As far as I’m concerned, this book could have been brilliant. After my initial introduction to Anne Osterlund’s brilliant writing abilities with the publication of her novel, Academy 7, I was rather eager to read her other, earlier novels. Unfortunately, I found that Aurelia fell incredibly short of the impressive quality I found in Osterlund’s other book.
The main characters Aurelia and Robert came off as incredibly awkward. Their romance was somewhat difficult to get on board with, perhaps led on by the slight degree of cliche and the dryness I found particularly in Robert’s character.
There was great potential to be found in the storyline, and in fact the only thing that saved this rating from a one or two star for me was the identity of the person attempting to assassinate Aurelia. It was incredibly unique and one I did not see coming in the slightest. I was grateful for the plot twist there and enjoyed it immensely, especially considering the way the novel ended.
However, here is additionally where the novel again fell short. Considering certain evidence, it baffles me how the King himself (not to mention his advisors) was unable to see the connection. I grew weary of certain aspects behind then investigation and Aurelia annoyed me at times. Ultimately, I found that I did not love the book enough to even consider taking a look at either of the sequels.
With such oblivious characters, unfortunate instances of forced and unbelievable personalities, as well as a decided lack of interaction between rather important characters, I find myself extremely disappointed. The novel focused more on Robert regarding his paltry investigation and his feelings for Aurelia than the actual plot and added to his splotchy personality it is ultimately what killed my interest in the end.
I will admit, I did go into reading this with high expectations garnered by my love of Osterlund’s Academy 7, but I still feel cheated of what could have been a very good novel and simply wasn’t.