C.G. Drews's Reviews > Havenfall

Havenfall by Sara  Holland
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really liked it
bookshelves: read-2020, magical-fantasy, young-adult

This is one of those fun, light fantasies that are so good to devour over a lazy weekend. I'm noticing a lot of portal fantasy cropping up recently and I'm here for it. This also had such cozy feelings of home and family...plus, you know, monsters and multiverses threatening to break and magical conspiracy theories. All the good stuff.

things to look forward to in this book
➢ magical inn that's the intersection of 4 worlds
➢ Maddie is queer! (Maybe bi?) and three other pivotal characters are gay too!
➢ lots of being attached to a building which is <3 <3 relatable
➢ monsters who just want to be left alone 🥺
➢ flamboyant old ladies who wear dramatic clothes and declare they're writing a book (me in the future)
➢ Maddie going from "I want to run the family inn business!" to "I am stressed and can't do math" within 2 days which is, quite frankly, relatable.

[the world]
I think the premise of this book is the standout! It's about this inn called Havenfall, which is basically where 4 worlds connect: Byrn, Fiordenkill, Solaria, and earth. Solaria has been blocked off because it's full of monsters who murder people. But the other three are all buddy-buddies and at certain times of the year the inn is busting with people making trades and alliances and doing multiverse meetings. Maddie's uncle runs the place but it's her dream to inherit it.

Of course, everything goes wrong. 😌 She has a lot of PTSD from her brother being murdered when they were kids, and this fated summer she comes to work at the inn is when the dreaded door of Solaria gets cracked open. It almost goes into one of those closed-house murder mysteries (like Westing Game etc) where everyone goes into lockdown in this magical inn, and they're all MAGICAL PEOPLE. Monsters are roaming. The staff keeps being eaten. Who is to blame.

It also really reminded me of A Curse So Dark and Lonely and Every Heart a Doorway and The Ten Thousand Doors of January. So if you're fond of those, you'll probably click with this!

It also felt nicely like younger-YA? There's murder and such, but it was all very off-page and just didn't feel super dark at all.

Maddie narrates and she's pretty nice! She's very stressed as a lot of the weight of the inn falls into her lap during this crisis (not her choice!) and her maybe-boyfriend vanishes, and there's a cute mysterious butch lesbian girl (we love Taya) and her gay uncles are not functioning, and oh myyyyy can we talk about The Heiress. Who literally goes by THE HEIRESS. And is just this enigmatic flamboyant old lady who wears a cloak and is writing a mysterious book and just, I mean. I love her. Whole book about her thank u.

There's also very little romance, which was refreshing.

I didn't feel I got to really know the characters though. The book is short, the emphasis is on the plot and magic system. It's set over a few days, so it's mainly just rushing from event to event, which is fine! I liked the book how it was. But I couldn't tell you Maddie's personality.

This was a fun light fantasy read, the kind you whip through and get engaged in wanting answers about the mystery! It's crying for a sequel too, and I'm very intrigued to know what'll happen next with those truth bombs it hurled at us at the end.

Havenfall might be dangerous, but I am equal to it. I'm part of it. I belong here, more than anywhere else.
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Reading Progress

February 5, 2019 – Shelved
February 5, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
February 28, 2020 – Started Reading
February 28, 2020 –
page 50
16.23% "this is reminding me of A Darker Shade of Magic and The Ten Thousand Doors of January! Also my copy just smells SO GOOD. (Important reason to love a book i know i know.)"
February 29, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
February 29, 2020 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
February 29, 2020 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 29, 2020 – Finished Reading

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