The Hierophant (The Arcana Series #1)
Demons are watching. They move invisible through our world, hunting for rare prey: most humans don’t see the monsters that lurk in the dark, and as long as you can’t see them, they can’t hurt you.But Ana sees the demons. Monsters once found only in her late mother's bedtime stories have crept from the shadows, whispering her name and stirring ancient magic in her blood.On the day her tarot deck foretells a disturbing change, Ana encounters an uncanny young man who literally stops (and starts) her heart. Trebor has strange powers, and an even stranger quest, and for some reason wants to help her. But the closer Trebor gets to the truth behind Ana’s power, the more important–and dangerous–his own quest becomes. Even more important that keeping Ana alive.Because in a world haunted by demons determined to find the key to their empire, there is much more at stake than one girl’s soul.

The Hierophant (The Arcana Series #1) Details

TitleThe Hierophant (The Arcana Series #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJun 18th, 2013
PublisherCreatespace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-139781484884904
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Fiction, Magic

The Hierophant (The Arcana Series #1) Review

  • Wilhelmina
    January 1, 1970
    I initially picked up this book because the world building and mythology are very similar to a current project of mine, and I do admit I liked that angle of the book: it's quite well-executed, though not without its flaws: I hate it when supernatural beings are just supernatural enough to manifest as hot, helpful teenage boys with no physical or behavioral ways to differentiate themselves from human beings. The rest of the novel is very...ordinary, I could say: the love interest is alright but n I initially picked up this book because the world building and mythology are very similar to a current project of mine, and I do admit I liked that angle of the book: it's quite well-executed, though not without its flaws: I hate it when supernatural beings are just supernatural enough to manifest as hot, helpful teenage boys with no physical or behavioral ways to differentiate themselves from human beings. The rest of the novel is very...ordinary, I could say: the love interest is alright but not very charismatic or interesting, and the supporting characters run the gamut from trite stereotypes to occasionally amusing, flat characters--the one exception being Kyla, though she did occasionally dip into typical best friend tropes. Ana, the protagonist, while not as annoying or infinitely frustrating as most YA heroines, was still very by-the-numbers. The whole time I was reading, I kept having this train of thought:"Of course she's bullied.""Of course she has trouble connecting with people.""Of course she has physical "flaws" that aren't actual detriments to her beauty."Of course of course of course. Ana was a pieced-together quilt of previous YA heroines, having no true identity of her own but just bringing to mind those particular incarnations of the same archetype. Ironic, really, Franklin wrote about a real patchwork girl in her debut, and yet (view spoiler)[Hope (hide spoiler)] was far more unique.In short, there isn't anything about Ana that distinguishes her from Lonely Misunderstood YA Main Character #13694273. I could probably deal with that, if only the plot wasn't so predictable: at no point was I taken by surprise or reading with baited-breath, excited about what was about to happen. It's a very ordinary story unfolding against the backdrop of a vivid, beautifully detailed setting, and I was often wishing the story gave us more of that: I wanted more of the Irin, the Ouros, Ana's mother. It's an unfortunate thing with YA novels that they often focus on the least interesting aspect of any given world, namely the teenaged main character with the Supah Special Powers who is an *outcast*, when there are so many more narratives to explore that would've been so much more fascinating. The novel had the potential to be much, much more than what it was. It didn't spark enough emotion in me to make me actually dislike it, nor was there anything to bump it up a star and make me actually enjoy reading it. There's nothing more that I can say.
