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The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Monday, April 1, 2013
Summary: A heart-stopping story of love, death, technology, and art set amid the tropics of a futuristic Brazil.

The lush city of Palmares Três shimmers with tech and tradition, with screaming gossip casters and practiced politicians. In the midst of this vibrant metropolis, June Costa creates art that’s sure to make her legendary. But her dreams of fame become something more when she meets Enki, the bold new Summer King. The whole city falls in love with him (including June’s best friend, Gil). But June sees more to Enki than amber eyes and a lethal samba. She sees a fellow artist.

Together, June and Enki will stage explosive, dramatic projects that Palmares Três will never forget. They will add fuel to a growing rebellion against the government’s strict limits on new tech. And June will fall deeply, unfortunately in love with Enki. Because like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.

Pulsing with the beat of futuristic Brazil, burning with the passions of its characters, and overflowing with ideas, this fiery novel will leave you eager for more from Alaya Dawn Johnson’

Review: I really wanted to love this book the summary made it sound like a great dystopian read and the cover is stunning. However, the book was less than thrilling. The imagery written about in the book is stunning and paints a picture of gorgeous natural beauty. The world building was relatively well done however there were some rather gaping holes left in the narration that would have perhaps made the plot a little bit better. They never explained why there is a summer prince and why he has to die so this really started to bother me after awhile because there seemed to be no reasoning behind it.
The characters were at time grating and at other times annoying. June, the main character, was nearly insufferable she comes off as spoiled, self-centered, and naïve. Her decisions and thoughts in terms of Gil and Enki were confusing she is focused on her feelings for them, even though they have a relationship of her own and I could never figure out if this was a complicated love triangle or Enki was just a player or if June was reading more into the situation then there actually was. It was muddled to say the least. Overall I mostly felt that the book was focusing too much on what should have been side details and less on the more interesting aspects of the societal unrest in the country and why the ritual of the summer king existed in the first place.

2/5 diamonds

Reviewed by: Jennifer
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