My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Monster House Books, and the author via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Actual rating of 2.5 – 3
Bryar Rose is now free from her imprisonment by her Aunties, and excited to finally be doing normal teenager things, such as going to school with her boyfriend and mate, Knox, best friend Elle and Knox’s best friend, Alec. Just because it’s a school for the magicorum means nothing, it’s still school. That is until she starts remembering her dreams, read nightmares, in which she is being visited by the Shadowvin Tithe and Slythe as well as their creepy friend, The Void, who keeps screaming about his fountain. Enter in Knox becoming severely unwell and his guardian’s thoughts that it is the fact Bry and Knox are mates and things aren’t exactly going to plan for Bryar. Everything keeps leading back to the fountain of magic, so Bryar sets off on a journey and a half to try and locate what she needs in order to FIND said fountain, meeting colourful characters along the way and learning that the term family isn’t always reserved for those who’s blood you share. Will she find the fountain in time to stop Knox’s downward spiral towards death?
So this is the second book I’ve read by Bauer, the first being Angelbound, I went into that series having read none of the other books and fared pretty well. The same can be said for this one. This is actually book 2 in Bauer’s Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series and I can’t say that I was left wondering about many things having not read the first instalment. Obviously I only have a brief idea of what happened with Bryar Rose’s Aunties and the imprisonment and all that, but it didn’t impact my ability to follow the story happening in this book.
I absolutely LOVED the idea of the fairy tale life templates, I also love that they aren’t just talking about Cinderella and the rest of the fairy tale princesses we all know and love, it’s also talking about Ursula and the badies that we just love to hate. So that is a really awesome idea and I kind of wish it was explored more in this story, or at some point in the near future, I’d just love a bit more spotlight put on this.
The story itself was enjoyable enough, but I felt like the pacing was a bit off, it just seemed to drag a lot to me. It took me way longer to finish than it should and I’m still not sure why. I was surprised when we find out about the fountain of magic, I didn’t see that coming, so that was definitely a plus here. I thought I had it figured out then NOPE, WRONG! So that was really awesome.
The characters were well rounded and I did enjoy them, though Bryar irked me terribly. She was a likeable enough character, it just really started to piss me off that she constantly refers to: Knox being her mate – we get it, we know, it’s been told to us already, her unshreddable clothes – how many times to we have to be told that she has an unshreddable outfit made by the fae that means her clothes don’t rip and die when she shifts, in the final quarter of the book constantly being reminded that the threads of magic are red for witch/warlock, gold for shifter and silver for fae – MY GOD WOMAN I GET IT, IT WAS EXPLAINED ALREADY, PLEASE STOP! and her wolf speaking and acting like a 2 year old a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the character of Bry’s wolf, I just felt it extremely childlike in execution? Like she’s not some badarse, brutal, strong machine, she’s a whiney 2 year old – this just pissed me off for some reason. I felt sorry for Bry’s wolf because of this. I feel like she should’ve been given a stronger voice.
I found sometimes when we were about to find out something (like Knox’s life template) the dialogue just went on and on and on and on and on and on and on…then we don’t find out anyway? It just seemed like so much of the dialogue was used to flesh out the story when it really wasn’t imperative to the story itself.
I really do enjoy the way Bauer writes for the most part, I just feel that this story could have maybe had another round of editing to polish it up to an unparalleled shine. I enjoy the way that she writes her characters and makes them ‘real’ and well developed as when this doesn’t happen, a story can fall incredibly flat.
I feel like I’m in the minority with this book in regards to ratings and opinion (though I have seen someone else who is annoyed with the repetitiveness) and I’m okay with that, I’m glad that there are so many people out there who truly enjoyed the hell out of this book, I wish I was one of you. I will definitely continue with this author, and I will check out the other books in this series even if I will be subjected to repeats in regards to my annoyances listed above. I enjoy the world that Bauer has created, the fairy tale life templates are an absolute stroke of genius, and I do enjoy these characters. I’m looking forward to see where they go.