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  • ♚ ember
    January 1, 1970
    two stars. period.well, certainly, i realise it's not the best way to begin 2016, but i'm exhausted and cold, so bear with itーi spent five days in Florence, and if you think Italy is warm in winter, sorry, you are mistaken (coming from someone who barely feels her feet right now).anyway, enough with my ramblings, back to the review, now.i really wanted to like the Hierophant: maybe you don't know, but i become as giddy as a kid when it comes to tarots and demons and occult, so yeah, i (unfortuna two stars. period.well, certainly, i realise it's not the best way to begin 2016, but i'm exhausted and cold, so bear with itーi spent five days in Florence, and if you think Italy is warm in winter, sorry, you are mistaken (coming from someone who barely feels her feet right now).anyway, enough with my ramblings, back to the review, now.i really wanted to like the Hierophant: maybe you don't know, but i become as giddy as a kid when it comes to tarots and demons and occult, so yeah, i (unfortunately) got my hopes up too high.that was a mistake, because i'm pretty disappointed right now: i was expecting something awesome and intriguing, but the Hierophant turned out to be a big no-no.don't get me wrong, the whole concept and world-building was quite cool (albeit not very well-described and a bit lacking), but the characters and the plot ruined it all to me.the only things i enjoyed were the mythology (obv), Kyla and her strong friendship with the idioー ehm, Ana and the writing, which was okay.however, there were lots of flaws and things that annoyed me and made the reading less enjoyable for me. i'm going to sum it up, so here you go:the setting: at the beginning of the novel the author tells us we're in Buffalo and that it's really cold there (ha! you don't say?), but other than this we don't get other details about the town. no monuments, no school description, no buildings, nothing to create a decent creepy atmosphere. it felt all so... mechanical and barren and filled with that mawkish and obvious teen angst i absolutely loathe. for what i know, it could have been set in Morocco or in Beijing and i wouldn't have given a damn.the characters: actually, it's difficult to speak about the characters since there are not so many in this book.generally speaking, the minor characters were okay (with the exception of John what's-his-name who had no purpose other than increasing the angst and the drama), some even good: Kyla was great, and i wouldn't have minded if she had been the protagonist of the book (rather, it would have been better *rolls eyes*). also, Andy was a little pathetic, but otherwise nice.the problem lies in the MCs.Ana is simply frustrating. She's vain, self-cantered, irritating and naive. she's always thinking about her own problems, whining because she's bullied (when she does nothing to improve her situation), complaining because everyone hates her and being such an asshole to her fantastic best friend. and then, again, she fills pages and pages with that 'i don't want to trust you!' and 'i want to build walls around me' bullshit that should supposedly make we readers sympathise with her. thanks, but no. i'd rather stab myself with a squirrel than feel sympathy towards such a lame and selfish emo.Ana is simply a terrible MC who constantly got on my nerves: she's bullied, but she's beautiful (striking blue eyes, anyone?) and she's an outcast, but she's stunning(?), however no one wants her because she's a weirdo and has strange magical powers(?). oh, for the love of God, don't give me that crap again. the pretty speshul snowflake discriminated because she's a little bonkers and she's half gypsy.oh, as original as a cheesy ya with vampires.just for you to know, BULLYING DOESN'T WORK THIS WAY. period. about Trebor (did the author get the name through one of those dumb online fantasy name generators...?), i don't have a lot to say, because, really, it's like the writer didn't even bother giving him a personality. (besides, his name reminds me of that disgusting character in one piece, you know the one in the Donqixote Family who constantly spurts snot everywhere and giggles like an idiot?). actually we just know he's darkly handsome(?) and wants to protect Ana from everyone and he's a (view spoiler)[irin (it was pretty obvious) (hide spoiler)]. oh, and he constantly keeps repeating these things throughout the whole book, which made me want to kick him in the balls for the boredom.oh, but we know something else about him! he is an uncharismatic and complete idiot: (view spoiler)[he's got a mission to carry out, but he does nothing to reach his goal. instead he teaches Ana how to use this kind if forbidden magic, when he could just steal it from her, saving her from the Sura. also, he doesn't even notice that the goal of his mission is Ana herself. what an idiot (hide spoiler)] but, noooooo, he just adds teen angst to the book and his choices made no sense whatsoever. in my opinion, he's just an utter fool with the wit of a hamster and a downright preoccupying lack of character.yes, he and Ana are utterly perfect together:Ana: I love you <3Trebor: *whispers creepy things in some forgotten language* I love you more!1!!1 <3Ana: *gasps* wait, I cannot love you! I'm afraid! I'm a coward! And you're not even human!Trebor: but we're soulmates! our hearts beat together! We're destined and we'll defeat the villains with the force of our truuu laaaav!!!1!Ana: Okay, random guy I met ten seconds ago, i believe in you! >:D*kissy face*Trebor: exactly, we are invincible!!1!Ana: but I'm afraid you'll leave me!! And than I'll turn emo again!! I don't trust you!!1! I love you but I don't at the same time!! I'm so scared!!Me: oh, I didn't realise I was reading one of those crappy romance-y books with werewolves, soulmates, tons of cheese and uninteresting recycled plot. but you two go on making out and having babies while i stab myself with the before-mentioned squirrel. i'll bleed quietly. pinky swear.the ending: the ending felt sooo frustratingly confusing and rushed! (view spoiler)[ things happen, Ana saves Trebor, Andy fails miserably in being a decent villain, Raven takes out Ana's magic and other things happen. then Ana has a tumour, but then she doesn't have it anymore(?) and then Trebor comes back and they kiss, filling pages and pages with their slaphappy and soppy rant about trrrru laaaav and then angst, angst, angst and then the book is over.what about the effing key?!and Nikolai?! (hide spoiler)]errr, have i missed something?the overall predictability: the major issue of this book is it's predictability: i already knew what was going on at one third of the book and the whole Andy thing was utterly obvious from the beginning.the plot is unoriginal, with the exception of the tarots, which are briefly mentioned in the first chapters and then mysteriously disappear (like Trebol, Trevor, or what his name is). such a nice idea wasted by the romance, urgh.
