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Evelyn Skye

Author of The Crown's Game

11 Works 1,710 Members 74 Reviews

About the Author

Evelyn Skye is a bestselling author of The Crown's Game, a New York Times 2016 Best Seller. (Bowker Author Biography)

Series

Works by Evelyn Skye

The Crown's Game (2016) 904 copies
The Crown's Fate (2017) 320 copies
Circle of Shadows (2019) 274 copies
Damsel (2023) 78 copies
The Hundred Loves of Juliet (2023) 77 copies
Princess Private Eye (2023) 4 copies

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Common Knowledge

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Reviews

Representation: N/A
Trigger warnings: Death of girlfriends in the past by burning and physical illness, murder, grief and loss depiction, pregnancy and childbirth, divorce mentioned, infertility, near-death experience, fire, explosions, military violence and war themes, World War II, shipwreck, colonisation, car crash
Score: Five points out of ten.
Find this review on The StoryGraph.

Oh, look, a Romeo and Juliet retelling. A person I knew picked this one up and tried to read it. Unfortunately for her, it quickly disinterested her so she gave up after a few pages. However, The Hundred Loves of Juliet intrigued me, so I picked it up and read it. When I finished The Hundred Loves of Juliet, it disappointed me. It could be better, but alas, it didn't meet my expectations (I should lower them in the first place considering the low ratings and reviews.)

It starts with the first character I see, Helene, whose last name remains undisclosed, moving to Alaska to write a novel. She wants to write a romance involving two people, when suddenly, she meets another person: Sebastien, who came right off Helene's pages. Here's the catch: Once Sebastien starts a relationship with Helene, he tells her he is immortal but every time he tries to fall in love with a Juliet incarnation, she dies. The Hundred Loves of Juliet has such an intriguing premise, but the former squanders the latter by fumbling the characters, my biggest gripe. Sebastien and Helene talk like two cheesy philosophers, making me groan inside. I've had enough of people who talk like that, because it's unrealistic, and after reading another story with that type of dialogue, I didn't want to see it again.

The Hundred Loves of Juliet's flow was hard to follow at best and chaotic at worst. The narrative can jump back a few years sometimes to show the previous versions of Romeo and Juliet where the former survives but the latter meets her demise, but that quickly got repetitive. I also noticed the lack of diversity and saw that the author missed some opportunities to add more types of characters. One member of the couple that existed during the colonisation of America could've been Native American. The twosome in the Sahara could've been Black, and the one in World War Two era Japan could've been Japanese. You get the idea. I couldn't connect or relate to them in the first place.

The conclusion is a high note, as Sebastien and Helene break the curse as the former hacked some computers so that nothing could go wrong (Why?) and the latter had her first child. The Hundred Loves of Juliet mentioned divorce, but the author quickly glossed it over, which I disliked. It was apparent that in Evelyn Skye used YA writing which didn't translate well in her debut in adult fiction. To summarise, The Hundred Loves of Juliet was a promising Romeo and Juliet retelling, but the negatives outweighed the positives, disenchanting me.
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Flagged
Law_Books600 | 4 other reviews | Jan 29, 2024 |
Thanks so much for the review copy, Netgalley. This was a wonderful love story. This was not my typical type of book but I’m glad I took a chance on it.
 
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DKnight0918 | 4 other reviews | Dec 23, 2023 |
Dnf @ pg 155

This had all the ingredients for a tasty pizza (cheese, flour, tomato sauce, toppings if you get down like that, etc), but it was never put into the writing oven. So, we were left with an undercooked goopy mess. I could not connect to the storytelling style. It relied heavily on “telling” things about the characters that it could’ve have shown. Dialogue/banter was unseasoned.

Circle of Shadows’ story is plot-driven. There are some big themes: a cult; two armies of ninjas (taiga and ryuu); a brother and sister estranged due to their ideologies; animal-based magical abilities; a male lead realizing his feelings for his best friend; female lead consumed with revenge; dead sister; did I mention multiple BLOOD SACRAFICES?

The dark angle with the prince and princess’ fallout was interesting. The graphic violence and the cult made a sharp, almost whiplike effect, contrast against the otherwise light story. The humor was lighthearted as well as the previously mentioned unseasoned banter.

Even the most cliché story can thrive with a cast of fun characters, but I didn’t care for this crew. Early in the story Sora decides to take her taiga training skills seriously in hopes to move up in the army/elite fighting force. She was supposed to be this goofy prankster, but it felt like she never really was. She threw one “prank” which was just overdoing a performance for the princess and a mention of making laxative brownies for a bully. Despite getting serious, you would think she would retain this supposedly goofy personality.

Daemon, which is way too close to demon lol, was dull. He was grappling with his feelings for Sora and his identity. He was abandoned as a baby and never knew his parents. With some work, this could have been a fun or compelling character. The rest of the side characters had quirky name-conventions/codenames, which I didn’t mind, but none really stood out either. There was a petite, flirty chick and a guy who basically worked in the file cabinet/administration. But they needed more to be likable.

The magic system not being more fleshed out was a huge letdown. I needed to know more of its limitations. Being a Taiga comes with animal power-ups, by chanting an animal characteristic (think: teeth of a shark!) will grant the user that ability. However, it’s not clear how long they last. At first, the abilities were shown to wear off, but in another instance the effect lasted even with the user unconscious.

Another example is that Daemon is basically Rock Lee (Naruto) here as he sucks at casting spells/using magic. Is magic innate or genetics-based? Can you be gifted it? I know the gods specifically select the taiga, but why would they select a magicless baby?

It’s very unfortunate I didn’t mesh with the story. Because I love stories about ninjas + magic abilities + a sweet first love. And a guy raised by wolves! Come on, those are some of my favorite things. Personally, I don’t need the most elaborate worldbuilding or robust magic system if I enjoy the characters or the story. I’ve liked worse, less than critically acclaimed stories before. Truly I wanted to like this story, but it’s not for me.
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Flagged
DestDest | 9 other reviews | Nov 26, 2023 |
This was a cute story with an imaginative and highly unbelievable premise. Helene and Sebastien could have been better developed characters and the writing was decent but it felt more like a YA novel. I'm not a big romance fan but if you are you will probably enjoy this book. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
½
 
Flagged
susan.h.schofield | 4 other reviews | Oct 8, 2023 |

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Statistics

Works
11
Members
1,710
Popularity
#15,009
Rating
3.8
Reviews
74
ISBNs
67
Languages
4

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