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THE WHISPERS by Ashley Audrain

One morning on Harlow Lane, four families’ lives are changed forever.

Whitney Loverly can only sit by her son’s hospital bed after he falls from his bedroom window in the middle of the night. She refuses to speak to anyone.

Back at home, the Loverlys’ neighbours must reckon with their own roles in the tragedy – their selfless best friends who live across the street, the ambitious Goldsteins who desperately want a family of their own, and the quiet elderly couple who spend their days people watching on the front porch.

But what happens next, when over the course of a week, the hidden and explosive truths that connect these families must come out?

Exploring envy, motherhood and the intuitions that we silence, this is a novel that asks what happens when good people make bad choices.

Title : The Whispers
Author : Ashley Audrain
Format : eARC
Page Count : 336
Genre : mystery / domestic drama
Publisher : Penguin Canada
Release Date : June 6, 2023

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Hollis’ 4 star review

Well that’s definitely a memorable way to end a story!

This is my first go with Audrain but it won’t be my last. I will absolutely be picking up her debut The Push after this experience. There was something about her writing that just sucked me in and considering I’m really struggling to read right now that was a huge win.

While I saw this marketed as a thriller, as well as a mystery, I think it’s more accurate to call this a domestic drama. But mystery? Absolutely. Even though, barring the mic drop at the end and a little bit related to the children themselves, I did see a lot of this coming as it unfolded. With maybe.. one other complication I won’t hint at that was an interesting twist. But none of this took away from my enjoyment or, again, my inability to put the book down.

The majority of this does deal with motherhood and it’s many many facets. I found it fascinating how authentic each situation, and each woman, was written; how each of them felt so different but also not just merely as case studies to hold up against the other. This felt very real, very modern, and there’s something here for everyone and for so many different experiences. Also, as someone who has no interest in motherhood, I was still very much drawn in to the struggles and the resentment, the complexities and the sacrifices, and, above all, the love.

I’m really glad I took a risk on requesting this one because I have no idea if I would’ve made the time for it otherwise. And while I don’t quite know who I would recommend it to, I have to think that if you enjoyed the author’s debut, you’ll like this one, too.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

THE DO-OVER by Suzanne Park

Bestselling author Lily Lee is on a short deadline to deliver her new career guide How to Land the Perfect Job, and she’s been interviewing at all the top companies around town. But when she’s offered a coveted position at her dream company, the employer’s background check reveals she never actually finished her college degree. Unbelievably, her worst nightmare has come true.

Lily returns to her alma mater to relive her senior year of college, after walking across the stage at graduation a decade earlier. Just as she starts getting used to the idea of being a student again, things get even more weird and chaotic when she discovers her computer science TA is her old college boyfriend, Jake Cho.

As Lily and Jake reconnect, she sees that her late-blooming ex has done well for himself: the handsome, charming grad student appears to have his life together, while Lily’s on the brink of losing her reputation and her book deal.

Told in present day with glimpses of the past, The Do-Over is a delightfully warm and hopeful story about second chances in life and love, and how the future might not be a straight line, but we still end up exactly where we’re supposed to be.

Title : The Do-Over
Author : Suzanne Park
Format : Physical
Page Count : 386
Genre : Romance
Publisher : Harper 360
Release Date : April 4, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

The Do-Over took one determined and feisty female and pulled the rug out from under her, her qualifications and left her with no option but to return to university. The literal stuff of nightmares! There, Lily found her ex still lurking the halls but now as a TA and PhD candidate. Can you see the foreshadowing?

Jake was pretty charming and although it took a while to find out the whys of their break up, it also gave time for them to reconnect. I fully enjoyed Lily’s return to campus, her battling with inner self over being there. Life as a mature student and her dynamic with younger students was entertaining.

The romance had a roller coaster feeling to it and I enjoyed the ride. This was a low steam but bubbling chemistry kind of read.

This book would suit that easy summer reading vibe and its a recommend from me.

Thank you to Harper 360UK for the review copy.


A heart-wrenching exploration of grief from a bestselling YA author, set in a landscape corrupted by fame and the scrutiny that comes from living in the shadow of a star.

