Book Review: Colorless by Rita Stradling
*Received a copy of Colorless by Rita Stradling from the publisher in exchange for a fair review.
In the society of Domengrad, magicians are worshiped on the same level as the gods, monks are feared, and girls can become invisible. Annabelle Klein, a once colorful girl with living parents and a cousin who would have never been thought to betray her, now lives alone in a colorless world due to everything she touches to rid itself of its color. Until one day, Annabelle decides to take a walk to the stables, where she meets her new and only friend Dylan who is also having a bit of trouble with women and the monks. Dylan helps Annabelle with his family until the world turns upside down when they find out that Annabelle's so-called curse might be a gift that all the monks and the magicians are afraid of. Annabelle dives through different dimensions to figure out why she lives without color; however, she does not know how long she has until she becomes fully invisible to everyone, including Dylan and his family. If she is able to find her truth to her and other iconoclasts' existences, she might be able to find the truth about Domengrad, even if her time is limited.
You know what day it is, other than the ordinary Sunday? It's my birthday! Ah, let the balloons It is holding float up into the sky, and celebrate! Instead of lazily sitting on my couch and catching up on those humongous Game of Thrones novels I got, I sat on my couch and wrote this book review, which I hope is a little present from me to you. I hope my present is as great as the ice-cream cake I had last night. Mm, that cake was great with that frosting, the ice-cream, and those crunchies! Oh, this is a book review, not a cake review...unless if I want it to.
I interrupt you for this moment for a cake review. The cake I ate from Carvel was delicious, period. That's it! Now, go eat some cake, or off with your head!
Going back to this review, almost everyday, I will scan my bookshelves, both digital and physical, and look for my to-be latest read. I just happened to be going through the event and destruction of Hurricane Harvey, which meant my power, some of my utilities, and my internet were out. Even though my home may have not gotten destroyed or flooded, it was still a stressful time since water was surrounding my home from the back and its one side. Also, I had no power, so when I wanted to read on my kindle, I had to be careful with using my stored power. Colorless was a book that just wasted my battery power. Although, I may have enjoyed this beginning of this series(?) somewhat, it was not much a story, but more of a soap opera looking into a girl's life, which has become destroyed by magic and includes her running away from power-hungry monks and magicians. Even if it was only for a few hours a night, it was nice to get out of reality to go into an alternate and a magical world with conflicts outside of my troubling abilities when it only decreased my battery.
1. Annabelle Klein
I love the characters Stradling has created in Colorless, especially Annabelle. She is smart, even when she's helpless and is in desperate need of help from anyone even if she will not let them since she is very prideful. She is now isolated from society since she is an iconoclast, which happened due to a mysterious cause. She lives through a very dark part time of her life since she has been betrayed by her cousin, she has lost her parents, and she is colorless and becoming invisible. Also, she is only sixteen years old, which is about the time when I will be freaking out the most due to driving, part-time job, school, and finding a way to catch some zzzs. Even though Annabelle may be losing herself to magicians and different dimensions, she never loses her sense of humor, pride, nor her ability to piece together a puzzle with a lot of clues at her disposal. Also, I found her to be intelligent when it came to befriending people after her cousin's betrayal since she was always depending on people to take care of her and did not know who to trust. She is very adaptable, which is the first trait I look for in a character, and is a great main character, in my opinion, to be rooting for.
2. Dylan Collins
Ah, the lovely Dylan Collins. The misunderstood boy who is seen as a womanizer and criminal due to other crimes he supposedly committed is the one and only person who can help Annabelle until his family comes to save the day. He can be extremely witty at times, like Annabelle, and loyal to his friends, who are the servants of the Kleins' and now Annabelle, no matter how ill-tempered he may get. Also, he is very good at getting out of bad situations by pure luck and having the courage to stick up to his seniors. He is protective due to a fact that can be considered a major spoiler, so I put it below this section. This turns out to be very useful for Annabelle since she finds out the entire mystery of why she is colorless and becoming invisible and why everyone is chasing after her. Dylan may be considered the runt of his family and this book's characters discussed in this post, but he will always hold a special place in my heart, which grows ten times bigger when I see a cat with a piece of cake.
*Spoiler(Do not read unless you have read the book or you ant to be spoiled)*
I was always wondering throughout the book why only a few select individuals can actually see Annabelle even though she is supposed to be completely invisible to others due to having no color. At the end of the book, almost every question I had was answered, especially the identity of Dylan and his family. Dylan, Sophie, which is his honorary mother who helps Annabelle discover whom she is, and his brothers are dire wolves, which are part of the different dimension with the gods worshiped in Domengrad, the setting of this book. This means that they can see Annabelle and all the other iconoclasts that have lived before her, who have gotten killed by the monks and the magicians for power. I was really sad when Sophie died since she was our informant and had taken over as the caretaker of the boys and Annabelle. I'll find out soon.
3. Anthony "Tony" Klein
I really hate Tony's guts; in addition, whenever I was reading from his point of view, I wanted it to end even if I was a bit intrigued by some of his interactions with others. I do not know if Stradling has the intentions of me wanting to hate him, but I really do not like him. He is always drunk so he can overcome the issues and guilt he deals with throughout this book, which is not the best decision to make since bloodthirsty monks are walking around, enforcing the laws. Although there may be many things I dislike Tony for, he was a great antagonist for the short while he was and was a great addition to add to the diversity of this book. Colorless seems to be set in a magical world, as I have said so many times now that I am just drilling it into your brain, in a medieval or Renaissance setting, so gay marriage is highly unheard of and disliked. The reason why Annabelle hates Tony's guts is because he likes Collin Stewart, the man who Annabelle goggles at like a love-struck schoolgirl. LGBTQIA+ is not documented very much in the early years of our world nor have I not heard of any records of that kind, except for a fictional story in Mackenzie Lee's The Gentlemen's Guide to Vice and Virtue, which takes place in the 1700s. Other than that positive note, I found Tony to be obnoxious, rude to those around him, and acting like a spoiled child. That is enough about destroying Tony's ego for now! Let's go onto the more juicy details!
Next, as I read this book in entirety, I found it to be under developed, or as if it was a first draft of a book. I hope once this book has gotten published, the mistakes have gotten fixed or some of the scenes have gone into more development and have been edited. Also, Colorless could have been such a good book since it had such a good concept that I have not heard of before. It just needs more structure and planning to become the book Stradling might have been envisioning. Since I find this quality in books, unless if it is a character-driven story, to be an extreme no-no, I had to decrease the number of stars I am giving it. Seriously, this novel could have been a soap opera about Annabelle's life as a colorless person through her whining and her solving the mystery surrounding her condition. I know there is going to be a second book so I will have high hopes for that one to be a little bit better than this first one, maybe(😓).
Just because I may have laid down all the terrible things about this book, I really enjoyed reading about this world, the characters, and the enjoyable writing style. The premise interested me enough that I decided to read the whole book, and the writing style was edging me on. The concept was brilliant, and it was incredibly good. As I now say in all my recent book reviews, I have basically wrote myself out with discussing everything about this book.
Also, I need a new tagline. Oh, wait! I do! New tagline: Also, before you leave, share this post 'cause it's caring, follow 'cause it's holo(-graphic, or 'cause it's not), and comment 'cause it's like writing a sonnet(I know that does not rhyme, but it just sounded nice).
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy!