Monday, August 16, 2010

Review: Prophecy of the Sisters

Michelle Zink
Young Adult

343 pages

Little, Brown
Available Now


Lia and her twin sister Alice haven't been close in a long time. They don't gossip as sisters often do, they don't share secrets, and they don't lean on one another for support. The sudden and unexpected death of their father aggravates an already tenuous and strained relationship, and acts a catalyst that brings a shadowed family history into the light, drawing a line of demarcation for two young sisters.

Lia's family is unique. For as long as she can remember, each generation has a set of female twins. Their mother and aunt were twins. Their grandmother and her sister. Prior to the death of their father, Lia and Alice know nothing more than their family has an interesting genetic anomaly. They have no idea their unique line of women is the subject of a centuries old prophecy. One that pits one twin sister against the other.

Lia is quickly entangled in a completely unfamiliar world and is left with a cryptic prophetic book she doesn't understand. All she knows is she has a calling, one bigger and more important than she could have ever dreamed for her quiet life. Evil must be stopped. She wields the power to stop it, so her path seems obvious. But soon Lia learns that evil isn't so easily identified, and sometimes the most familiar mask conceals the blackest of souls.

Have you ever read a story you thoroughly enjoyed but can't necessarily pinpoint exactly what it is you liked about it? I flew through this book, closed the back cover, decided I would definitely recommend it, and then sat at my blank computer screen for twenty minutes with absolutely no coherent sentences to show for my effort. Huh. After some additional thought however, I was able to define a few of the elements that made this novel a worthwhile read.

Though stories of predestined fates and ancient legends aren't new, this one gives us a prophecy integrated into a family dynamic, and it is the relationship between the various family members that makes the story so fascinating. Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the age-old nature vs. nurture question brought into play. Are Lia and Alice born with all the character traits that define their respective roles in the prophecy, or does knowledge of the prophecy itself affect their individual behaviors and shape them into the preordained mold? If the prophecy had remained a secret, would the rift between Alice and Lia have continued to grow, or would they have been able to bridge the gap? No one can say for sure, and that element of the unknown makes the story all the more intriguing.

The riddle that makes up the prophecy is beautifully mysterious, creating far more questions than answers and making the pages fly by as Lia desperately searches for any minute detail to aid in her mission. Though I arrived at some conclusions long before the characters, majority of the cryptic message remains indecipherable and deliberately vague, virtually guaranteeing my continuation of the series so that my knowledge may be absolute. I'm nothing if not curious, and the darkness surrounding Lia, Alice, and their fates more than piques my curiosity.

My main criticism would be of love interest James who seems to be a rather superfluous character. Lia and James are already in a relationship when the story begins, so it's not as though we get to follow their courtship and watch them explore the beauty and novelty of first love. He imparts no helpful information, aside from a brief translation in the beginning, and he's not a support system for Lia as she adamantly refuses to enlighten him to the chaos and turmoil that has come to define her existence. Their scenes are brief and somewhat devoid of emotion, and their relationship seems an unnecessary distraction from the main storyline. I'm hoping his role will increase in the remaining two novels and perhaps his purpose will become a little clearer.

All in all, this is a dark and engrossing tale, and now that the premise is established and select details in place, I'm looking forward to getting into the heart of the story with book two.

Rating: 3.5/5


  1. I love books like this one. I haven't heard of it before-this one is definitely going on my wishlist. :)

  2. I bought this book but have yet to read it. I love that you said it was nature vs nurture, very pyche! I love books that play with my emotions and mind. I can't wait to read it and I loved your review!!!

  3. I'm adding this to my TBR- but I can't get over how beautiful the girls on the cover are!

  4. Fantastic review! I can totally relate when you say that sometimes you cannot articulate why you loved a book so much. That happens to me a lot! I've got to start this series, though.

  5. I'm glad to see your review -- was so worried the best part of this book would be the cover!

  6. Great review! I have never heard of this book, thank you for pointing it out :)

  7. This was a great review. I have felt the same way about books---can't say why I like them sometimes, I just know I do! I find that I really don't enjoy first in a series novels, so for this to be a 3.5, that's a good sign!

  8. Great review! I have to add this to my TBR list.

  9. This book sounds so creepy. I'm super excited to read it. And I know exactly how it feels to like a novel but not know what to say in the review. You did a great job though. ;)

  10. Hey, I've awarded you The Versatile Blogger award, you can check it out here:

    Have a great day :).

  11. Great review! That's the second time today I've heard someone rave about it on their blog. I'm adding it to my to-read list :)

  12. Thanks for the comments everyone! Glad to see so many of you are interested in reading this one, it's a great start to a series.