Genres: Young Adult, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
3 OUT OF 5 STARS
Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When River moves to a new town she is immediately snared by The Graces. Thalia, Fenrin and Summer are the subject of the entire town’s interest. They’re loved and feared. Not only do they have wealth and connections – they have magic. River is determined to be part of the Grace family, but neither she or The Graces know quite what they’re getting into.
Eve is a good author. The plot is intriguing and I couldn’t help but wonder where the plot was going. There were so many mysteries to unravel, about both The Graces and River, that I could hardly put the book down. It’s a fantastic sort of twisty mystery for the most part. There’s plenty readers don’t know about even the protagonist until later in the novel.
While the plot was intriguing; the characters weren’t. River (our protagonist) is an unreliable narrator and entirely unlikable. Unreliable narrators can be used extremely well, but River just feels pretentious. It’s obvious that she’s not trustworthy or particularly good from the opening of the novel. The Graces, on the other hand, are too distant to feel any connection with. They’re certainly whimsical feeling but they all fall pretty flat as characters.
The relationships between the characters were just as hollow. There is not a single decent relationship in the entire book. Every relationship feels fake, it doesn’t feel like there is a single shred of affection between any two characters in this novel, even ones who supposedly love each other. This is likely another byproduct of the characters being intriguing but flat overall.
The twist was, by the time it happened, already to obvious. Instead of feelings of shock and surprise it evoked more feelings of “finally they said it outright”. The twist should have been revealed clearly sooner before readers could work it out and it lost it’s value. Having it happen so late is a waste when the entire book relies on this twist being a surprise.
The ending is perfectly adequate for a stand alone, but leaves room for a sequel to pick up which seems to be the intention. Despite the characters being rather disappointing, it’s hard to not want to know what happens next. What other secrets will be revealed?
Read this if you’re a fan of: The Merciless