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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Review: Disharmony (The Telling #1) by Leah Giarrantano

I thought I'd never be surprised by a book since I've been on a good reading streak for the past few weeks but Disharmony just did. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews about this book but I'm glad I gave it a chance. I'm still surprised that I actually liked this book.

Title: Disharmony (The Telling #1) by Leah Giarratano
Pages: 360
Release Date: May 23rd 2012
Published by: Penguin Australia
Source: Publisher
Buy: Penguin Australia | Fishpond


A psychopath... an empath... a genius.

Three siblings who will save the world – or destroy it.
They know nothing of each other. They know nothing of the Telling.
But they’ll need to learn fast if they’re going to survive...

A gripping new series about a collision of worlds, the power of destiny, and the darkness in us all...

Although not all of the book's elements worked for me, and I've had my reservations before finally reading it, there was so much promise the summary offers and I just couldn't help myself that I read on.

I never thought that mixing technology and magic, folklore and legends, and supernatural beings will work in a modern setting. This can be tricky and confusing, but Leah Giarrantano somehow made it work. I liked how one moment you see everything from the eyes of a juvenile, Luke, and then through an outside girl taken in by the gypsies, Samantha, and all of a sudden you read about daemons, elves, faeries and something about The Telling. It's a delicate work to be able to shift focus and disconnect one world from another and then merge them again but the author still somehow managed to make them coalesce, despite some confusing moments.

What will test the patience of the readers in this book, however, is how draggy some parts seem. It took a while for Luke and Samantha's stories to look like they were related and it happened way beyond 100 pages. Some readers might not care for what will happen at that point, but it gets better halfway through. It was a bit hard to connect with Luke and Sam, as their personalities took time to develop as well. It took me a while to be convinced that magic is an integral part of the story, and there were quite a lot of side characters introduced that took away some focus on the main characters. I had to re-read a few pages back just so I can remember who Seraphina is.

On the other hand, what I liked in this book is that I kept on guessing who the psychopath and the empath is, and the genius as well. Leah Giarrantano dropped quite a few hints that I was challenged to figure out, even who and what Intellicide's role is, which I still don't know. The numerous chase scenes, some violent, some heart racing, gave the story a sense of urgency. The author's knowledge in psychology helped a great deal in creating a believable empath and psychopath, given the deep background of Luke and Samantha's lives. I just wished they gave time for the third character, the genius, to be introduced properly as well.

Despite the setbacks I encountered, my overall feeling for the novel is good. There were moments of struggle to get through some scenes, but there were a lot of times where I felt like the pace was good, and that the story was sorting itself out. I definitely am still curious to know a lot more about Morgan Moreau and the secret she holds and her plans for The Telling. The story incorporates a lot of relatable themes, like the hardships Luke dealt as a child who grew up in the system: being bullied, unloved and passed around by people who never should have had kids. Sam experienced a lot of prejudice and cruelty growing up in a Gypsy community, and being stuck in between two worlds, neither a Gaje nor a Roma.

Reading Disharmony is like waiting for a car to get warmed up and when it did, it will zoom past in a blink of an eye. From an idle, leisurely pace, Disharmony gave way to a very promising, exhilarating ending. Will I read the sequel? Yes! Do I think this book is worth the time I've spent reading? Still a yes! It's different, but the good kind of different.

My rating

Content (plot, story flow, character):
I might need to re-read. I still have a lot of questions about certain points in the story.

Okay: Liked, but The Goddess demands more!

Book Cover:
Freaky, but I liked it!


  1. There are mixed reviews for this book, though it doesn't really sound like my usual type of book. Might consider borrowing it from the library first instead of buying. Anyway great review!

    1. It's that type of book you should borrow :) It's worth the read, though there really were just some points I felt were unnecessary or overdone. I hope you enjoy it when you get to read it! Thanks for the comment.

  2. Hmm, I've read mixed reviews of this book. I'm not much of a fan of books with too many dragging scenes, so I guess I'll borrow it from someone before getting a copy for myself :)

    1. Yep, there's quite a lot of them but once you get past it, the book is quite enjoyable :)

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