My rating: 2 of 5 stars
First Published: January 23rd, 2018
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Addiction, Action, Zombies
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised – the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin. A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
How cool is that cover?
Much cooler than the story, let me tell you.
If you’re interested in this book because you expect a steamy or at least an extremely cute lesbian relationship in a world controlled by dead kings, look elsewhere.
I stopped reading this book after 200-something pages, because I could not stand the main character being miserable, suffering silently and making bad choice after bad choice.
Look, I understand that she’s been through a lot and lost someone she thought would be in her life forever, but YA fantasy is supposed to be kickass and badass and I was certain Odessa would prove that to me. Everything was headed in the right direction… until she started to get so addicted to a potion she became a danger to herself and other people.
Seriously? When ‘‘addiction’’ becomes a theme in my fantasy read, I know there is a problem. The thing is there is an extensive cast – people who would give anything to help Odessa. But no, she’s broken and needs to suffer on her own. Some actually do try to help her, but she becomes aggressive as one would expect.
The pacing is fast, which means that I could definitely have finished this book if I had wanted to, but I really didn’t since the only two people I cared for were Odessa and Valoria and both ended up letting me down. Odessa by not getting help even when she realized she was losing herself and Valoria by being a boring princess with a special skill she never puts to use. She probably does or will at some point but now I don’t much care about her anymore.
Bummer, could have been great. Maybe if there had been more than one point of view? We only met the other characters when Odessa encountered them and yet they all played a role, whether big or small. Oh well.
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