Finished: May 12, 2019
I really enjoyed the previous books I read from Candace including Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, The Bride of Glass, and Bacon Pie. So of course I had to pick up this one too!
This was such a fascinating story! From the strange world of Laith, to magical stones, to bizarre curses, and cute, suburban family life, this book mixes quite a lot of juxtaposed concepts. A heck of a ride filled with unexpected twists and turns, with adult content that was somewhat explicit but still sweet.
WARNING: SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT!
So first off, I liked Bray’s character, but she seemed too perfect and lucky to me at times. She’s a good person, but she also doesn’t struggle with guilt and sorrow as much as at times I think she should. Most of her conflict comes from her brother.
Brenik for me is the real star of the story, and even though he’s cruel and callous at times, he’s been dealt a terrible hand in life. He’s the weaker one from the start, he’s usually wrong, he’s pulled into a human world without the ability to become human (unlike Bray), and he has a learning disability so he can’t read. He lives with Bray so of course he has terrible jealousy. When the jealousy becomes too much and the Stone of Desire grants his wish, it’s a horrific curse. I don’t want to give away too much, but his angry and defiant response to life truly does make sense from the constant bad luck he experiences. Also he and Luca make an amazing team and I wanted more of them!
Luca was also one of my faves, an intuitive kid who is curious and isn’t frightened of the various monsters around him. He really grew on me throughout the story.
One part that I struggled with was toward the end when it turned into a sort of generational novel. Some people absolutely love those, but I just have a hard time connecting with them. This is just a personal issue of mine though because this goes along quite well with the story and with the magic of the world.
That said, I’m excited to come back for the next book in this series! I love the mixture of monsters that inspired this book, and I’m excited to see what Candace does next! I’m also hoping we get to see more of the strange land of Laith.
What I consider a 5-star book:
- Is it a fun read? Definitely! It’s really cute to read about Bray and the adventures she gets into.
- Would you recommend it to others? Oh yes, especially if you love unique mash-ups of monsters, a wholesome family, and a dash of a generational novel.
- Does it stick with you? I have to say yes to this too, simply because it’s so unique and I’ve never read a book quite like it before. I think Brenik will especially be a character that will stay with me for a long time.