Friday, 20 January 2012

Exiled by Rashelle Workman

Ok, I’ll admit it: I fell in cover lust with this book. I mean, just look at that cover! It's so good that at first, I thought that the book was one that had gone through the traditional publishing houses and it wasn’t until much later that I realised my mistake when I couldn’t find a paperback copy of it.

Exiled is one of those titles that have purportedly taken the indie market by storm, and with all that cover lust I can quite understand why! So I got hold of this for a dollar and after two mind-blowing reads, I was hoping for another.

Binding: Ebook
Chapters:  56 – some very short, some quite long
PoV: 3rd person
Tense: Past tense

Story: Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them. 

An alien princess exiled to Earth. 
An arrogant boy. 
One week to get back to her planet or she'll die. 
And, her only chance for survival? She must help the boy find his soul mate. 
Piece of cake! 

Stubborn, sixteen-year-old Princess Venus of Kelari wants one thing, to become immortal, that is, until someone exiles her to Earth, kills her irrihunter and takes her family. 

Now she wants revenge. 

First she’s got to get home. But before she can return to Kelari, the Gods have commanded her to help an arrogant boy named Michael find his soul mate. 

Only she doesn't know the first thing about love. 

Rather quickly, her inexperience with human emotion is obscured by other matters--alien-controlled psychotic teens that are out to kill her, and a government group that is set on capturing and dissecting her. 

Worst of all, Venus will suffer a painful death-by-poisoning, thanks to Earth’s atmosphere, if she remains on the planet longer than one week. 

Still, Venus is a Princess and she's got a plan. Surely, with her help, Michael will fall in love with a human. 

But time is running out and Michael is falling for the wrong girl--her.

(from Goodreads)

Thoughts and impressions: Time for another admission: I didn’t reread the synopsis before going into this book. This meant that I read the first chapter, encountered the alien world and settled myself in for a story set on another planet. Then I flicked to chapter two and suddenly I’m on Earth with this human boy. This is my own fault as had I read the synopsis, I would have known what I was getting myself into, but I still felt a bit thrown by it.

It didn’t help that as soon as Venus was on Earth, it was like she knew everything about American culture. It was justified by saying that she’d taken Earth studies class but speaking as someone who’s changed culture twice, class never prepares you to slip right in. You’re thrown by how much you didn’t know about the culture and you’re overwhelmed by things that are general knowledge that you didn’t know about. What’s more, you never stop finding new things that you weren’t aware of for whatever reason.

You only see that take place once in the book with Venus when she gets called out for using a word that went out of style a few years ago (not that it was ever in style for me.) I stopped buying the Earth studies thing when she knew a brand of footwear that I, as a human being living on the other side of the pond, have never heard of. On top of that, there was some cartoon that she was talking about having watched in class that, again, I have never heard of. I don’t care how many hours a day you spend in Earth studies, you are not going to know American culture like that.

However, as it is their culture anyway, this may mean that it’s easier for Americans to buy it.

Another thing, what’s with the requisite love triangles? I’m starting to get bored of them because often enough they’re not very well-written anyway and you end up with “teams”. If I have to be on a team, I’m on “team Zaren” because he knows the Princess, had more than a week to “fall in love” with her, stood by her despite all her bad decisions, and… oh yeah, didn’t end up almost getting her killed. What’s more, Zaren was probably one of the most rounded characters in the story. Both Venus and Michael, despite much of the story being told in their voices, stayed pretty flat.

I didn’t like Michael much at all. He was supposed to be a damaged teen – hard on the outside but with plenty of love to give on the inside. In the end, he just came across as being a moody pushover, always twisted to fit others’ desires and allowing that to be done of him, just grumbling a bit in his thought flow.

I’m a bit worried about where this Michael-in-love-with-Venus thing will leave poor Zaren. Venus herself seems to become a wet sack of emotions each time either one of them is around and doesn’t know what she wants. The way she constantly reacted got annoying after a while. Then again, I never liked Venus much anyway as she was a bit of an airhead fool. She never failed to make a bad decision should one be presented to her. She never shut up about how the planet was killing her, either. That is tell. Her coughing blood and getting weaker each day is show. It really isn’t necessary to always combine the two of them as the author did. Venus would complain about feeling weak, then cough blood, and then complain that she was dying. Just show her steady decline and don’t back it up with thoughts or speech.

Talking about scenes where Venus was practically on the verge of death, there were some major issues with consistency. Venus would be very weak, unable to get herself back on her feet, then something would happen to, say, Michael, and she’d be practically buzzing with energy before she returned to being unable to lift her own head. And this happened several times. Consistency is key. Consistency did not exist here.

One last useless thing: what was with Tawny deciding to steal Venus’s boots – even getting her own PoV for a chapter – and then just running away when she makes her attempt, never to make another appearance in the book? What was the point behind the whole scene? I really don’t know.

All this said, the story itself was quite interesting even though almost every twist and turn is given away in the synopsis (yes, I’ve read it now!). The alien society was intriguing and I would have liked to have had the chance to explore it more as it really appealed to me. It would seem that the sequel will be at least in part set in Venus’s society, so I’ll definitely be checking back to find out what happens next.

Plus, I’d like to see Zaren get more depth!

Style: Fairly polished but with one glaring grammatical problem. In normal sentences, there was no issue:
“I would love to go to the cinema.”
But as soon as ‘to’ was the last word in the sentence, it morphed into ‘too’ for some unknown reason.
“Would you like to go to the cinema?”
“I’d love too.”
I can’t believe that no one pointed this out to the author at any point.
Beyond that there are some missing speech marks which can make things confusing at times.

Final verdict: Satisfactory and interesting entertainment but nothing very special. 3 stars.

Extra notes: No sex. Occasional language. Stronger language is usually replaced by invented words.


  1. The cover is so eye catching. Gorgeous. This is not the type of book that I gravitate towards but I did enjoy reading your review.

  2. Thanks Monique! I agree that the cover is absolutely gorgeous. It was what nudged me towards getting the book in the first place. I'm glad that you enjoyed the review!!

  3. I bought it on Kindle (actually, I think I got it for free, so that doesn't count as buying). I have not read it yet. I like YA sci-fi, but when I read the preview for this book months ago, I was a little disinterested. I may still read it. But I hate flat characters and predictability. But, you probably enjoyed it more than I will. Thanks for the review!

    Alyssa Susanna

  4. I love the cover for this one! I just picked up the ebook for free last week so I'm excited to get to read it soon. And I admit to also sometimes going into a book without reading the synopsis, which will usually leave me confused :D


Hi - thank you for commenting. I love comments. What's more, I'm a big believer in comment karma! :) If you leave a comment, I will do my best to get back to you and leave a comment on your blog in turn (please keep in mind that this may take a few days!).