Reborn by Linn Tesli
Review by: Michael Baker
Well well, what can I say about Reborn? I got this as an ARC by the author, but doesn’t influence my review at all. This is a firm but fair overlook into Reborn.
First of all, the world is vast, and pretty complex. There are a LOT of characters and time-skips going on, so it can be tricky figuring out what’s happening in the story. However, the author has clearly researched and created her world very well, as each one is refreshing without being overdone. There are a vast amount of different creatures (some cutesy and some downright deadly!) some of which may turn off readers. Unicorns, griffons and talking sarcastic squirrels, this has it all. While the worldbuilding hasn’t really introduced anything original to the fantasy genre, using a lot of tried and tested fantasy cliches, I wouldn’t take that away from the author or the book, as they are utilised fairly well. The talking squirrel is actually one of my favourite characters because of how sarcastic he is! I laughed every time he appeared.
Same goes for the plot really. An evil king takes over from his sister (who you actually feel sorry for as the story goes on), a chosen group of kids have to go around, gathering allies to defeat them. While nothing special in terms of creativity, I think its well written and a lot certainly happens! There are a huge number of characters in Reborn, some written better then others, as is the vast number of races. Therefore it can be difficult to figure out what’s going on in the scope of things. Birken was my favourite character because he was likable and probably the most developed. I will be perfectly honest…I didn’t like the kids. Ayva is the most powerful and chosen character in the book for obvious reasons, but I have a natural bias against any teenager prodigies, mainly because I find them whiny and full of angst, and usually everything bends over for them on a silver platter. That…doesn’t happen so much in Reborn, but I found their powers at times a bit “overpowered”. I would have liked more conflict overall, but it’s still very well written, and gives you a scale of how vast the world is. It ends on an open ended note showing there is still a lot to come into the second book, and a lot of conflict to follow.
Overall, I highly recommend Reborn. Good quality writing, a very wide-scope world and there’s a lot of fighting. If the story had any flaws, it’d just be that sometimes it infodumped a bit too much for my taste, and that my personal opinion against the “kids” grated on me, but this is just a hard-to-please fantasy writer babbling. It’s an excellent read and I frankly cannot wait to see what happens next!