I gave this young adult dark fantasy a 4.5 stars.
Here’s my thoughts live while reading:
That was the best prologue opener I’ve ever read.
Who poisoned them all? Why? Does the reaper follow Signa everywhere? Why? How has she escaped death so many times? Why can she see spirits? I love the vibe and prose so far. Though I’m surprised it’s in this person past tense narrative. It already feels more like a close first person from how effective the writing is so far.
Aaah! Chapter 1 was even better than the prologue. This might already be my favorite book of 2022 and I’ve read about 80 so far.
I’m surprised that Signa is shocked that someone reached out to her to take her in since it’s been a pattern 4-5x already in the past.
The omniscient narrative is rare for the types of books I read, such as “She didn’t notice that Sylas’s fingers had stilled on the pages. Did not see the dark look that crossed his face as his jaw tightened…. If she had, perhaps she would have thought twice about Thorn Grove and all that awaited her.”
I can’t tell if Sylas Thorly will be a main character and this is a meet cute or if he’s a “transitionary/support” character that helps her move from one setting to the next in this new stage of her life.
Her arrival is a strange time to host a party. Is it all a trap by Death like she assumes?
Chapter six gave me major Beauty and the Beast vibes but I can’t tell who the “Beast” would be. Surely not Elijah since it’d be her uncle, right?
Who is the woman in the painting with two colored eyes similar to Signa’s? What is Blythe’s illness?
Signa’s goal to relish in parties and wait for suitors isn’t strong enough for me. But I do believe in her goal to stop Death and be rid of his nagging. It’s the former part that lacks depth.
These enchanting yet grotesque ghosts are so vividly created that it’s a haunted story full of deliciously gorgeous prose.
I love the who dunnit mystery and I have no idea who to trust. The hidden tunnels and secret rendezvous are also spot on.
Is Sylas the real love interest or the murderer? I don’t trust him fully yet.
Hhhm Percy looking so stern in the young photograph seems like foreshadowing since it’s not reflective of his silly teasing demeanor. And what made Elijah want to give up his family legacy?
I’m wanting the two stories to collide more soon. Why her meetings with Death and her “powers” as a chosen one are relevant to the other plot line of this specific family.
Halfway I’m guessing Uncle Byron is the bad guy.
The middle is a little slower than I expected. I’m a bit bored reading about her future “debut” into society.
Chapter 30 finally had more inner growth shown for the theme and then though it was a quick turnaround from one conversation I’m glad she realized it.
Oh man the pace quickens again in chapter 37 and it’s consuming. Who is doing it!?! Is Marjorie innocent as she claims? Why did Elijah shatter completely if Blythe was saved? Does he care more for Marjorie than he let on? I’m so intrigued!
“To me, you are a song to a soul that has never known music. Light to someone who has only seen the darkness. You bring out the absolute worst in me, and I become vindictive toward those who treat you in ways I don’t care for. You also bring out the best in me, I want to be better because of you. Better for you.”
She’s finally starting to ask the questions about Sylas in chapter 41 that I expected long ago. But I still don’t think he’s the one.
Ahhhh! The garden scene!!!!
The giant climatic booming scene was a tiny underwhelming but still surprising so I’m okay with it overall. I’m somewhat satisfied with the ending but it’s not happily ever after since the epilogue set it up for an obvious sequel. I don’t see how there truly can be a HEA with this couple. Overall this was a 4.5 stars. The few point deduction was for the slower middle but the dark prose were 6/5.