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* * This contains very minor spoiler * *
 
So I finished Jala's Mask and came away liking it well enough. The writing is, overall, good. One problem I think fantasy (and science fiction) can fall into is being too descriptive. Yes, I know, details help flesh out the world, but I do think there can be something as too much detail that can slow down the story. Jala's Mask, fortunately for me, doesn't fall into that trap. But, there were times where I actually wished for more details. Mostly in the later half of the book where the plot really kicks in.
 
Honestly, I think this book would have benefited from being at least two books. I know, I know, with so many series out there have a stand alone book is a nice break. But I think that another book would have really helped some of the problems I found with the writings. Especially in the later half of the book! (view spoiler) And we could have learned more about the Five-and-One Island's culture and customs.
 
Though I did really enjoy the fact that LGBT+ people were treated as normal as everybody else. And none of the LGBT+ characters we met/got a name in the book were killed off which is nice change from other things I've read. There was another little thing I like about how a person's gender didn't really matter for one's profession. Like there are men and women sailors. Like after Jala becomes Queen and a married couple comes up ask for her blessing and gifts. And the wife is a sailor who ask for something practical while the husband ask for something decorative so that he could look pretty/nice for his wife on their wedding day. It was a small moment but it made me smile.

All and all I really liked this book and am glad I brought it. Would recommend to people who like fantasy but are also looking for something different from the medieval European based fantasy.

My Rating: 3.5/5

[ As seen on my goodreads: link ]

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vmj_media_thoughts

September 2015

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