I enjoyed the first novel in this series, Sanctum, and jumped right into Fractured as soon as I could. There’s not much of a time-lapse at all so you won’t feel like you’ve missed much. While the supernatural big bads have come over to the human world, that leaves less time to explore the Shadowlands. I enjoyed the story overall, but I found myself wanting Lela and the gang to head back into Shadowlands pretty often since I found the world building and development there pretty interesting. This one focused more on high school life and came across as a more traditional paranormal YA read.
Malachi and Lela run into trouble in paradise which didn’t totally surprise me. One of the highlights of the book included several fish out of water moments for Malachi. You can’t expect someone who existed during the Holocaust to easily grasp how things are today. There are some interesting twists with the character as well that will leave you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next book.
We meet new side characters as well, but I didn’t find myself as invested in their storyline as I was with characters from the first book. I guess I might be a little afraid to get too attached.
Based on the ending of this book, I think book 3 will be closer to the same vein as book one which is a little more of what I’m looking for in this type of series. I look forward to its release and definitely recommend this series! And as an added bonus I really like the covers!
I don't regularly read yaoi manga, but this is probably the first where I think I can get really invested in the story and characters! The art is gorg...moreI don't regularly read yaoi manga, but this is probably the first where I think I can get really invested in the story and characters! The art is gorgeous! (less)
This was my first time reading Sarah Fine’s work, and it was fine work! I thought the world building was particularly stellar. The Shadowlands (a purgatory-like environment for those who commit suicide) and its inhabitants were well-developed. Some creatures were downright scary and not always because of their appearance. The psychological mind games were disturbing at times because of how normal some of the creatures and villains initially behave.
I particularly liked our leading lady and lad, Lela and Malachi. Though she’s not perfect and is capable of making critical mistakes, I appreciate Lela’s values and her selflessness. Her checkered and tragic past explains a lot about why she is the way she is. Malachi’s character is more of a mystery for a while, but he is a warrior through and through. They have great chemistry together, but I found myself appreciating most of the relationships in this book, platonic or otherwise. There were intriguing twists and turns that made the novel really hard to put down. Though this is a young adult novel, most of the time it really didn’t feel that way. The novel deals with very sobering subject matters from drug use to suicide to genocide to child abuse to rape. Let’s not forget the violence either. But the characters have motivations for a better tomorrow and that’s reason enough for me to root for them. While that works for me as someone who typically prefers adult series to YA, it may not sit as well with other readers.
Whenever I pick up a book and feel like I’m believably transported to another world, the author has done their job. I am really looking forward to the sequel.
I purchased this one as a kindle serial when it'd started, but I didn't read it until it was completed. I'm very glad I made that decision. I was excited to finally read this as I was very impressed with the debut. And while I thought it was still a fairly strong read, it didn't quite hit the mark for me as much as book 1 did. There were a lot of revelations and plots twists that weren't always predictable, but I didn't necessarily enjoy where they led. Its short page count tends to limit character development as well, so some characters (villains especially) came off as more two-dimensional. Kingston is probably my favorite character in this series. His magic abilities are always interesting and the story really comes alive when he's on the page, but his secrets could lead to steep consequences so trusting him may not be very easy or smart.
The plot lines relating to the circus were good, but when Viv gets more involved in faerie politics it kind of lost me. It wasn't necessarily bad and it does answer lingering questions, but it wasn't very engaging or as unique. It also finishes with an open end. I wouldn't quite call it a cliffhanger, but it wasn't totally satisfying either. It would not surprise me if this series is a trilogy because this book felt like a trilogy's second book, providing new developments while still leaving a lot on the table. Gripes aside, I am looking forward to Act 3 next year. I doubt I will read that one as a serial either because certain chapters were total cliffhangers.