Seraphina  - Rachel Hartman I was about to leave the book unreviewed. But it deserves better, even if “better” are my random and awkwardly phrased thoughts.I liked the heroine – a rare occurrence for me these days. I like how author handled her “disability” – yes, it is somewhat convenient but at the same time it gets her into trouble more often than not. And this trouble will lead to other consequences much later on. This particular plot device is oft-used and nearly as often misused, but Hartman did it as it should be done.This brings me to another thing I liked – the way plot is woven. There are a few Chekhov’s guns lying around. And twists, while surprising, still seem natural. You won’t ask yourself “How?” when revelations come, but “Why didn’t I see it?” But what I liked the best was the worldbuilding. Without infodumps. Yes, you read that right. There is a fantasy novel set in alternate universe without a few pages of exposition about it. Oh, there are sections where parts of history, geography and culture are explained, but they come up when relevant and only on need-to-know basis. You learn more about the world as the story progresses. It might have been close to the other extreme – too little – at times (particularly geography), but I cannot see the way author could have explained more and kept the story flowing as it is. This story flow is another important quality. Most of critical reviews pointed out pacing as the greatest problem. I didn’t have it. (Then again, I’ve read and loved books with slower and possibly uneven pacing.) The book was a page-turner. See the status updates? I had guilty conscience about halfway-read ARC and other unfinished books so the first part is choppy (I had to force myself to put the book down), but when I finished with priorities, I sat…and swallowed the second half in one sitting.Other things I liked: 1) Strong, female characters (NOT strong female characters) 2) Love interest. It was obvious and yet not – it’s quite possible it was obvious only because of genre savviness. Even with that, I doubted it at times. I like how it developed. And I liked the character. I finally empathise with the concept of YA book crush This is technically YA, isn’t it? I’m actually reluctant to sort it as such. Thanks to the recent reputation of genre, and my own misgivings about this “YA books must be dumbed down simplified” philosophy that seems widespread among writers, calling this book YA sounds degrading to me. But there you have it. I’d hope this is a herald of positive changes in the genre, but I know better.And now, allow me to tell you how I felt about this book.Dear Rachel Hartman,PLS RITE MOAR.Sincerely Yours,Fans Starved for Quality Fantasy