To the world, Lizzie Beck is a superstar: famous, talented and beloved.
To Emmy, she is simply Beth: her brilliant older sister, her idol.

But then Beth takes her own life, and all the light in the world disappears.

Now Emmy is lost. Amidst the media storm and overwhelming public grief, she must fight to save her own memories of her sister – and find out who she is without her.

Title : Where The Light Goes
Author : Sara Barnard
Format : Physical
Page Count : 384
Genre : YA Contemporary
Publisher : Walker YA
Release Date : May 4, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ .5

Micky’s 4.5 star review

Navigating grief
Read through the hurt

Grief is a scream you’re living inside.

Like every Sara Barnard book I’ve read, this book was superb, but this was a different offering from this author…jagged, painful and raw. The story revolves around Emmy who’s famous sister just took her own life. I’m mentioning this in the first paragraph because this is one where you need to know what you’re getting into and be sure this is a topic you can handle. Sara Barnard navigates the difficult theme of suicide and its arising grief with honesty and care.

Emmy’s experiences started on day one and ended years later. The early days ticked by with the slow thud of pain. Her family were a complete s*** show (understandably) and her friends struggled to be what Emmy needed. Conversely, Emmy struggled to ask for what she needed.

How the story ebbed across the pages took the reader on this painful journey, feeling the hurt but also the love-aches that Emmy was feeling for Beth. Emmy had all the emotions but as a reader I also felt heartache, anger and resentment. Being from a priviledged family didn’t seem to help Emmy at all other than the later therapy she accessed.

Talking of therapy, the way this book was formatted really added to the reading experience including some therapy insights. We also got messages, voice notes (transcripted), tweets and news headlines.

The author leaves the reader in a good place, I think that’s important to mention when dealing with such a tough theme as this; you will be ultimately safe with this read.

Thank you to Walker books for the early copy.

Content warnings: suicide, grief, substance misuse, alcohol misuse


Aster believes she is a normal teenage girl – she is very wrong . . .

Teenager Aster barely escapes with her life when her adoptive father is killed in a shooting. Suddenly finding herself under the protection of a special US military unit, she learns that blood tests indicate that she’s not even human. Unsure who or what she might be – or if any of this is true – Aster’s first instinct is to flee.

Unfortunately, she soon finds she is caught between two warring sides: on one, her mortal enemies, the alien Trackers, and on the other, the American government.

Then, from the most unexpected quarter, she finds someone offering to help her – someone her instincts tell her can’t be trusted . . .

Now Aster can be certain of just two things: her blood is more vital than she ever knew and the fate of the world rests upon her survival.

Title : For The First Time Again
Author : Sylvain Neuvel
Series : Take Them To The Stars #3
Format : Physical
Page Count : 400
Genre : Sci-Fi
Publisher : Penguin Michael Joseph
Release Date : April 18, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 4 star review

Everything cycles until it doesn’t
Aster made a great focus
Samael surprises

The culmination to this Sci-fi historical(ish) series was fast-paced and the over-arching plot continued to engage me. This installment was in the most recent history as each generation has moved forward. The story in For The First Time, Again introduced Aster, a 12-year old girl, abandoned by her mother. Readers of this series will be shocked at just that because mother-daughter relationships have underpinned everything for the Kibsu.

Aster was a little feral, especially once she found herself on her own. Samael, who we’d met in a previous book as a tracker was a reformed character mostly and these two formed a unexpected bond. Where that bond ended up right at the end, really shocked me.

There were some great plot directions, some unforeseen turns and for once, the Kibsu made allegiances with others you might not predict. I never really knew what to make of Saa as an individual nor her connection with Aster, so I just had to read along trusting the story.

Does this book wrap things up neatly? Thats a no with a healthy dose of some. There’s an opennes to how this ended and I would have liked a few more answers. That said, it’s been a clever, engaging series that I would recommend to other sci-fi fans.

3.75 stars rounded up

LORE OLYMPUS VOL. 3 by Rachel Smythe

Witness what the gods do after dark in the third volume of a stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of the best-known stories in Greek mythology, featuring a brand-new, exclusive short storyfrom creator Rachel Smythe.

