**spoiler alert** I wanted to like this, as I really like the author. And I do see glimpses here of what I enjoy in her other books. For example, she**spoiler alert** I wanted to like this, as I really like the author. And I do see glimpses here of what I enjoy in her other books. For example, she consistently writes romantic interests I find crushworthy - unusual, because I feel like most romance stories feature these pushy alpha guys I'm not into, so I really value Dolamore's more vulnerable, interesting male leads.
(I like Nan and Sigi's romance, too, though we don't see a lot of it yet. Book Two, presumably.)
I see this book as having two problems. The first is one I have, unfortunately, seen in some of the author's other work: she often skims over or summarizes scenes that would be fascinating to actually read. It's frustrating. You're like, "No, don't just tell me 'he was mad when I told him'! Show me that conversation!"
The other issue is that the book starts out seeming like it will be Thea's story, but I soon find Thea the least-compelling (and least-relevant, in terms of the bigger action going on in the story) of the three protagonists. She's important in that she connects Freddy and Nan, and she has the potential to be an interesting viewpoint because she's the only one of the trio without supernatural abilities. The point of view of an ordinary person caught in the crossfire of these dangerous and civilization-shaping events could be very interesting. Somehow, though, Thea doesn't do much for me as a narrator. She's not bad, and sometimes I admire her bravery and sympathize with her emotions, but she just doesn't grab me much.
I find it telling that, in the author's acknowledgments, she describes the story's original concept as being about Thea, but a Thea who is a shapeshifter and who discovers the nefarious underground dead-raising situation herself. It seems like the author sort of siphoned off the things that made the original Thea interesting and gave some of them to other characters, but then couldn't let go of Thea herself....more