Review: Flight of the Golden Harpy by Susan Klaus


“Kari, a young woman, returns to her jungle planet of Dora after ten years in Earth’s schools and is determined to unravel the mysteries surrounding the harpies, a feral species half-bird, half-mortal. The residences of Dora believe the harpies are dangerous game animals and hunt them for their trophy wings, but Kari thinks they are intelligent and not just wild animals. A rare golden harpy, a teenage blond male with yellow wings rescued Kari as a child from the jaws of a water monster. Upon returning home, she learns the harpies are facing extinction with the over-hunting and she sets out to save them, all the time wondering if the golden male is still alive.

Flight of the Golden Harpy is a fantasy, but also a mystery, thriller, and a love story that leaves a reader questioning our humanity.” Goodreads Description

Thanks to NetGalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for the review copy! 🙂

I was excited about this one – it even made my new releases I’m waiting on post, for this summer. I was disappointed.

Firstly, there was nothing in the synopsis to suggest the amount of very adult scenes, including very violent and distressing assault scenes. I don’t like books with this kind of thing in; I can handle a passing mention of it, but not detailed scenes, so the book wasn’t at all what I expected. I really wish there was a law requiring adult content and trigger warnings/labels for both books and films. Hopefully one day there will be. That said, if things like that upset you, Flight of the Golden Harpy will definitely distress you.

Secondly, although I got a good sense of the world the book was set in (planet Dora), the storyline was slow and boring, and the dialogue was awful. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, because of how badly written the dialogue was. It was slightly easier to connect with the harpies because you expect them to speak oddly. If you love your dialogue between characters, I’d maybe skip this one.

The storyline around the harpies was really good though. If it wasn’t for the distressing scenes, the overly explicit adult scenes and the poor dialogue, I might have really enjoyed this.

The worldbuilding and the history of the world was awesome. I got this beautiful picture of this gorgeous jungle planet. I loved that. I loved that the author didn’t neglect to tell us bits about the history of Dora and Earth. I also loved that Susan Klaus didn’t bombard the reader with a ton of backstory, it came out in little bits as the story developed – it was very well done.

I wanted to like this, and I’m disappointed that I didn’t.

My Rating: 1 and a half out of 5 stars – There are some very good elements to this book, but they were drowned out by the not-so-good parts. I didn’t enjoy reading this.


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