Anyhoo, on to the good stuff. I liked Eliyana, but it did take a bit for me to warm up to her. Perhaps she's a bit too teenagerish for me? That's not a complaint, I just think I was expecting her to make adult decisions sometimes, which isn't fair because she's not an adult yet. I simply had to remind myself that she's only seventeen. Yet I could definitely understand the myriad of emotions she felt at the beginning, grief for her mother, confusion and fear as things began happening around her, not to mention all the anger and pain that heartache brings, which she has no time to even begin to process. She has a huge amount of new information and new people (some of whom are trustworthy and some not, neither of which is easy to decipher) thrown in her path in quick succession. Thus I could cut her a little slack at moments when she frustrated me.
The world building is pretty wonderful. I liked the fact that we get a map in the beginning (maps are always so helpful when it comes to fantasy worlds!), and I really liked that much of the storyline takes place in a different, yet still kind of recognizable New York. I appreciated having familiarities to ground me when things got a little crazy! And boy did things get crazy. There's so much going on and we, along with Eliyana, get thrown right into the mix of things with little explanation. It served to intrigue me and keep me turning pages. (Well done, Sara Ella!) As things move at a pretty quick pace right from chapter one, it's best you put your seat belts on and hang on for the ride. :D
There's a lot of familiar tropes in the story, as well as several times I had to go back and reread a paragraph to be sure I understood what just happened! Kudos to the author for surprising me with unexpected plotlines and character decisions. I really loved the way some of the characters were so ambiguous. I loved it and I hated it. What a quandary, right?! ;) When an author inspires FEELings in me, I know that's a really good sign! But I also must tell you that there's the dreaded love triangle. *heaves a big sigh* I am not a fan of those. At all. I do have a preference, but future books (?) will have to tell me if I'm right or not. Which is why I don't like love triangles! I like to know who to root for, okay? Also! What is with parents and/or guardians of these "special snowflake" main characters who never explain what's going on? They always talk about how "it's for your safety", but come on. Is it really? I, for one, think a little communication prior to where our story starts would go a long way to preventing some of the chaos! But then, I suppose we wouldn't have a lot of the story, would we? Nevermind then.
Full of epic adventure, swoony romance (yes, even with a love triangle ;), and excellent writing that pulls you in, this is a wonderful story! Even if I have to wait ages, I will definitely be looking forward to more!
**I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
"Could you explain this whole Calling thing to me? I'm getting a little confused."
"We've got hours until the others wake. Might as well. What do you know?"
I relay what I've learned from Joshua, Robyn, and Wade. I stride beside Ky, keeping a respectful distance, our pace unhurried. The cottages are dark. It's a ghost town, minus the gunslingers and saloons. Even before night fell, the Village was dead. Is this how these people live? In constant fear? The Haven is large, but it's still a prison. No matter the breadth between, walls are still walls.