Title: Map of Fates
Author: Maggie Hall
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Running Time: 9 hours, 29 minutes, 28 seconds
Source: OverDrive/Public Library
Goodreads Summary: Two weeks.
That’s how long it took for Avery West’s ordinary life to change forever: In two weeks, she discovered she was heiress to a powerful secret society known as the Circle, learned her mother was taken hostage by the Circle’s enemies, and fell for a boy she’s not allowed to love, just as she found out another was her unwelcome destiny.
Now, Avery crosses oceans in private jets to hunt for clues that will uncover the truth about the Circle, setting her mom and herself free before it’s too late. By her side are both the boys: Jack—steady, loyal, and determined to help her even at the expense of his own duty—and Stellan, whose connection to Avery grows stronger by the day despite her best intentions, making her question what she believes at every turn.
But at the end of a desperate hunt from the islands of Greece to the red carpet at Cannes comes a discovery that not only changes everything, but could bring the whole world to its knees. And now Avery is forced to face the truth: in the world of the Circle, no one is what they seem.
Ah, this book. This book made me very sad. Why? Because it felt like Hall just lost so much steam despite trying so hard in this book. And I hate to say that as I had so much fun with The Conspiracy of Us.
Let’s start off with a quick synopsis. Avery has escaped and she and Jack are on the run. But soon they find themselves running straight into the arms of Avery’s long lost family, The Saxons. The Saxons want to marry Avery off to fulfill The Mandate. Meanwhile, The Order (dun, dun, DUN!) wants Avery to find Alexander The Great’s Tomb in exchange for freeing Avery’s mom. What follows is another whirlwind, glob trotting adventure full of intrigue, fashion, and, of course, hot guys.
I wanted to love this book. I really did. Hall’s writing in the first book was so fun, fast paced, and action packed. But it felt like in Map of Fates she just lost that certain something, ya know? It almost felt like she was trying too hard to make it interesting, instead of letting things flow naturally.
The story felt very contrived. Things fell into place too conveniently. There’s a clue in India that Jack and Avery need? How fortunate that that’s exactly where the Saxons plan on taking Avery next! Avery needs to go to Greece? Luckily her friend is yachting there! Now they have to go to the Cannes Film Festival? Let’s go with our friend the movie star! You see what I mean? It was just too easy. There was no pull of suspense to hook you.
The characters felt like shadows. They didn’t have much–any–personality. Stellan was your typical bad boy. Jack was…a hot guy. Avery was your average, standard, typical YA heroineTM. There’s really not much to say about the characters, unfortunately. They were just infused with so little personality…
The plot was okay. I will admit I didn’t see the huge twist coming at all. But other than that, it felt like Hall was throwing elements in just to have them there. The plot just didn’t feel urgent or compelling to me. It ended up losing me and I had to set the book down in the middle, go read something else, and come back to the book later because it just wasn’t holding me.
The romance was…eh. The love triangle which began in the first book intensified in this one. I actually switched ships, though. But even still, the romance was as watery as the rest of the book. There was no pull, no compulsion. It was just…meh.
All in all, Map of Fates was a disappointing read. I wanted to love it, but it just didn’t speak to me or stand out. I’m hoping this is just a second book slump and that the next book is better, though. We’ll see, I guess…
The narration wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was good. Whelan is one of my favorite narrators, just because I like the sound of her voice. I liked that she did different voices for most all of the characters as it made the characters easy to distinguish. I felt like her pacing and tone was very good as well; not too fast and just enough emotion without being overbearing. Overall I enjoyed the audiobook format of Map of Fates and would recommend it.