Havenfall – Sara Holland

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Havenfall by Sara Holland

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: March 3rd, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Hidden Worlds, Magic, Mystery, Romance


I found Sara Holland’s debut—Everless—a very good kind of surprising. It was nothing I expected and yet everything I wanted both at the same time. While I didn’t fall in love with the heroine, I thought she had it in her to BE a heroine and that is something that kept me wanting to read more about her.

This is a completely new series set in a completely new world and a whole new set of distinct protagonists and antagonists. The storyline is not recycled. The writing is elegant. The characters are adequately three-dimensional with a back-story for each. I found the idea of a haven between various worlds intriguing.

But the pacing is… so slow. We know the author has something planned for the world-building in the future. After all, why would she introduce us to the worlds if not to get us excited about them? Unfortunately, we do not get to explore them like we get to explore Havenfall through the eyes of Maddie, the innkeeper’s niece.

Because of that, I feel like this first book is more like a prequel than an actual first tome. Thankfully, there is a semblance of a storyline with action sequences even if this book contains too much talking and too many descriptions for its own good. Moreover, there are lots of twists and turns thrown in and you will not see them coming. I sure like that Sara Holland did not wait until the final ten pages to shock us with them. Instead, they are spread around pretty evenly so it makes for a compelling story even if the pacing really is slow.


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