For as long as Signa Farrow has been alive, the people in her life have fallen like stars . . .
Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her wellbeing – and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy.
Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger, and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.
Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer, though, is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful – and more irresistible – than she ever dared imagine.
Title : Belladonna
Author : Adalyn Grace
Series : Belladonna #1
Narrator : Kristin Atherton
Format : Physical ARC/audio
Page Count : 416
Genre : YA Fantasy
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : August 30, 2022
Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Micky’s 5 star review
Death is in the air
Family unwanted and found
I read Belladonna by audio and physical copy because when I couldn’t listen to audio, I needed to carry on with the story; it was unputdownable. The whole book oozed atmosphere from the early pages right to the end.
Signa was an unwanted ward, shunted around families who didn’t want her but wanted her inheritance. Eventually, she found herself with an uncle and cousins who Signa actually felt some connection to. You know who else Signa had a connection to? Death…she saw the reaper whenever death was close or imminent. She hated him, wanted to be ignorant to Death’s work and his presence that she felt in chilling ways. But over time, Death had a usefulness in helping solve an urgent mystery of poisoning. Signa came to understand Death and like him. There’s a really compelling romance to root for.
Death’s character grew on me immensely and I think that was aided somewhat by the superb narration. Even though this was a single narrator, Kristin Atherton inhabited Death’s character and voiced him so well. I was intrigued but wary of Silas and I was willing the new family in Percy and Blythe to show Signa the familial connection she was so neglected of. So much went on in Thorn Grove, parties, intrigue, business, death, poisoning and sleuthing.
The whole piece had a gothic feel, it was dark but not heavy. The writing was a joy, pulling you in while keeping you on your toes. This story finishes with a ‘and then….’ feeling and we have a title for a new book. There’s plenty of wrapping up of plot however, so readers will feel okay with where this ends.
Thank you to Hodder Books for the early review copies.