“It is natural for a King to be curious about his future Queen. . . .”

All of Olympus-and the Underworld-are talking about the God of the Dead and the sprightly daughter of Demeter. But despite the rumors of their romance, Hades and Persephone have plenty to navigate on their own.

Since coming to Olympus, Persephone has struggled to be the perfect maiden goddess. Her attraction to Hades has only complicated the intense burden of the gods’ expectations. And after Apollo’s assault, Persephone fears she can no longer bury the intense feelings of hurt and love that she’s worked so hard to hide.

As Persephone contemplates her future, Hades struggles with his past, falling back into toxic habits in Minthe’s easy embrace. With all the mounting pressure and expectations-of their family, friends, and enemies-both Hades and Persephone tell themselves to deny their deepest desires, but the pull between them is too tempting, too magnetic. It’s fate.

This full-color edition of Smythe’s original Eisner-nominated webcomic Lore Olympus brings Greek mythology into the modern age in a sharply perceptive and romantic graphic novel.

This volume collects episodes 50-75 of the #1 WEBTOON comic Lore Olympus.

Title : Lore Olympus Volume 3
Author : Rachel Smythe
Series : Lore Olympus #3
Format : Hardcover
Page Count : 384
Genre : Graphic Novel Fantasy
Publisher : DelRey UK
Release Date : October 11, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★.5 

Micky’s 4.5 star review

Another winning volume from this series that I can’t seem to get enough of. Hades and Kore are circling but not any nearer it seems but I live for their slowest of slow burns. It’s like a sweet torture. I remain glued to Hades’ insecurity and uncertainty.

There were a couple of episodes in this one that completely had my heart wrecked, mushy and warm all at once. Meeting Eros properly and seeing him care for Persephone’s wellbeing, guiding her on her trauma, was everything. That later insight into Eros’ life…yeah, I could do with more of that. I found Aphrodite hilarous and the siblings had me chuckling too.

Minthe wasn’t selling herself in this one. Hecate was her background awesome. I am dying to see where the whole goddess scholarship storyline ends up.

Gimme more endlessly.


A dance with the fae will change everything

1919. In a highland village forgotten by the world, harvest season is over and the young who remain after war and flu have ravaged the village will soon head south to make something of themselves.

Moira Jean and her friends head to the forest for a last night of laughter before parting ways. Moira Jean is being left behind. She had plans to leave once – but her lover died in France and with him, her future. The friends light a fire, sing and dance. But with every twirl about the flames, strange new dancers thread between them, music streaming from the trees.

The fae are here.

Suddenly Moira Jean finds herself all alone, her friends spirited away. The iron medal of her lost love, pinned to her dress, protected her from magic.

For the Fae feel forgotten too. Lead by the darkly handsome Lord of the Fae, they are out to make themselves known once more. Moira Jean must enter into a bargain with the Lord to save her friends – and fast, for the longer one spends with the Fae, the less like themselves they are upon return. If Moira Jean cannot save her friends before Beltine, they will be lost forever…

Completely bewitching, threaded with Highland charm and sparkling with dark romance, this is a fairytale that will carry you away.

Title : The Thorns Remain
Author : JJA Harwood
Format : Physical
Page Count : 410
Genre : Historical Fantasy
Publisher : Magpie Books
Release Date : February 1, 2023

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★

Micky’s 3.5 – 4 star review

Atmospheric Scottish historical fantasy
Fae and disappearances
Romantic suggestions

So much made me engaged with The Thorns Remain, the historical Scottish setting alongside the very elusive fae lord ‘the dreamer’. Moira Jean, the MC was a spirited and savvy heroine, she could see beyond first glances and her distrustful nature was an asset. Moira Jean was a young woman grieving and just getting through.

The plot engaged even if it was a bit slow moving at first. The friends, the disappearances and the village folk who knew about the fae were a strange bunch. The Dreamer held me captive on the page though. Fans of fae stories would recognise much of the lore, but Harwood kept their own unique take on things.

As things came to their culmination I was a little disappointed how the story ended up and that’s what keeps this book from being a solid 4 stars. I felt and needed more concrete direction and more with certain characters (vagueness is necessary).

