Why this book?: I’ve been loving Amy Rose Capetta’s novels recently, including Once & Future and The Brilliant Death.
I would like to thank Candlewick Press for sending me an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I don’t know if my hopes were just too high for this book, or if I was being too picky, or what. I went into this book convinced I would love it at least as much as I enjoyed The Brilliant Death, but I ended up staring at my ceiling, waiting for the audiobook to end so I could start something else. I started the book excited, but I ended underwhelmed and more than a little bored.
As usual, Capetta is a master at crafting characters that grab my attention and don’t let go. I wanted to know more about the Grays and who they were, as well as how Danny was connected to them. I love the idea of witches, especially in a “contemporary” setting, but one or two of the witches themselves could have used some developing. It was hard to keep them apart, and it was even harder because Capetta purposefully crafted them to be so similar. I had to keep reminding myself that one character was like this, while the other was like this, and not that, etc, and it got tiresome after a while. It was both genius and infuriating. The characters that were defined well (Danny, Rush, Imogen) were all amazing characters, but it felt like the other Grays were just … filler.
Unfortunately, besides the characters, I wasn’t that invested in the story. I wasn’t that interested in Imogen herself because every aspect of the story was about how amazing she was, so her disappearing wasn’t that … interesting to me. I wasn’t invested in the mystery, so the big reveal was just another fact that I took in while staring at my ceiling. And even though I really enjoyed the characters, the romance itself felt weird and off. That might just be me, as I’m not the biggest romance fan, so take that part with a grain of salt.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
I’m really conflicted on this one. I really love Amy Rose Capetta, but this one just fell a little flat. I liked the characters, but some of them were hard to keep track of while others were interesting but boring. While the ending was unexpected and intense, I was just bored with it.
Would I Recommend?
I would definitely recommend this one for people who enjoy urban fantasy! I’m much more of a high fantasy reader, and I feel like I just wasn’t used to the genre change. I also really enjoyed the diversity of the characters and how queer the story was, so that was also a plus!
Published: May 14th, 2019
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Page Count: 352
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult
Synopsis: via Goodreads
The spellbinding tale of six queer witches forging their own paths, shrouded in the mist, magic, and secrets of the ancient California redwoods.
Danny didn’t know what she was looking for when she and her mother spread out a map of the United States and Danny put her finger down on Tempest, California. What she finds are the Grays: a group of friends who throw around terms like queer and witch like they’re ordinary and everyday, though they feel like an earthquake to Danny. But Danny didn’t just find the Grays. They cast a spell that calls her halfway across the country, because she has something they need: she can bring back Imogen, the most powerful of the Grays, missing since the summer night she wandered into the woods alone. But before Danny can find Imogen, she finds a dead boy with a redwood branch through his heart. Something is very wrong amid the trees and fog of the Lost Coast, and whatever it is, it can kill. Lush, eerie, and imaginative, Amy Rose Capetta’s tale overflows with the perils and power of discovery — and what it means to find your home, yourself, and your way forward.
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