ARC Review: Moribund – Genevieve Iseult Eldredge

Book cover: Euphoria stands on stage, playing her violin.

High school sophomore Syl Skye is an ordinary girl. At least, she’s trying to be. School photographer and all-around geek, she introverts hard and keeps her crush on sexy-hot glam-Goth star Euphoria on the down-low. But when a freak accident Awakens her slumbering power, Syl is forced to accept a destiny she never wanted—as the last sleeper-princess of the fair Fae.

Suddenly hunted by the dark Fae, Syl’s pretty sure things can’t get any worse. Until she discovers her secret crush, Euphoria, is really a dark Circuit Fae able to harness the killing magic in technology. Even worse, she’s been sent to destroy Syl. With mean girls and magic and dark Fae trying to kill her, it’ll take more than just “clap if you believe in fairies” to save Syl’s bacon—not to mention, her heart.

I received an ARC of Moribund from Netgalley. I decided to request this book because I loved the pose of the character on the cover, and the blurb was quite intriguing.

It’s #ownvoices for lesbian representation.

I thought I’d love this book. I really did. Thus, I was really disappointed that I absolute did not enjoy this ARC, not at all. It wasn’t a nice reading experience.

The writing is so repetetive. At times, I thought I was reading the same page by accident, that’s how repetetive it was. It was exhausting to read and certainly didn’t make the story more enjoyable. The two perspectives were so similar to each other that I only could distinguish the narrator based on the context and whether the narrator was using the word “emo”. I also wasn’t a fan of the verses at the beginning of Euphoria’s chapter because they mostly just summed up what had happened in the chapter before .

What I absolutely hated is that the characters aren’t nuanced at all. They either just evil or very good (and being forced to do evil). Syl and Euphoria are just such good people, like they don’t do anything wrong unless they are forced to do so. One of the evil characters states that he is doing these evil actions because of the way that he was treated by his community. He wants to create a place for all those who have been treated badly by his community. A community that one of the main characters also belongs to. However, that’s it. He’s still the evil character, and the author doesn’t illuminate on how he came to be evil. There is no nuanced discussion about this issue! The other evil character is portrayed in the same way, she’s the evil girl. However, we don’t find out why she decided to join forced with the other evil character. Nevertheless, it’s established that she is awful.

None of the minor characters were that memorable. I know the names of some of them, but they were not developed at all. They just seemed to function as plot devices and decorations. For example, I was seriously expecting a story arc about how one of Syl’s friends ditches Syl for the evil girl, but Syl still trusts her. Why would Syl trust her? However, once the main characters get what they need from her, that’s it. The main characters suspect a teacher of being more than she shows, but that mystery is also never solved.

Euphoria is described as having bronze skin, blue eyes and high cheekbones. Syl says that this gives her an exotic look, which is one of my most hated adjectives for POC people. Syl describes herself fighting as a combination of Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and Euphoria yells “Olé” and describes that she is saying it like a bullfighter. This is appropriation.

I’m not a fan of a person being the amazingly talented one, and both of the main characters fall into this trope. They could do nothing wrong, and even when one of them thought she couldn’t do something, the other character would remind her that she could and motivate her, and obviously they would be able to do it. They were absolutely perfect.

I will say this though. The either of combining fae magic with machinery was cool. However, I felt rather confused with this combination because it wasn’t explained that well. Another aspect that I feel worldbuilding should have touched on is that fair Fae are not affected by iron. Also, why are the dark fae not affected by steel – an iron alloy, but by pure iron???

Ableist terms were used in this book. I also wasn’t a fan of Euphoria saying that no self-respecting dad would want his daughter to have boys at her party and manipulating another character’s father with that logic. What the hell?

I didn’t enjoy this book at all. It wasn’t written well, it was boring and the worldbuilding was lacking in so many areas.

1 star

Have you read Moribund? What do you think of it?


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