Overall, a talented tale and I will be going back to read Harwood’s first book.

Thank you to Harper Voyager for the e-ARC.

FOURTH WING by Rebecca Yarros – double review!

Welcome to the brutal and elite world of Basgiath War College, where everyone has an agenda, and every night could be your last…

Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general – also known as her tough-as-talons mother – has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.

But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away… because dragons don’t bond to ‘fragile’ humans. They incinerate them.

With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter – like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant. She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.

Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.

Alliances will be forged. Lives will be lost. Traitors will become allies… or even lovers. But sleep with one eye open because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.

Title : Fourth Wing
Author : Rebecca Yarros
Series : The Empyrean #1
Format : Physical
Page Count : 510
Genre : Fantasy Romance
Publisher : Little Brown UK / Red Tower Books
Release Date : May 2, 2023

Reviewer : Micky / Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★.5

Micky’s 5 star review

Shadows and light
Fated to hate
Hidden truths

Just a wow to all the goodness in these pages. It felt like there wasn’t wasted word, page or conversation in this story, everything counted for something.

Fourth Wing excels on characterisation, starting with the MCs Violet and Xaden but the secondary characters are utterly fantastic, and at the front, for me sit Tairn, Andarna and Liam. The nasty characters were so well crafted too. It was a true enemies to lovers trope but so delicious in its execution.

The plot was full but it was easy to invest from the word go, with an action-packed start. There are so many great reveals and twist that just go the extra mile in terms of plot, taking your expectations and adding a few storeys of height to everything. There’s some beautiful representation of disability, being other-abled and accomodations for that; honestly, that part was wonderful throughout.

There’s a reason this book is something of a sensation, because it is sensational, full of depth, characters to love and cheer for and a bloomin’ doozie of a cliff ending. Happy reading, friends!

Thank you to Little Brown for the early review copy.

Hollis’ 2.5 star review

Despite giving into hype and running out to buy a physical copy of this book before even having read it, very unusual behaviour from yours truly, I was skeptical about this one. Naturally. What were the odds this would actually work for me. And for the first 50%.. that was proving to be true. Because at turns a bit bored and incredibly frustrated — mostly with Dain, but also with the writing. It was reading younger than I would’ve expected; almost juvenile at times. All the villains felt kind of cringey and obvious and between that and all Dain’s motherhen’ing awfulness, I wasn’t glad to be tall enough for the ride. I wanted off. Particularly because I was having a hard time being drawn into the world, understanding the structure of the riders, and also.. wellll let’s be honest the worldbuilding in general is a wee bit flimsily constructed with (vague wave) rebellion and (vague wave) wars.

But things got a little less bumpy and I found myself pleasantly (distracted) surprised every time Yarros leaned in and gave Violet strength of character and agency to handle herself in a variety of situations. Also, giving her this particular disability, seeing how she adapted, was pretty interesting considering the circumstances she’s suddenly put in are not well suited to it — which, like, why was she? Why had she been on the Scribe track up until this point if, and I paraphrase this quote, “no child of mine would be anything but a rider” unquote? Was this explained and I just missed it? — but more importantly taking note of those around her who treated her differently (or didn’t) was an easy indicator as to who was worthy of her and who was not. And I don’t just mean that in a romantic sense. But on that note..

I mean, come on, we knew where this was going, right? I was definitely Team Right Choice from day one but I will admit I wish there had been less of a.. dramatic shift. I went back to reread those early interactions and it’s no wonder the first half was not my favourite. Unless it was just supposed to be Violet’s expectations colouring things? Maybe. I definitely didn’t hate the pairing, I enjoyed it more than I disliked it that’s for sure, but the pickle they find themselves in by the end is a little too typical of a conflict for drama’s sake for my liking and even though we get a lot of actions speaking louder than words.. I guess I just don’t know why this went from just raging hot hornies to more. But about that conflict, I’m hoping that resolves quickly in book two. Which, thankfully, we don’t have to wait long for.

