Andrea K. H��st always has unique stories to tell. I enjoy the first two books tremendously, but maybe reading all of them in a few days made me bored as I grab the 3rd book. The diary writing is becoming a dread. Too much details and repetition, which is great at first - very realistic, but I think not neccessary after a while when all readers have acquainted themselves with Cass's situation.
The thing I really enjoy is characters. Host create an amazing cast, both primary and secondary. They are all very lovely. But because there is a flood of them, and then more new ones in the 3rd book, their personalities are not fully explored and rather turn into "types" with bits of decoration but not really standing out. Kaoren loses his solid presence, with which I'm so angry - seems like the author runs out of ways to renew him. Moreover I feel like there are not as many distinct voices even though the diary does feature direct conversations.
Still, the series as a whole is great compared to many other YA fantasy. Its fantasy element is definitely noteworthy and it's what keeps me turning the pages. The system is messy, and why Cass has so many talents is such a mystery..., and not all talents of Setari are studied properly - such a waste!!!, but I'm interested anyway.
What makes me feel uneasy, furthermore, is the way Cass and her friends are so... obedient. Do they voice their opinions? KOTIS seems to decide almost everything and they are fine with that, there's some struggle but quite easily solved and controlled - the media thing, the child thing. Well, I don't suggest conspiracy - I hate it, but well, the idea of the government, its interests and responsibilities, is so vague.
If instead of a series, Host wrote Touchstone
as a stand alone, I would be fine with all of the above problems. But the fact is that it's a triology, and even with an extra (that I'm too tired to read). A lot of pages and spaces and blah blah can be used more effectively to create a more complete world.