The Scholar

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

This was an exciting fantasy which certainly grew the further I got into the story.
The characters are really engaging and you want to see how they grow as the story progresses.
Well worth a read.
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Great story with interesting characters. I loved the snake people and look forward to seeing what happens in the following installments!
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I really enjoyed reading this book. I was a little dubious as it's aimed at young adults, but it was totally engaging. Anna, our protagonist, knows in her heart of hearts, that she's different, and comes from "somewhere else". Little did she know, that she was from a whole different planet, where she gets returned into a dangerous plot by a tyrannical power crazed king. It's totally engaging, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. Highly recommended!
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On the surface, The Scholar, book one of The Genoa Chronicles by JJ Anders has everything a fantasy lover could want in a book series. There are mythical beings that are able to use magic, intrigue, a mystery to solve, and even a little romance. The description immediately drew me in. I settled in ready and excited to enjoy a new series. Opening the book quickly ended those feelings when I discovered that the best written part of the book was the description. I couldn’t wait to finish this book. Normally that would signal that the book is a page-turner, but in my case, I just wanted it to be over so I could read something new and forget the disappointment I felt while reading this.

Anna has some powerful abilities and she doesn’t really know who or what she is. She is in hiding for protection and has spent a good portion of her life running from people trying to capture her and the rest of the time trying to discover who she is. She is able to return to the land that she was exiled from thanks to the help of a Wizard. This leads to a dangerous journey and a potential love interest that has to battle his heart and his sword when it comes to Anna.

My problem is more with the writing than the story itself. I think The Scholar has many of the elements that would make a story solid. However, the writing is very “tell not show.” It’s description heavy in terms of telling the reader what to imagine rather than letting things unfold on its own. It feels like the idea was created and the writers weren’t sure how to get from point A to point B, so they just filled in some unnecessary details all along the way.

Anna lacks substance and there are several points in the book where we get her frantic mental thoughts that build things up but never really pay off in the end. Much of the beginning of the book she was obsessed with figuring out who she was. I quickly grew bored and once we had the answers she was seeking, I didn’t really care one way or another. The action sequences, at times, are nonsensical. If you’re going to go to the trouble of telling me exactly what happens, your description should be smooth, thoughtful, and make sense. This wasn’t always the case with The Scholar.

Additionally, words matter. It’s nice to be able to say or describe things, but they need to make sense. Often times, the descriptions contradict the following descriptions. This could be because of some of the unmotivated actions for the sake of page filling. For example, in one spot in the book it is pouring down rain and the rain is beginning to fill the streets. The next minute, a cold wind blows and snow is approaching that could fall to the point of footprints being left in them. As there is a flood, it’s unlikely that would take place, but that’s the mental image you’re left with. It’s something that could have or should have been cleaned up in editing, but will be overlooked by many.

If you read The Scholar, remember that it’s a series book. The book ends on a big storyline to set things up for the next book. With that in mind, if you’re not one for waiting know that you’ll have to until you get a hold of the second book.

Is The Scholar Recommended?
If you care about things making sense, at least to some degree, in your fantasy, this probably isn’t going to be the series for you. There are multiple narrators and at times it feels like it is done superfluously. The buildup tension often fizzles out to nothing and it’s just disappointing. If you pay attention to detail and want to feel like the author of a series loves it enough to spend the time nurturing it, you’ll want to skip The Scholar and look elsewhere.
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When I read the description for The Scholar, it held a lot of promise. Powers, destiny, adventure? Count me in!  Unfortunately, the minute I started the book, the excitement quickly left. The author spends a lot of time describing how the characters look, which always annoys me because I feel like skilled authors manage to show you not tell you off you know what I mean. By the end, I had gotten very tired of hearing accounts of Anna's white hair, blue eyes, and beauty. The world building of Genoa was poor because the author threw all the information out in the span of a few pages that left me reeling. This book is just one overplayed YA trope after another and I am surprised I managed to finish the book.  Also, there were many typos which took away from the experience of reading. The only saving grace of the book is that as the book progressed, although the plot didn't really improve the writing definitely did so I wasn't cringing after I read each line. I would want to see a much, much better sequel if I were to ever pick this series up again.
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Woo hoo hoo!!! This book started with a bang, kept up the action, and YES...mic drop. It's my new favorite. This is the way to do the thing! 

Rating: 5/5
Recommend: Yes
Status: PR, YA
Keeper: Yes
Want More: Absolutely Yes!
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Extremely exciting and magical new world filled with danger and mystery, this is an emotionally thrilling, action packed and intriguing adventure. 

