Powerless by Lauren Roberts book review

Quite regularly at the moment a book deemed to be in the “romantasy” genre will go viral on TikTok or Instagram (often both). Every single damn time, I try and stop myself from going to read it because I know that this genre isn’t for me – I can’t do the cheesy character interactions and therefore lack of real fantasy world building.

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However, with Powerless by Lauren Roberts the stars aligned as it was only £4 on Amazon, the audiobook became available on Libby and I was in the mood for a fantasy. But was Powerless different enough from the likes of ACATOR and Fourth Wing to convince me that maybe there are some “romantasy” novels out there that I will enjoy?

Powerless plot – 4.25/5

Powerless takes a lot of inspiration from a few of the most famous fantasy/science fiction novels out ie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Hunger Games. Paedyn, our main protagonist comes from “the slums” and one day she bumps into Kai who is the King’s son. She’s then thrust into a tournament with him that could get either of them killed. The tournament element was where my idea of The Goblet of Fire and The Hunger Games came from.

I enjoyed the premise and I have a lot of time for th fact that Roberts actually wrote this when she was only 18, so I can forgive the fact it seems to be heavily influenced by the aforementioned novels. 

The storyline was fast-paced, nearly all action and I can recognise when someone is writing a book they’re genuinely just interested in writing which is what Roberts has done with Powerless.

However, the reader in me couldn’t help but grow bored with the growing need throughout the novel for Roberts’ to force the two main protagonists together and use the cliche “she’s grumpy and strong, he’s mysterious and flirty and they’ll inevitably end up together” trope that we’ve seen in many books in this genre.

There is a great ending that does flip the story on its head though which is why I’ve given the plot a comednible rating.

Powerless characters – 4/5

The two main protagonists in Powerless Paedyn and Kai were sufficient enough to keep the story going. They both fell into very cliche character slots and repetitively bantered with each other throughout. However, like many of the books in this genre, the banter soon became incessant, not particularly flirty and just a hindrance to any potential deeper personality either of them has had.

Don’t get me wrong, I can tell someone with a fun personality wrote these characters in but I also felt a little bit like Roberts was trying to force their “banter” to be something more amicable than it read to be.

Powerless final rating – 4/5

Powerless sits firmly in between ACATOR and Fourth Wing in this genre for me. Fourth Wing featured the best world and the best storyline outside of the “romance” and ACATOR was just meh. Powerless has a genuinely enjoyable plot to follow with a world that was deep enough to feel immersed in but not so deep that you’d need a Wikipedia page to fully understand it. At times it’s shallow and at times I was racing through the cringey character interactions, but overall Powerless is a book I’d highly recommend to those who enjoy “romantasy” and one which I’ll definitely be checking out the sequel thanks to that impressive ending!

Buy a copy of Powerless from Amazon

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