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Bibliophilic Monologues

Prophecy of the Sisters (Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy, Book I)

Prophecy of the Sisters - Michelle Zink I was really hesitant to read this book. If you were to ask me why, I’d tell you that the idea that two sisters who shared a womb, who are ultimately two parts of one who whole, not being together, of being against each other…that works but it’s not the kind of story I’d want to read. My curiousity got the better of me however, so I picked it up from the library. I don’t mean to be unnecessarily critical of the book. The following are just some of the observations I made about it while reading.The story opens with a funeral and immediately sets the tone of the novel. It has a somewhat Gothic atmosphere (not black eyeliner, mind you) but there is a pervasive atmosphere of stillness, of anticipation of some new horror. Lia and Alice are twins. At least superficially. They look absolutely the same. And this is my greatest complaint with the novel. Not that they look the same but I just don’t feel their “twinness” for lack of a better word (that was not made up). They are already estranged at the beginning of the novel. We don’t see them being together, loving each other so despite Lia saying they did so, they do so, the words ring hollow and unconvincing. I think, from an objective stand, that the way to convince readers of the love between them would have been to show it and then show their gradual estrangement – if emotions had already been invested in the two girls, the readers would be much more empathetic with the resulting separation of both ambitions and ideologies. Lia is well developed – Alice, not at all. You are cut off from her side entirely and I can’t help but feel that she was being a disservice. For the book to work for me, I need to understand the antagonist. If she is as much an important character as the author would have us believe, I need more than I was given to understand her.And then there are some points I really can’t ignore. It is because of (spoiler warning here) Alice that Henry dies. In fact, it is directly caused by Alice. Henry, poor helpless Henry who died so that Lia might get a list. And what does Lia do? Forgive her sister. The lack of emotion, the lack of blame – it again feels contrived and unrealistic. These are teenagers we are dealing with here. I know Lia talks about the “rage” in her more times than necessary but honey child, you ain’t showing that rage enough. I need the passion you don’t show. Oh, I understand that it’s a historical novel and passion in women is looked down upon but that doesn’t stop Lia from showing passion where James is concerned. So why, when her sister kills their younger brother, is there no railing, no shouting, nothing? I was very dissatisfied with that. There was barely any mourning.James. Lia loves James. Or so she says. And you are tempted to believe her. But Alice wants James. And what does Lia do? Leave James behind while she goes off to England. Um hello? Did you forget that your evil twin sister, the one who looks exactly like you, is waiting in the eaves to swoop down as soon as you leave? And you don’t even trust enough in him to tell him what’s really going on. Do you really love him?I liked the whole sisterhood thing (which ironically enough happens with girls who are not Lia’s sister). But at the end of the novel, I’d say that I don’t like Lia. I really don’t like her. She was eager enough to believe in Alice’s evilness and did not show enough courage or spunk to go and confront her initially. She pushes her sister away ostensibly because she fears her but come on. There is an almost tangible thread between siblings who are not twins so imagine what it must for twins and I don’t feel that. I don’t think the book was done all that well but it wasn’t done too badly either. I was left very dissatisfied and annoyed.