Which transitions nicely into my next point. It was too long. I don’t know if we needed alllll of this. Or maybe I just wish all of the Dain bits had been cut and we’d spent more of that time focusing instead on, I don’t know, how Violet dealt with her chronic pain in times when she wasn’t just reacting to an injury. Or more one on one time with the dragons. I guess I expected a different dynamic based on some of the reactions I had seen but in hindsight I guess that wouldn’t line up with the bond. So maybe that’s on me.

Going forward, I hope we get a little more time with some of the characters who actually survived this first instalment because I’d like to see some of them fleshed out a bit more. I think where we ended up will lean into learning more about a few of them at least! I hope we find out more about the big secret, and the why it’s a secret, that is revealed near the finish. I also hope some of the stakes feel bigger because with many one or two exceptions, none of the risks or deaths felt.. momentous or intense. And, as mentioned, I hope the romance drama gets put to bed lickety split. That’s a lot of hopes. I should know better by now, probably, maybe.

All that to say that I’m interested enough in where things go to not only read book two but I am actually consider preordering it (to match the edged edition I, for some reason, have added to my collection) but did this do for me what it did for everyone else? Obviously not. But again, this could’ve been worse! Not that you need me to convince you either way. You’ve either already read this or never will.

LORE OLYMPUS VOL. 2 by Rachel Smythe

Persephone was ready to start a new life when she left the mortal realm for Olympus. However, she quickly discovered the dark side of her glamorous new home – from the relatively minor gossip threatening her reputation to a realm-shattering violation of her safety by the conceited Apollo – and she’s struggling to find her footing in the fast-moving realm of the gods.

Hades is also off-balance, fighting against his burgeoning feelings for the young goddess of spring while maintaining his lonely rule of the Underworld. As the pair are drawn ever closer, they must untangle the twisted webs of their past and present to build toward a new future.

This full-color edition of Smythe’s original Eisner-nominated webcomic Lore Olympus features a brand-new, exclusive short story, and brings Greek mythology into the modern age in a sharply perceptive and romantic graphic novel.

This volume collects episodes 26-49 of the #1 WEBTOON comic 
Lore Olympus

Title : Lore Olympus Volume 2
Author : Rachel Smythe
Series : Lore Olympus
Format : Hardcover
Page Count : 368
Genre : Graphic Novel Fantasy
Publisher : DelRey UK
Release Date : July 5, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Micky’s 5 star review

Absolute bliss.

Inhaling this volume was like one big hour or so of self care. It was a lighter volume for sure having moved on somewhat from the tough theme in volume one but there’s foreshadowing that we’ve not left that nasty episode or character behind.

Lots of interference from other characters in this volume, like Hera and Minthe. I can’t stand Minthe on the one hand, but Smythe does show the reader a more endearing side and some self deprication, so I think there’s more under the surface there.

I adore Hecates, she’s such a whip-smart ball of fierce sarcasm. The dogs and hound continue to thrill me when they’re on the page.

…and finally, I just love H&P. Their uncertainty is a whole trope.

THE DARK MIRROR by Juliet Marillier

Bridei is a young nobleman fostered at the home of Broichan, one of the most powerful druids in the land. His earliest memories are not of hearth and kin but of this dark stranger who while not unkind is mysterious in his ways. The tasks that he sets Bridei appear to have one goal-to make him a vessel for some distant purpose. What that purpose is Bridei cannot fathom but he trusts the man and is content to learn all he can about the ways of the world.

But something happens that will change Bridei’s world forever…and possibly wreck all of Broichan’s plans. For Bridei finds a child on their doorstep on a bitter MidWinter Eve, a child seemingly abandoned by the fairie folk. It is uncommonly bad luck to have truck with the Fair Folk and all counsel the babe’s death. But Bridei sees an old and precious magic at work here and heedless of the danger fights to save the child. Broichan relents but is wary.

The two grow up together and as Bridei comes to manhood he sees the shy girl Tuala blossom into a beautiful woman. Broichan sees the same process and feels only danger…for Tuala could be a key part in Bridei’s future…or could spell his doom.

