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Ratings and Reviews (1 7 star ratings
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3.9 out of 5
7
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    Missing Back Stories Cause Confusion

    Although Goodreads reviewer Mogsy (MMOGC) gave Aliette de Bodard's The House of Shattered Wings a somewhat higher numerical rating than I did (3.5 stars v. 3), she has captured precisely the flaws which disturbed me while reading this book. The House of Shattered Wings has not one, but two back stories: the war among the houses, which led to the devastated Paris in which the book is set, and the falls from heaven, which are still happening but are apparently precipitated by each individual angel's actions. None of these newly-fallen angels remembers what they did to be cast out, and, unfortunately, the reader is not told either. This sense of constantly missing out is why I insist on reading series books in order, starting with the first, so it was disconcerting to have the same experience in the first book of a new series. (It does appear that de Bodard wrote a prequel which might have fleshed out her worldbuilding, but that book does not seem to be publicly available, instead being limited only to purchasers of The House of Shattered Wings who knew to seek it on her personal website before August 19.) Isabelle, one of the main characters, is one of these newly Fallen, so the missing back story prevented me from connecting with her character. I was intrigued by the basic premise of the book, especially its use of both Western and Eastern mythology, but not sufficiently so to continue with the series. I received a free copy of The House of Shattered Wings through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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