Disclaimer: This review is based on a 9 chapter Sneak Peek I received from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thi...moreDisclaimer: This review is based on a 9 chapter Sneak Peek I received from Disney-Hyperion via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. This review is subject to change upon completion of the full text.
First of all, I hope they don't change a thing about that cover. It's gorgeous! Be sure to click on the image to get a larger view. Okay, maybe a little tweaking to the author name, as it can get a little lost up there. But still, great design guys. I only wish I'd gotten to see it on my Kindle - but that's neither here nor there.
I don't honestly remember what drew me to request this sneak peek from NetGalley two months back, but when I picked it up this week I had absolutely no clue what I was getting myself into. An organization that keeps secrets and souls, a world where the dead don't always rest in peace, and a fiery heroine who hunts down Histories while struggling to come to terms with her own... How could I not want to read more?
Mackenzie, or Mac to her family and friends, sucked me into her story instantly. Whether she was leading me through the present, navigating memories with her grandfather (Da) or brother, or exploring the other worlds of the Narrows and the Archive, I couldn't pull away. She's the perfect combination of strength and fragility; carrying out her duties to the best of her ability but still being raw from her recent loss, not to mention being so young in a job that deals with life and death situations on a daily basis.
The formatting was a bit wonky in my copy. Of course, I can't really fault it since it's not even an ARC and it has over 3 months before its proper release. Still, even with the strange fi & fl errors, the on-and-off red text, and the only sometimes bold flashback sections, it was very easy for me to tell what was happening at all times. Mac's narration (aka Schwab's writing) guides you through both past and present effortlessly, so even though there are a lot of switching tenses and flashbacks, I was never once confused. ...Okay, maybe just the first time when the formatting didn't change. But that's obviously a gimme.
Frankly, I was most surprised to find myself tearing up in a couple parts. Perhaps it's the fact that I lost a very dear companion (a cat, but still), and have attended a few memorial services recently. But nevertheless, I'd say this book's handling of the subject of death and the afterlife is extremely well-done. Not only is it innovative and completely new-to-me, but it's also tactful and sensitive.
Needless to say, I cannot wait to get my hands on the finished book come next January. There's a lot more I could say and a lot of theorizing I could make, but I'd rather save that for my eventual review. These 9 chapters are more than enough to suck you in and never let you go, so I'm more than eager to know what the rest of the book — and the series! — has in store! (less)