Title : The Dark Mirror
Author : Juliet Marillier
Series : The Bridei Chronicles (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 561
Genre : historical fiction / fantasy
Publisher : Tor
Release Date : September 1, 2004

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ .5 

Hollis’ 3.5 star review

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again because it always bears repeating and it’s generally relevant : even though this couldn’t be more different from the Sevenwaters Saga, there is something intrinsically Marillier about this story. And this one even more than the last venture my buddy and I went on which took us to Transylvania.

This time, we are spending time with the Picts. There’s enough overlap in this world, both historically factual and of course a little imagined, to Sevenwaters in the sense that we have druids, a strong respect for the forest and nature, and the powers around them, but whereas the aforementioned series was strongly familial-focused and very magical, this one is more political and, though the Good Folk play a role, it’s more subtle. The main conflicts are very human in nature.

And in that same vein, but maybe in less of a positive way, the main characters are also less of the standouts we’ve seen before. Bridei unfortunately feels a little white bread and watered down. Tuala just doesn’t feel quite age-appropriate (but with how she was raised I guess it sorta makes sense) and, with a few exceptions, really seems to just be a plot device. And for all that they believe, and so do certain players around them, that they have this intense connection.. it, too, felt a bit weak sauced. More telling than showing.

But. I enjoyed how this book set things up for the series; we had some strong supporting characters that I’m looking forward to seeing more of; a good human villain or two; there was the characteristic strength of Marillier’s female narratives which are always different and interesting (and this one was no exception); and, well, it was run to read along with this one and not remember the bits to come; even if, upon reading them, I remembered them. Oh, did I not say? This was a reread as I was (in theory) along for the ride with Micky. I have to assume I did read the full trilogy, as GR says so, but I recall nada. So this is almost like reading them for the first time — bonus!

Not sure when I’ll be picking up book two but I hope it’s sooner rather than later.


Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t set foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind; plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instil fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

Title : A River Enchanted
Author : Rebecca Ross
Series : Elements of Cadence (book one)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 496
Genre : fantasy romance
Publisher : Harper Voyager
Release Date : February 15, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Hollis’ 4 star review

Unlike some previous picks for my Twelve Books in Twelve Months challenge, this wasn’t a book I had dodged or delayed reading for any particular reason. In fact, I knew almost nothing about this series or this author. But then I heard rumblings of it being Sevenwaters-esque and a) suddenly I knew why this specific buddy recommended it and b) why it was recommended to me. Because yes hi hello I am Sevenwaters trash.

Having said that, I don’t actually think the comparison is that accurate but by the same token it sorta exists in the same general feel. This is a fantasy that feels like a fairytale, with folklore and spirits at play, even a bit of magic, and set on an island that feels like Scotland, complete with warring clans. So, a little yes, and a little no. Additionally, making it feel less Marillier-like is the fact that we have multiple POVs which is definitely different. And yet was one of my favourite things about this story.

In fact, let’s just get down to it : there wasn’t much I disliked at all!

I am but a verse inspired by your chorus, and I will follow you until the end, when the isle takes my bones and my name is nothing more than a remembrance on a headstone, next to yours.”

It is a little slow but not in a bad way. More in the sense that events are unfolding, secrets creeping out of the dark, characters learning about themselves as well as those around them, and a mystery to solve. All of which takes times. I was certainly never bored; the opposite. There were a few moments that moved me to well up and almost shed tears. Because yes I am a sap. But also those moments were so beautifully earned. Nothing felt manufactured or rushed, each emotional beat was perfectly in tune with the rest, and considering there are multiple characters, undergoing many different realizations at different times, some not even related to the other, that takes some talent.

Also the motivation for the missing girls? So well done. It wasn’t what I thought it would be at all. It could very well be that I’m just hella dim though.

My one hope for the sequel is that maybe we learn a little bit more of the clans, their histories, and that the romance gets beefed up just a little more. I wanted a bit more tension from that considering it was billed as an enemies to lovers.. which it is, don’t get me wrong, but I could’ve done with a little more. It was still very good though.

Overall, super pleased to have been given this recommendation and I am diving right into the sequel, even though I should really be prioritizing other things. But I’m not. I want the sequel. So Imma read the sequel.