It seems like I am one of the few who has read this book a bit too late. There was so much hype surrounding this book and just like any curious reader, I wanted to know what made this book so “great” and why it is so highly recommended. Unfortunately, I wasn’t that impressed with this book. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it took me a whole month to read this book; therefore, the whole reading experience wasn’t as great. Maybe if I read it in one sitting, like I mostly do with books that I am very eager to read, then I may have “loved” this book. Overall, I found this book just to be an okay read. Though I will admit that I am still eager to read the sequel because after reading the last couple chapters—which I thought were somewhat the best parts—- I want to know what’s going to happen next.
Truthfully, I feel like something is wrong with me for giving this book only three stars. Everyone had high praises and all I can say is, that it was just okay. There wasn’t really anything special about this book that made it stand out like any other high fantasy young adult book that I read. Nevertheless, I can’t really fault the author, because nowadays, most young adult books contains so many cliched and common tropes that anytime you read one, you’ll find yourself thinking “This seems all too familiar…” One of the main reasons that I probably didn’t like this book as much was the fact that I really had a difficult time connecting with any of the characters. Laia, our main heroine was too naive and annoying at times. I will admit that I admire her for her determination in rescuing her brother; however, that’s the only thing I liked about her. While Helene and Elias seemed like complex and layered characters, I didn’t really connect with them either. Elias I am actually indifferent at this time and Helene was just irritating. I don’t like her (there I said it) Moreover, the romance in this book is just a jumbled mess. Was there even love in this book because everything was based on just lust and being attracted to each other’s looks. I thought the romance was just handled terribly in this book.
Overall, this book was just good and not really amazing like everyone seemed to have made it to be. It was slow at times and it actually a hundred pages in to be really invested in the story. The world created by Ms. Tahir is interesting; however, I felt it should have been explored more and I did like the dual point of view of Laia and Elias. Despite not loving this book, I would still recommend it, but maybe just lower your expectations.