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  • A. Powers
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing story!I just sat here for five minutes trying to think of a good way to start this review, and that's all I could come up with. There is no way that I could sum up how I feel other than with those two simple words. Madeline (I choose to use her first name rather than her last name, because that's how close I feel to her after reading this story... ha ha, I'm weird!) is definitely an author to remember, and you can bet I will be checking out her other novels right after I finish writing t Amazing story!I just sat here for five minutes trying to think of a good way to start this review, and that's all I could come up with. There is no way that I could sum up how I feel other than with those two simple words. Madeline (I choose to use her first name rather than her last name, because that's how close I feel to her after reading this story... ha ha, I'm weird!) is definitely an author to remember, and you can bet I will be checking out her other novels right after I finish writing this. She has a way with words that kind of makes me jealous. The story flows like poetry, with lots of imagery and emotion somehow packing inside. I can't even explain it, but I'm sure if Madeline were to write this review, you would actually be able to TASTE and SMELL the words; that's how good she is with writing. You don't just read the story. You FEEL the story. You BECOME the story. Okay, now I'm just being weird, right? Sorry. Anyway, this is just an awesome book, but now I must go cry because there is no BOOK 2 available yet! I will be waiting (im?)patiently for it. Madeline, if you read this, you're amazing! Super awesome! I can't wait to read more of your stuff! And then I will cry from jealousy and then read more stuff and worship you and such. Or, you know, just leave reviews.update on August 11, 2015: I just read this book again in preparation for the sequel, THE TOWER. I would like to give this book an additional star in the rating because I loved it even more this time around.
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  • Erika
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book from GoodReads First Reads!I really liked his book it was very interesting and I love books about demons and it was really well written.
  • Melissa Hayden
    January 1, 1970
    Madeline could have taken the easy way out and ended the story at a few points of the book. I'm sooooo glad she didn't! There is so much that Ana and friends go through. And it's an amazing story to journey through with her.There was a moment, much later in the book, that caught my heart. I figured I knew what was going to happen, and it did, but it was a powerful moment with the characters. An internal realization and acceptance. Maria's narration helped make my heart thump at that moment.I've Madeline could have taken the easy way out and ended the story at a few points of the book. I'm sooooo glad she didn't! There is so much that Ana and friends go through. And it's an amazing story to journey through with her.There was a moment, much later in the book, that caught my heart. I figured I knew what was going to happen, and it did, but it was a powerful moment with the characters. An internal realization and acceptance. Maria's narration helped make my heart thump at that moment.I've already looked, there is a book 2. I can't wait for it to come out in audio and hope Maria is the narrator again!****FULL REVIEW*****This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com, at my request.Ana has started to see beings, like her mother did in her last days with the brain tumor. The Sura, or demons, is what she believes they are. But she doesn't remember all the stories about demons, angels, and the dead that her mother told, and her mother's clan won't allow her into their fold because her father is not like them. She's an outsider. However, the world she doesn't know much about has found her. Ana will have to learn to control the powers she possesses by opening herself up to another, feeling all the emotions she has hidden away after her mother died. And to fight in order to survive.The first chapter is a catcher. I'm curious as to where the world will go with demons, angels, and dead. Curious about Ana and the man who magically winds himself around her heart that day at the cemetery.Maria does a magnificent job of the quick moments then slowing with the feelings. She speeds the sentences and they are still clear and crisp, but move the scene in a cadence that makes us feel the rush and eases of moments, fear then calm. There is a background sound, a light static? of sorts. I don't notice it as much when Maria is speaking, but I do notice it when she's done speaking and there are a few seconds at the end of a chapter, it's absolutely quiet. Easily missed in listening because the story is your focus. Maria voices the characters, bring there dispositions to voice. Her vocals of Trebor and Ana create them as individuals in a three dimensional way.I was drawn into this story from the beginning. I was curious with just enough hints and details of the world of demons and angels. It's subtle yet impacting with what Ana comes across, what she sees in the shadows. Then her tarot readings are chilling. They feel to have a greater meaning. We can see the relation of them to the past we learn and the present events we see, so the future telling feels as it'll be a huge impact for her. But what's told to come, will it solidify the idea of what's foretold or will they change what fate has written for them?Fascinating, crafted writing to draw a world, characters, and events all together and rely on each other to create the story here. I didn't want to stop listening as I was so engrossed with the creations here. Madeline has written the scenes in a way to show us through experience, with the characters, who they are and how they feel.Wow. The growth of Ana's relationships amaze me. Her time with Trebor is always magical. I love them together and what lingers there with them. There is something more, but Ana doesn't know it and Trebor doesn't tell but there are hints. Such a sweet relationship starting! Ana and Andy, I have my suspicions about him. lol. It's nice to see a new friend that has interest in things Ana does, like her mother and her clan. But there are traces it could be a deeper reason there, we just don't know it yet.Madeline could have taken the easy way out and ended the story at a few points of the book. I'm sooooo glad she didn't! There is so much that Ana and friends go through. And it's an amazing story to journey through with her.There was a moment, much later in the book, that caught my heart. I figured I knew what was going to happen, and it did, but it was a powerful moment with the characters. An internal realization and acceptance. Maria's narration helped make my heart thump at that moment.I've already looked, there is a book 2. I can't wait for it to come out in audio and hope Maria is the narrator again!
