Paperback, 293 Pages
By: Victoria Schwab
“You really are like him, your father.”
“I can’t tell whether you think that’s good or bad.”
“What does it matter? It’s simply true.”
I have read This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet, Vicious and Vengeful, City of ghosts, Tunnel of bones, A Darker Shade of Magic, A gathering of Shadows, A conjuring of Lights, The invisible Life of Addie LaRue and the Shades of Magic novels and I enjoyed most of them. It is obviously that I am a fan of Schwab’s book and so I couldn’t just skip her debut, the book that started it all. The book has been republished with a new cover (The old cover sucked to be honest and was the reason why I avoided the boook for so long) and that was my sign to finally read the book.
This book was originally published almost a decade ago in 2011. That time Schwab was still a new unknown author and her book did not get the chance it deserved so she kept fighting until she became one of the biggest names in the industry nowadays and that’s by itself is a great story. I did not have high expectations for the book because I have read her better books so I knew I would be a bit lukewarm about it. I think I ended up enjoying it a way or another. I think that Schwab really really improved. If I have read the book back then I would have told you the author has potential but doing this retrogradely seems futile because we already know she does have potential!
“Funny how when we start to tell a secret, we can’t stop. Something falls open in us, and the sheer momentum of letting go pushes us on.
Schwab’s writing is very unique and I just understand her writing process and what she is trying to do. I think this had a “Schwabic” feeling to it but as someone who read her later books, I think she sharpened her style which I am a huge fan of. I know some readers don’t enjoy it but If I wanted to write like one author, I think it would be Schwab.
The world building is not very intensive because the story takes place in a small town. I felt that the story was atmospheric and chilly. I was hooked during the middle part and wanted to know more. What I think could have been better is the pacing because the story starts fast and I was not convinced about all the uproar in the town because a stranger showed up, simply because we didn’t have time to develop feelings for it. Later the pacing got more steady and better but then it slowed down a bit and got repetitive. The story line is not very special but it was not bad at all too.
“Maybe one day the words will pour out like so many others, easy and smooth and on their own. Right now they take pieces of me with them.”
Summary: This is Schwab’s debut and compared to her other works, it felt like a debut, although a good one. I think the writing was good, the characters were well written. The plot is not very special but not boring at the same time, the pacing could have been done better. I am still happy I read Schwab’s debut and I will certainly continue reading her other books!