Anna is not what she appears to be (your average teenage girl). She is so much more and most assuredly not of this world. In her search for answers to who she really is she comes across some very intriguing and exciting charters and travels to a magical world called Genoa (which she is told is her true home). Loved every heart pounding, thought provoking twist and turn.
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ARC - I voluntarily offered to review this book with no obligations and my opinions are honest!
Anna is not like any other human girl.
She has been on the run from the general.
When she is rescued by Leian, she learns that she is from another word called Genoa.
In Genoa, she finds out that she is a daughter of a king.
Kriston was just following orders, but he knew that Anna was innocent.
This is a very rich storytelling.
I loved storytelling + the characters!
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I'm frustrated like I'm Anna. I have powers I have limited knowledge of, lots of people and magic creatures trying to capture me and everyone telling me I have magic I don't know of. BUT so exciting!!!! 😁👍😍 

I need book 2! NOW!
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I think maybe I am just a picky reader (as much as I am a picky eater). Sometimes a book doesn't draw my in. If I can't get drawn into a book it is extremely hard for me to enjoy or read it. I can't say I finished this book. There was something about the writing style that I couldn't get in to. I feel terrible since this is my first book I got from NetGalley, who kindly gave me a free version to read. I kept trying to go back to it. Trying to keep reading, but I could not get more than a couple of pages each time. 

Overall: This was not a book that was enjoyable for me.
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The storyline is cool and has promise to build into something more. There's powers that are being discovered/honed, fate of the world rests on protagonist, and we even have time to check out a guy.  I just think there was a bit too much going on. There are multiple perspectives throughout, although our main POV is through the heroine's eyes. Anna is searching for her family's history to see where she came from as she obviously isn't just human. When she's rescued by a wizard from another world, she see's why she was never able to figure out her heritage- she's not even from Earth! This planet she is on is in the midst of political struggle and on the brink of war, and she is a key component in the fate of this world. I really wanted to like it, I just personally found the action to be choppy and the writing style didn't really capture me. The story line does try to follow a couple different threads to give the reader the bigger picture, but I just didn't really find the other threads that interesting to read. Plus I really dislike multiple narration when its not really needed.  I had a hard time connecting with Anna as well, she didn't feel solid enough. But those are my hang ups. For those who do make it beyond this point- the story does end on a big reveal that definitely needs to be explained, so for the impatient ones (i.e. me) make sure that you have access to the second book if you decide to delve into this series.
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I could not finish this book. Unfortunately, since it wasn't professionally edited, it seemed like every sentence had an error so I couldn't get into the story at all.
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Hi, I'm sorry I requested this title without knowing it was for Kindle app only. I do not own a Kindle, therefore, won't be able to read the file. If there was any descriptive label announcing it was a Kindle exclusive, then I missed it.
Pay no attention to my neutral rating. NG won't allow me to send this comment without rating the book.
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I found the premise of the story to be a lot more interesting than the actual book itself. I hate to say it but I've more amateur books than this one. The writing really wasn't that great along with the fact that the plot was extremely cliché and just unoriginal at all. This book was a DNF for me because I couldn't bear to finish it.
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Anna knew she was different from others not only physically but she has abilities as well. Anna is left to search for answers about her identity after General Wilberg and his men kill her guardian. One day the General tracks her down, Anna is prepared to fight to the death, when suddenly she is rescued by a strange man. The man introduces himself as Wizard Leian from her home planet of Genoa and tells her he is taking her home. 
Anna is taken through a portal to Genoa, a bizarre planet as unique as she is; a place where she might finally belong...if she lives. Genoa is on the verge of war and Anna, with her special powers, is the key. She must travel through Genoa gaining allies and escaping enemies who want her power.

