October 15, 2018

REVIEW| Runemarks

Runemarks (Runemarks #1)
Joanne M. Harris

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My Edition:

UK Publisher: Gollancz
UK Release Date: April 17th, 2017


Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again. . . . Not that anyone would admit it was goblins. In Maddy Smith’s world, order rules. Chaos, old gods, fairies, goblins, magic, glamours–all of these were supposedly vanquished centuries ago. But Maddy knows that a small bit of magic has survived. The “ruinmark” she was born with on her palm proves it–and makes the other villagers fearful that she is a witch (though helpful in dealing with the goblins-in-the-cellar problem). But the mysterious traveler One-Eye sees Maddy’s mark not as a defect, but as a destiny. And Maddy will need every scrap of forbidden magic One-Eye can teach her if she is to survive that destiny. 


It took my a month to push through this one. I sped through a hundred and fifty pages one day and the next I could get through twenty. 

My biggest problem is with the protagonist and the pacing. Maddy Smith is a seemingly ordinary teen, but one born with a runemark. In a society that has come to despise everything that depicts and as far as her personality goes, that's it. She's is very much so a self-insert character, and I had no interest in that.

My issue with the pacing was that so much was going on. Harris uses all these short fast chapters to build and build to these revelations, but it still felt like nothing was happening. It was highly frustrating, and gave me no motivation to pick back up the book as soon as I put my bookmark back in, a chapter later.

I debated about whether to give this two or three stars, but ended up settling on three. Runemarks did offer complex and flawed interpretations of the Norse Gods, that really made this book stick out and left me wanting to get to the end. They felt as close to human as a God could be and it was an interesting aspect of the narrative.

I don't think I will be picking the sequel (companion?), Runelight, but perhaps I'll enjoy her The Testament of Loki.


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