Maresi: {Review}

Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017
Publisher: Amulet Books
Series: The Red Abbey Chronicles #1
Format: e-ARC
Source: Netgalley

Only women and girls are allowed in the Red Abbey, a haven from abuse and oppression. Maresi, a thirteen-year-old novice there, arrived in the hunger winter and now lives a happy life in the Abbey, protected by the Mother and reveling in the vast library in the House of Knowledge, her favorite place. Into this idyllic existence comes Jai, a girl with a dark past. She has escaped her home after witnessing the killing of her beloved sister. Soon the dangers of the outside world follow Jai into the sacred space of the Abbey, and Maresi can no longer hide in books and words but must become one who acts.

**Thank you to Netgalley and Amulet Books for granting me access to this title in exchange for an honest review. 

I really wish I could give this book a higher rating but it was so unbelievably boring for the first 70%. I had to force myself to keep reading. Most of the book was about Maresi and Jai's daily routines which were very repetitive and time consuming to read about. I found myself skipping a lot of it. 

I will say that I loved the concept about a safe haven for girls and women where they can escape their awful lives and learn valuable skills needed to survive. 

Maresi and the other characters are not really developed so I felt like I didn't get to know them at all, and that they didn't have much depth as if they had been more developed. While Maresi herself is a smart and curious character, none of the others really stuck out to me. Jai's character was all over the place because one minute she was following Maresi around everyday as her friend and then when Maresi tries to help her she ignores her and starts whispering about her to another girl. That came out of left field. 

The magical elements in the story were very confusing. In one scene the women and their magic manage to repel a boat full of men trying to enter the island but in another one the women have no magic to help them against the men. Yet the book speaks about the all powerful magic of the abbey and the women who live there but all of the sudden there is no magic to help them. 

Maybe if there had been less daily routines and more action throughout the book I would have enjoyed it more, but it was just painstakingly slow to get through.

Honestly, there's not much more I can say except that I will not be continuing this series because it just wasn't for me.


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