This is the first novel in the Geonoa Chronicles. It is beautifully written YA fantasy with lots of magical creatures among exotic landscapes. I really enjoyed this book and am excited for the next book in the series. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves YA fantasy with loads of magical creatures.
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This was a great book. It was well written and intriguing with believable characters and great world building.  I enjoyed Anna and Kriston's journey very much and was never once bored. I was not suprised to hear that both the authors involved had won awards for their work in the past as their quality or writing really shows through !
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The Scholar by J. J. Anders is the first of two books in The Genoa Chronicles. It is a YA fantasy story about Anna a young girl who has never fit in on Earth. She knows she is different, all she has to do is look in the mirror and see her white hair and translucent skin to confirm this. She also has this unique magical gift where she can acquire all the knowledge in a book just by touching its cover. 
Despite searching all her life, Anna has never found another like herself. She has absorbed knowledge from books in libraries all over the world and successfully avoided capture by the military in her quest to learn about herself.  It appears her luck has run out, or maybe she has become complacent, because she has been spotted in the library and must flee to avoid capture.  Just as the military surrounds her and Anna thinks all is lost, a young man, Leian, comes to her rescue.  
Leian claims he is a wizard and she is a princess that has been in exile and he has come to take her home to Genoa. As it turns out, home is a world Anna no longer remembers. It is full of magical creatures and others with magical abilities. Home is not exactly welcoming either, since it is not long before she is again running to avoid capture from an evil monarch that wants to steal her magic. 
The Scholar has all the things I love in a great book, clever characters, an intriguing story, and a fast moving plot with surprises throughout that keep the reader turning the pages. In addition, the authors did a superb job with the world building, which is must for me. I am already looking forward to the next book, especially so because it ended on a cliff hanger. In short, this is a great start to a new YA series. 
I will have to buy a copy for my grandson who loves YA fantasy. I highly recommend this book to readers who like YA and fantasy stories. I urge you to add this one to your TBR list, you will not regret it.  
I received a free copy from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.
For more of my book reviews, and author interviews, see my blog at
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I couldn't make it through this one. It sounded very interesting from the description, but I have to say the book seems to be lacking. It could use some more editing.
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The Scholar is a book I have been looking forward to reading because I am a fan of both authors, so I do as really interested in seeing what they've come up with and I wasn't disappointed. In the vast sea of YA books, this is still a standout. The Scholar is about Anna, a girl who is well... Otherworldly. She is not like other humans, she has near translucent skin, amazing magical abilities and longevity of life. Anna has been mingling among humans for decades on the run from the villainous military general who has been hunting her. She has the look of a teenager so it is easier to blend in. But it all comes to a stop when on a particular night, after a dreadful mission to procure information about what and who she is, Anna is trapped by the General. Coming to her rescue is an eccentric weird guy who claims to be a wizard from another world and calls her 'Your Highness'. His name is Leian and he's from a place called Genoa and he's come to take Anna home, Ann had no choice than to go with him and escape from her pursuers. After a scary portal dimension travel (that's the best way I can describe it), they land in Genoa which is a beautiful world with 9 moons (3 visible I'm the daytime). Things get even crazier and more exciting from there. 
This new world is not what Anna is used to but it's also strangely familiar. But unfortunately it's not all beautiful because Anna isn't exactly safe here either, She is the daughter of the late King of Verlona (a land in Genoa). But also a magical key (I can't do explain further on this without spoiling it), To get answers, She had to journey with Leian and his apprentice Shiarra. The king of Matera (Another kingdom in Genoa ruled by a tyrant king that hates Verlona and is magic hungry) knows of Anna's presence in Genoa and wants her so he can steal her magic, He concocts a fake story about Anna being a spy from Verlona sent to steal all of the magic in Matera to the Captain of his Guard who happens to be his brother who he hates but is efficient. His brother, Kriston doesn't believe the Kings bull story but he had no choice but to go for it, Along with some of his trusted men and some from the King, they journeyed towards finding Anna (with a magical GPS map that boldly broadcasts her location). The worldbuilding of this book is just lush, phenomenal and vast. The quality of the writing is a 10 out of 10, so well detailed it's quite vivid. A budding romance between Kriston and Anna is freaking adorable and the chemistry between them is hot, their pairing is one I can't wait to see more of. There is an abundance of action, magic, plots, camaraderie, intriguing storylines and enchanting characters, Fans of Fantasy will definitely devour this book.
There are so many mysteries to figure out and so many pieces of a large puzzle, but unraveling the tangled web is certainly fun. Supporting characters like Leian and Shiarra are nice additions because their various journeys are also quite entertaining. Be prepared for really vast storytelling because The Scholar encompasses many characters with different paths all leading to a major battle between power and evil. Little pieces are left here and there that give a glimpse to just how big this series is going to be and I'm certainly excited for more. It ends with an amazing (yet not so victorious) cliffhanger that will leave everyone thirsting for more as we wonder what's next. I can happily recommend The Scholar to every reader looking for a great read because it is a perfect combination of magic, action, adventure, humor, romance and really top notch writing. I look forward to the next book in this amazing series.
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I'm not going to post an online review. This book badly needs editing and a better story. So much time is spent discussing the heroine's hair and her amazing translucent skin and too little attention is paid to the part where she's mind-raping a librarian and thinks it would be rude to mind-rape her even more. I'm struggling to find something positive to say. At one point, I was counting how many paragraphs in a row could start with gerunds: Forcing, sliding, glancing, knowing, sprinting... 

The heroine is the worst kind of marysue self insertion and the story suffers from it. I've found some overlooked gems on Netgalley when picking an overlooked self-published kind of piece. This, sadly, wasn't one of them.

I want to write something positive and encouraging because looking back this is really a downer and I only made it through 10% of the book before deciding I wanted to throw it against a wall (I didn't; it would have hurt my Kindle). So maybe find a writing group and read a few books on writing (much as your heroine learned Tai Chi moves by reading a book)? 

I wish I had liked it more. I love "fairy meets urban reality" titles, so that was a great choice.
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