The Never-Tilting World by Rin Chupeco is the rare young adult fantasy novel that I did not devour nor really enjoy. The story never fully grabbed my attention, and there was no emotional connection to any of the characters. For a genre that I adore, the entire book is disappointing.
One of the problems lies in the fact that I only liked one of the heroines. I feel like one is much more sympathetic a character, less spoiled and selfish, and therefore more tolerable. Considering the story shifts between the two heroines, only enjoying half the story is going to be an issue.
Another problem is that I feel like there are not enough answers. Even more frustrating is that none of the narrators provide us additional insight into the events before or as they occur. Readers receive none of the benefits of being an outside observer when all of the narrators are figuring things out at the same time as the reader.
In a similar vein, there is not enough actual world-building. Ms. Chupeco leaves most of this to casual mentions, which means that for a large portion of the novel, readers must piece together the clues to build this world. While I enjoy natural world-building within a narrative, I do not feel Ms. Chupeco did a credible job of achieving this, which left me more confused longer than I feel I should have been.
As such, I would be perfectly okay had this been a standalone novel. Unfortunately, The Never-Tilting World is the first novel in an as-yet-unfinished duology. Given my lack of interest in the general story and disregard for one of the main characters, I am okay with this being one series I do not finish.