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  • Miranda
    January 1, 1970
    I originally read and loved Franklin’s first novel The Poppet and the Lune. While The Hierophant doesn’t quite reach the same level of greatness as Poppet and the Lune did, it’s still a very solid, good novel on its own. The biggest strength of the novel is the worldbuilding and magic system. While there are issues with infodumping the details of the worlds the angels, demons and humans live in, it ends up being a very well thought out set up. The same goes for the magic system, though I have a I originally read and loved Franklin’s first novel The Poppet and the Lune. While The Hierophant doesn’t quite reach the same level of greatness as Poppet and the Lune did, it’s still a very solid, good novel on its own. The biggest strength of the novel is the worldbuilding and magic system. While there are issues with infodumping the details of the worlds the angels, demons and humans live in, it ends up being a very well thought out set up. The same goes for the magic system, though I have a feeling it’ll be expanded on in sequels as we get some very basic bones here. The bones are good, don’t get me wrong, but there’s definitely room for growth. Another aspect I enjoyed was Ana’s relationship with her best friend, Kyla. Ana’s built up a lot of walls since her mother died from brain cancer, and Kyla is exactly the right kind of person to beat them down as much as possible to stay close with her best friend. It’s rare to see such a moving portrayal of friendship between girls, so I appreciated seeing it here, although it does run into the problem of Kyla being one of the few women who does like Ana. The rest are apathetic or downright hostile, and get described in pretty unflattering ways by the narration. It wasn’t so awful, but it did catch my attention in a bad way and it’s something I hope is taken care of in future books. I wish I could say I liked Ana and Trebor’s relationship as much as I did Ana and Kyla’s, but honestly, not really. Trebor’s a good leading man, and he does actually respect Ana and treat her nicely, but at times I felt that for all of Ana’s claims she keeps people out, he actually had a pretty easy time moving past her walls. I couldn’t really find any reason why they liked each other as much as they did. They’re not a bad couple, just not one I don’t know that I’m necessarily rooting for, especially because Trebor makes a pretty huge decision near the end of the book that should have had more of an impact on their relationship than it did. Granted, Ana does call him out on it, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. The pacing, unfortunately, is the novel’s biggest hurdle. In the beginning the chapters are a little choppy, and the first half is a little slow as it’s mostly build up and the aforementioned infodumping tends to drag things down a lot. Thankfully the second half picks up and finds its footing. There’s also an issue of things being a little predictable, such as the set up around Andy, a popular boy at Ana’s school. But at the end of the day, I’m glad I read The Hierophant, and I’ll be looking for the second book in the series when it comes out. There’s enough here to interest me in what happens next and the mysteries surrounding various plot points during this novel. See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand.
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  • Alysa H.
    January 1, 1970
    Good characters and plot ideas, but the writing style is not for me. I enjoyed one of Franklin's other books in the past and will definitely be checking out more in future, but in the case of The Hierophant the extremely purple prose just doesn't fit the contemporary YA story. The dialogue is actually pretty good, especially when main character Ana is talking with best friend Kyla, but the inner voice is tedious, and so are the info-dumps regarding the supernatural elements. I only got about 1/4 Good characters and plot ideas, but the writing style is not for me. I enjoyed one of Franklin's other books in the past and will definitely be checking out more in future, but in the case of The Hierophant the extremely purple prose just doesn't fit the contemporary YA story. The dialogue is actually pretty good, especially when main character Ana is talking with best friend Kyla, but the inner voice is tedious, and so are the info-dumps regarding the supernatural elements. I only got about 1/4 of the way through before losing interest.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    Without giving things away all I could say is wow. Loved the book and so did other members of my family. I even shared the book with friends of mine. Can't wait to read more of Madeline Claire Franklin's books.
  • Trisha
    January 1, 1970
    The Hierophant is a book with a really unique and intriguing plot. Although slow at times, there's enough character and plot development to keep you reading to the end and wanting more! With so many unanswered questions, I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!
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  • Judy Ferencich
    January 1, 1970
    very engaging, makes you want to finish reading it. I want to finish reading it...
  • Michelle Cummings
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this one. Not super original, but good.
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