I would like to thank the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.
When I first read the synopsis of this book, I have to admit I got some déjà vu from other books that I’ve read. As I started reading it though, I noticed a distinct difference. Where others felt it was necessary to glam up the supernatural beings, the surroundings, the other dimension, etc, the author chose just the opposite. Sofia is in many ways your typical teen of a single mother. She works extra hard to keep up with her grades, so she can get in any school she wants, she has a job which is to set money aside for college, she has a boyfriend who is just like her and keeps her grounded as she does him. It was nice to get to know the characters as they are and slowly start to see where they will be going.
The magical, supernatural parts of this book are pretty subdued, until the end. Just as Sofia starts to slowly learn more, the ones, Angel and Ar’ch (which I love how it’s spelled), slowly start seeing their powers strengthen and the giddiness of learning what they can start to do with them. The descriptions are not overly done but give you just the right amount of information to set the scene and let your imagination fill in the blanks.
The bond between the brothers felt genuine and had me thinking of some brothers that I know now that in ways act just like the two of them, minus the supernatural element. I quickly felt fond of Angel but even up to the end, I wasn’t so sure about Ar’ch. One moment his intentions are clear, the next they made me wonder. Through it all, they kept one another in check; well Angel kept Ar’ch more in check because he needed it more. Their relationship never felt like a competition though, so the story was able to flow along without those hurdles.
Sofia and Rafe. Two teens who have known each other pretty much all their life, who found it fairly easy to transform into dating one another, but in some sense, things were just too cookie cutter. Rafe seemed more on the desperate side than Sofia and also had more illusions than she did of them. I could feel the tension within Sofia and well, I just really wanted her to push Rafe out of his comfort zone and let her experience some of things she wanted to. I have a feeling there will be things learned in the next books that will explain why things were so chaste.
As I was reading this book, I found myself getting irritated by the usage of a certain word. In the first 29 pages, this uncommon word was used 3 times, and then thankfully was dropped only two more times the rest of the book. No, I’m not going to point out which word, but I will say that it personally distracted me, but it may have no effect on the next reader. This, along with some choppy dialogue and some character reactions that came across as hollow and/or off the mark, are really my only issues with this book. Oh, and I would have liked to learn more about Damiana in this book. There’s no way that the next books won’t give all the information needed, but a bit more in this first one would have been good. There’s so much that’s said in this book while you know there’s so much more not said and if other readers are like me, theories are running around in our heads on the who’s, what’s an why’s.
I feel that this book would be a good choice for all age of readers of subdued fantasy. I think those that read the extreme fantasy novels might find this book too low key for them. This is also a great starter book for anyone looking at trying the fantasy genre for the first time. Personally, I’m not a big fantasy reader and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the others in this series.