Lili Marcus's Reviews > The Gifts of Life

The Gifts of Life by Oliver Smuhar
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bookshelves: young-adult, fantasy, 2020-reads

Let me start with the title. I must admit I was hesitant to read this book because of the title, The Gifts of Life. It just doesn't sound like a YA Fantasy novel, more like a serious book and I'm avoiding reading them while in isolation. But anyway, I'm thankful I gave it a chance.

The Gifts of Life is a fascinating book. It is set in a fictional world called, Kelton Whide and Everbreen where people have magical powers. Sound cliche? No. Because unlike in other fantasy novels, the people in this book can only use their powers in one day every year. Perry and his friends attend Ascension Day to use their powers, silently wondering about the truths that their powers bring. A chance to find answers to their questions came in a tragedy that forced Perry, his sister, and friends to go into a wonderful and magical journey.

It is indeed magical. The concept of magic in the world of The Gifts of Life is very refreshing. It's new and really fascinating because I haven't read any fantasy novel that uses the kind of magic in this book. Each person has a crest of some animal and it glows. Their powers are of some variety and as I already mentioned they can only use them once a year. But when Perry and her friends are on their journey, they learned more and more about their powers but there's a stake, they evolve, they morph and they lose something that we often take for granted in life.

That's why in a way, this book is philosophical. I kind of already expected that because of the title. But anyway, I loved reading it. More so because the characters are mere young adults. I really like Perry. I liked his character arc, enjoyed reading him as he matured, learn more about himself and became the person his group needed. The other characters, like Faith, are also unforgettable though I'd love to see more development in their characters. I also like that the romance didn't take over the main plot. Don't get me wrong I love romance, but even though in this book, it's little, I'm fine with it. I'm more interested in the journey the characters are taking anyway.

My issue lies in the pacing. It's not really consistent. Sometimes, I find it fast, sometimes slow. I also find the paragraphs a little too long that sometimes, it seems likes info-dumping. But really, sometimes, it really does info-dump.

Aside from that, I find this book a fascinating read and I'm looking forward to more from this author.
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Reading Progress

April 2, 2020 – Shelved
April 2, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
April 8, 2020 – Started Reading
April 8, 2020 – Shelved as: young-adult
April 8, 2020 – Shelved as: fantasy
April 8, 2020 – Shelved as: 2020-reads
April 8, 2020 – Finished Reading

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