Everything in Noa’s world has changed. Her older sister Isla is gone. Her mother has sealed herself off, consumed with grief and at school Noa has become the girl with the dead sister. Only Noa’s three-year-old sister seems mostly unaffected by the tragedy. Then Noa meets Callum, the new boy at school, whom she seems drawn to, despite his attempts to keep distance between them. The more Noa gets to know Callum and his brother Judah the further she’s drawn into a world of magic and Faerie that she had only imagined.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed it. It was a really fast read, and I read through it in just two days. Anyone who enjoys YA Fantasy/Romance will probably love this book. I liked Noa; she felt like a well-developed and complex character. She was still grieving the loss of her sister, but she is a strong, independent girl who goes after what she wants, and she loves and sacrifices a lot for her family.
I also liked the depiction of the Faeries in this novel. Horowitz’s Fae mythology involves each Faerie being born with a certain ability: Blue Fae control elements, Red Fae can read and control thoughts, Green Fae control emotions, and Clear Fae have no powers of their own. This segregation of power leads to a more complex backstory in Callum and Judah’s home world, which I’m sure will be explored even further in the series.
My issues with this book are with the brothers themselves; one light, one dark, one good, one bad. On earth the Faeries have to consume something from humans called Light in order to maintain their strength and powers. Callum struggles with this, Judah is rather nonchalant about using humans. After Judah shows up, he starts to fall in love with his brother’s girl. Is this sounding familiar to anyone else? The story of the brothers is basically that of Stefan and Damon Salvatore, for anyone who has read The Vampire Diaries. (Or, Ren and Kishan for those have read the more recent Tiger’s Curse series; this was one of the more disappointing aspects of that series as well.) While I enjoyed the book overall, it frustrated me that the storyline so closely follows series that have come before it and isn’t more original. Even the Fae’s need to absorb humans’ Light, and each brother’s attitude towards that, screams of vampires and Salvatores.
I enjoyed the aspects of the book that felt original, and the ending left me hanging just enough that I will likely look for the next book when it comes out, I just wish that it didn’t parallel The Vampire Diaries so much. That’s all I could think of for the entire second half of the book, so I wasn’t surprised with anything that was happening. There was one little detail that made the ending – and the love triangle – a little more interesting; I just hope it plays out and isn’t forgotten.
If you enjoy YA fantasy, and don’t mind overused storylines then you’ll probably enjoy this book. It wasn’t badly written or anything, and for the most part I enjoyed it. I’m hoping the rest of the series becomes more original and doesn’t follow the YA stereotype too closely.
I received this eARC from Amazon Publishing/Skyscape via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.