Elanna hostage. Fourteen years since her father’s rebellion failed. Fourteen years spent being raised by the man who condemned her people to misery. A man she’s come to love as a father.

Now 20, Elanna is about to be taken prisoner once again… but this time by her father’s mysterious righthand man.

Her father wants to reignite his rebellion, this time using Elanna as figurehead. He will tell his followers she is the legendary Wildegarde reborn, a sorceress who could make the very earth tremble.

But what no one knows is that magic really does flow through Elanna’s veins. Now she must decide which side she’s on, and whether she’ll use her powers for mercy… or revenge.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Publication Date: Jun 27 2017
Publisher: Hachette Australia
RRP: $19.99 AUD
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

So, when I saw that this book “will delight fans of THE RED QUEEN, SIX OF CROWS, and COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES” – I was like – HELL YAS I AM IN! But upon finishing it, I wish I enjoyed it more. To be honest, it has a lot more potential and I personally am a bit disappointed. Some of the descriptive writing I absolutely LOVED! The use of personification, imagery and metaphors are SUPERBLY used.

I however, found it difficult to stand the main character as I go on with the book. And it didn’t help with the book being written in first person. I tend to prefer third person’s narrative, but don’t get me wrong! Some of my favourites are also written in first person!  It really just depends if the technique is executed well.

What I’m trying to say is that the book has heaps of potentials – the unique myths, the culture, the world, the plot, the tension between territories and the politics. On the down side, the book is very “feelings-based” if you get what I mean. One element that bugged me the most is that 50% of the book is about how Elanna talks herself into trouble (e.g. “oh look, fights! I want to stay alive and be done with y’all but why not get in and try to save people? I’m being heroic right?” – says one wanting to flee the country or get caught in every chapter).

And …. Instalove. Yup, the type that made me cringe so hard. The romance wasn’t developed very well and the way it latched on too fast and heatedly just didn’t make it any better. There might have been magic involved but ugh, I simply didn’t enjoy it.

I also wish there was more than one POV, because a lot of crap does happen and I just get cut off – Elanna just keep on rambling about her little thoughts and how tough she is blah blah blah. UGH.

The reason I didn’t take another star off is because of the rich and beautifully crafted language and mythology. Elanna’s character arc was overly done, because I see heaps of potential in other mains – which was a shame. Oh, and I really wish there was a map – one minute they are in this territory (which took them days to travel TO) and the next they are back to the other side (???).

Anyways, the bottom line is that don’t go in expecting the full-on Bardugo/Aveyard/Maas experience (like I did), otherwise you might be disappointed (like me). When I finished it, I thought that was the ending, but it turns out to be the first in a trilogy, so yeah! Just heads up!

That’s a wrap for my review! See ya next time!

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© Bibliophilic Med Student 2017. All Rights Reserved. Please do not use without permission. All opinions are my own and you can find me on Bookstagram @bibliomeds. You can also follow me on Goodreads


One thought on “Book Review: The Waking Land by Callie Bates (spoiler-free)

  1. Pingback: June Wrap-Up

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