Author: Sara Ella
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Length: 362 Pages (Hardback)
Release: October 2016
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
*I would also like to thank the publisher for the physical copy of this novel that I won through their giveaway on goodreads.*
This is a book that I've been looking forward to reading for around a year now. Sara Ella is a booktube friend and when she announced her debut novel I was extremely excited for her. And I must say that she did an excellent job with this.
Urban fantasy tends not to be a genre that I reach for all that often. I prefer high fantasy stories and find most urban fantasy disappointing. I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I wanted to enjoy it, was worried I wouldn't, and still did enjoy it a lot. The genre is not one that I often reach for, but the story of the fight between good and evil is a classic plot line that I almost always enjoy. And it was presented very well here.
The writing in this was really good. There were some stylistic decisions that I was not particularly fond of, but overall I found the writing very beautiful and easily read. The story is filled with great pop culture references and superb musical metaphors that made it a lot of fun to read.
Sara Ella's world building was great. There are some things that I found slightly lacking in clarity, but overall the world created was vivid and complex. In the beginning it was a bit difficult to keep track of everything that was rapidly introduced, but it does become easier as the story progresses. The fight between Verity and the Void, the Talents, the idea of the various Reflections, it all comes together to create something fascinating. So while I still have some questions and clarifications I am waiting for, I did really enjoy what I got in the world building aspect of things.
The characters were a bit difficult for me to connect with. Even Eliyana, our first person narrator, was a bit difficult for me to really understand at times. The only issues I really had with the writing were through her inner dialogue, which I found rather clumsy at times. Until around the halfway point I didn't really feel like I knew anything about the characters. Toward the end it was made clear why that was done and necessary, but it didn't work for me in a lot of ways. I need to be invested in the characters to be invested in the story and it was hard to begin with. Particularly with Joshua (who I still don't love).
I am not a fan of love triangles in general, so the one in here was somewhat frustrating. It was more that I felt Eliyana was too obsessive over Joshua in the beginning. This got better as the story progressed, but without any of the details behind their relationship it was a point of annoyance for a majority of the book. Ky, the other love interest, was an interesting and likable character. I found him much easier to relate to and understand.
The ending was exciting, but some of the events were a little jumbled and left me with questions. The outcome was also slightly different than I was hoping it would be. Luckily there is a second book coming out next summer, so I have hope that many of my questions will be answered. This was a very solid debut and Sara Ella has showcased that she is a very talented and creative writer. I am very excited to see where this story goes and how Sara grows as an author.