Primary Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Originally Published: 11 June 2019 by Inkyard Press
Page count: 512
My Format: eARC via NetGalley
Pacing: Surprisingly good
Ending: Good, but set up for a sequel
Would I recommend it: Yes
Commission Link: https://amzn.to/2WJsKyl
My rating: ★★★☆☆
Synopsis from Goodreads
Eighteen-year-old Trinity Marrow may be going blind, but she can see and communicate with ghosts and spirits. Her unique gift is part of a secret so dangerous that she’s been in hiding for years in an isolated compound fiercely guarded by Wardens—gargoyle shape-shifters who protect humankind from demons. If the demons discover the truth about Trinity, they’ll devour her, flesh and bone, to enhance their own powers.
When Wardens from another clan arrive with disturbing reports that something out there is killing both demons and Wardens, Trinity’s safe world implodes. Not the least because one of the outsiders is the most annoying and fascinating person she’s ever met. Zayne has secrets of his own that will upend her world yet again—but working together becomes imperative once demons breach the compound and Trinity’s secret comes to light. To save her family and maybe the world, she’ll have to put her trust in Zayne. But all bets are off as a supernatural war is unleashed…
Fantasy novels are not my go to genre. That said, I have read some fantasy that I have really enjoyed. This book surprised me. I have a few issues with the book, but overall I was pleased with how much I actually enjoyed the story. Here are my cons and pros (yes, I am doing them backwards because the con needs to come first this time):
- As I was reading this book I felt like I was missing something. It was almost as if there was some foundational information to the story that I was missing. I even went back and reread some sections to make sure I didn’t unintentionally skim over something. The first half of the book just seemed like it had no direction. I continued reading and finished the book even though I really felt like the story was foundationless. I never felt like I understood WHY anything was happening! Then I read the acknowledgements at the end of the book and voila! This book is a spinoff of another series the author wrote! That probably explains why I felt like I was missing information. The author either assumed readers of this book have already read her other series, or she simply didn’t include enough information in this book to make this plot solid for new readers. She even states in the acknowledgements that this book was difficult for her to write partly because it was a spinoff of a series she “hadn’t visited in a while”. Perhaps most people won’t notice this type of thing, but I certainly did. These missing “details” didn’t destroy the book for me, but I do feel like I was floundering aimlessly in the story for quite a while.
- This is a 512 page book and we have to wait until almost exactly the halfway point to find out what Trinity is? That is way too long to reveal that information.
- There just had to be some teenage angst! UGH! At the worst possible time in the story we had to delve into the “do you love me or her” nonsense. ARGH! (See Pro #3)
- I wanted to know more about how the “bad guy” became the “bad guy”. The reveal of the bad guy at the end of the book seemed rushed and opportunistic. I can’t say more without spoilers, but I just didn’t feel like there was enough explanation about why it was that particular character.
- Keeping Trinity’s father a secret throughout the book didn’t work for me. As soon as we know what Trinity is, her father is obvious (at least to me). You do find out at the end who he is and I have to wonder how many young readers today will recognize him even after he is identified.
- The pacing was surprisingly good. For a 512 page book I read it faster than some books that are less than 300 pages because this book had something happening constantly. It was full of action and relatively exciting throughout (even if I didn’t understand WHY some of it was happening – see cons). It did have a very simple plot, but the dialogue (well-written and witty) and the epic fight scenes held my interest.
- I thought Zayne and Trinity were very balanced characters. He was very protective of her even though she was strong and capable in her own right. They both had their vulnerabilities and actually talked about them! I enjoyed their banter – they were both a bit snarky and it was cute. All in all, they complemented each other well.
- I thought the relationship between Zayne and Trinity was mature and realistic. I was actually pretty impressed with how their relationship was written throughout the book, until… see Con #3 above.
- I love a book with a strong heroine!
I tend to be ambivalent about the fantasy genre, YA fantasy in particular. I’ve read some good books in this genre and some not so great. This particular book had a few issues and clichés, and I wasn’t happy to find out it was a spinoff, but overall I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to others.
Thank you NetGalley and Inkyard Press for a free electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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