Author: Alicia J. Novo
Pub. Date: May 8, 2021
Pub: INtense Publications
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: DNF @ 24%
Books whisper to Beatrix Alba. But they aren’t the reason she has never fit in. Bullied at home and school, she keeps a secret—a power of violence and darkness.
When the spell that keeps her hidden fails, she’s catapulted into the Zweeshen, a realm where all tales live, and her dream of meeting her favorite characters comes true. But wishes are tricky, and behind its wonder and whimsy, the Zweeshen is under attack. A character is burning bookworlds in pursuit of a weapon to rule both stories and storytellers. To succeed, he needs a riddle in Beatrix’s keeping.
Now he’s hunting her down.
Joining forces with William, a cursed conjurer, Beatrix must face an enemy who knows her every weakness in a realm where witches play with time, Egyptian gods roam, and Regency heroines lead covert operations. And with her darkness as the only weapon, she may have to sacrifice everything to save a world that rejects her.
This will be a short spoiler free review. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I’m not rating this book. For NetGalley purposes, I’ll give it a 2 – only because of the premise, which sounds like something I should like. I do intend to give this book another chance in the future. It’s just not holding my interest right now. Nothing has happened that has me invested in the world or the characters.
I’m also a little confused by the world – and it’s strange, because I kind of get it, and then I kind of don’t. But I think this is due to my lack of caring.
I didn’t connect with the MC, and I lowkey missed the inclusion of magic. I thought this was going to be a book about a girl who gets sucked into the realm of stories and gets to live out her favorite ones. But the magic system and the world of Zweeshen just seems really convoluted and I didn’t understand it.
But my biggest complaint is the writing. While it’s descriptive and pretty, it’s also a bit tedious. There seems to be a lot of extra words – to paint a vivid picture – but sentences were just long and did nothing for me. The book was already struggling to keep me engaged and I just grew increasingly more bored.
The MC was kind of surface, as were like, all the characters surrounding her. I did not understand why her classmates were that terrible to her. And her father – didn’t understand that either. Other than they were used as a plot device to show how close the MC is with books and stories – their actions seemingly served no purpose. They were just mean for the sake of being mean. And that’s boring.
I really thought that this was going to be a new favorite, or at least a really cool concept that I was going to urge all my friends to read. I love it when books break the fourth wall (so to speak) or use literary works in unique ways – it’s so clever and it’s one of my favorite things.
I don’t know why I didn’t click with this book. I’m not discounting it entirely; I do want to try and give it fair chance. I’m just not going to sit around and continue to try and force myself to read it.