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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Powerless by Lauren Roberts was a combination of every other fantasy book—and I loved it

Powerless+was+yet+another+strong+first+book+in+the+endless+saga+of+fantasy+series
Powerless was yet another strong first book in the endless saga of fantasy series

I read Powerless by Lauren Roberts amid a flurry of other high fantasy books.

After a long stretch of reading intense series like A Court of Thorns and Roses, The Empyrean, Crescent City, and Throne of Glass, I was hooked on the world of fantasy and all of the characters, tropes, and relationships that come with it.

However, when I started Powerless, which was published on Jan. 30, 2023, I was slightly annoyed by the repetition of traits and concepts that already seemed to dominate the popular fantasy series: a strong-headed female character, unusually attractive men, and enemies-to-lovers tropes that were predictable from page one.

The flirting, fighting, and endless tension between all of the characters was just the right mixture for a suspenseful fantasy book even though there weren’t huge elements that stood out or made me applaud the writing for its distinctive uniqueness.

Powerless fulfilled all of these traits, making it shoot up to the top of my reading list despite my wanting to hate it for the lack of uniqueness. The archetypes were overused, the plot twists seemed to be already etched in other books I have read, and the personality of one of the main characters, Paedyn Gray, was a melting pot of all of the other powerful female voices in literature.

And I loved it.

My friend lent me her copy for me to read, and I annotated the entire thing before handing it off to my other friend for her to read as well. After we all read it, the 528 pages were bursting with colorful slips of paper containing our raw reactions and predictions to the events that unfolded throughout the novel. 

Although Powerless lacked unique elements, especially regarding world-building, there were a few distinctive characteristics that made me recommend the soon-to-be trilogy to all of my friends. 

First, I personally give Powerless the top-tier award for the best slow-burn romance. Other book series have utilized slow-burn for decades, yet out of everything I have read, the infuriating dynamic between Paedyn and Kai Azer made me die a little bit inside in the best way possible. The build-up for the prospective and anticipated breaking point for both of them was borderline unbearable, and Lauren Roberts seemed to disregard the reader’s sanity when crafting the first book.

Additionally, Powerless is told from the dual perspective of Paedyn and Kai, giving the readers insight into both of the characters’ thoughts and emotions during the same scene. Many people find it tedious to read books with scenes that are retold numerous times because of the dual perspectives, but I have always found it as a unique literary tool to create elements of betrayal and sneaky information, something that is crucial to the final plot twists towards the end of the novel.

One element that was excessively repetitive to me was the concept of  “trials,” which have been used in many series in the past as a way of pitting characters against each other and creating forced enemies without reasons other than they are fighting against each other. The Hunger Games, for example, revolves solely around the fact that Katniss Everdeen will face opponents from other districts, making the entire spectacle anticipated and thrilling. The Trials in Powerless simply seemed bland and pointless when compared to like works.

The main plot revolves around the Trials, and although the point of them seemed rather unnecessary to the overall development of the book, it was executed professionally and kept me very intrigued.  

The flirting, fighting, and endless tension between all of the characters was just the right mixture for a suspenseful fantasy book even though there weren’t huge elements that stood out or made me applaud the writing for its distinctive uniqueness. 

I think that because Powerless employed the same tried and true, beloved tropes and literary elements as other series, it succeeded. New ideas are typically embraced graciously by avid readers, but sometimes, a solid comfort novel with comparable, bubbling romances and sassy characters that have been adored in the past is the perfect thing that readers want and need.

Roberts’s novella, Powerful, is coming out this year on April 30, and the second book, Reckless, will be released on July 4. Even though Powerless might not stick out as exceedingly unique, I am impatiently waiting for the next books to be released so I can enter Lauren Roberts’s world of sweet romance and revenge once again.

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About the Contributor
Lucy Yoder, Staff Writer
Lucy is a senior entering her first year writing for The Central Trend. She has been entertained and positively in love with writing and reading for as long as she can remember and cannot wait to expand and improve her writing further. Lucy runs varsity track for her school and has been involved with club track over the years as well. As senior year starts and concludes all too quickly, Lucy strives to create millions of memories, all comprised of her favorite things: friends, sunshine, running, and her adorable puppy, Jackie. Favorite artist: Taylor Swift, without a doubt Favorite soccer team: FC Barcelona Car: 2005 Lexus GX470 named Lucifer Favorite place she's been: Galápagos Islands

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