Published: 1st September 2016
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Synopsis: Everyone said the Graces were witches. They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair. They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different. All I had to do was show them that person was me.
Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?
I was intrigued by this book since I first saw it when I opened my Illumicrate box last month, I’m not entirely sure why and I was a little taken by surprise as it is clearly a book about magic which tends to make me run in the opposite direction for reasons I cannot fathom.
To be honest I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this book, it’s characters or the plot. All I do know is that I picked it up yesterday only meaning to read one or two chapters and the next thing I knew hours had passed, in fact I didn’t get anything done yesterday because I couldn’t put the book down; even stayed up till stupid o’clock in the morning reading it. So I must have liked it, right?
Let’s start with River, firstly it’s a little disconcerting not knowing the name of the person the book is about –unless I missed it. I found her a little hard to relate to, sometimes and other times I found it easy, which probably has something to do with her not being very consistent and the fact that we don’t actually find out her secrets and motivation until the end. So at the start it’s a little confusing how she frowns upon everyone trying to be noticed by the Graces while plotting to do the same thing. She also makes me a little uneasy, which given what she can do might well be a spot on reaction.
I felt the story was a little slow to start even though I read the majority of the book in one day it took me 2 weeks of picking the book up to make it passed the first couple of chapters, although I’m not sure if that was the book or the fact I was trying to read it on my break at work. I found that the first chapter or two really strongly reminded me of Twilight especially the bit where Bella is being told about the Cullens But that is where the similarity ended, which is one of the things I really liked about this book it was refreshing she didn’t fall madly in love with the most stunning guy in school only to find out that he is madly in love with her despite having every girl in the school interested in him. That didn’t happen and it was nice, even if it did cause everything to go wrong. I admit I did find myself wanting him to love her back, but I think I’m glad he didn’t.
I would have liked to get to know Wolf better, have had him be a bigger part in the book before the drunken party because although I liked him the events of the cove really didn’t impact on me in as big a way as I think it should have, and it’s not like I like to cry but I do think I should have been upset about it.
I’m also not sure if the Graces are witches, I mean everyone said they were witches (sorry couldn’t help myself) but I didn’t see any evidence of any actual magic, just voodoo dolls, herb pouches, candles and chanting, oh and talk of a curse that was never really proved to exist. And all this comes dangerously close to the type of magic that makes me run screaming, it’s not the inclusion of these things with other magic, it’s these things on their own. However this was all redeemed when River revealed her secret – I have no doubt that River has magic (and more importantly for me it didn’t include candles, chanting and herbs) but I’m very confused about whether the Graces actually do, or if they are all just delusionally crazy, even Fenrin doesn’t really believe.
It doesn’t mention at the end, does Rivers dad come back, she tells Marcus that she can undo it so surely that would mean that her father would come back?
It’s the first in a series and despite not really knowing what to think about it I’m sure I will read the next when it comes out, because confused or not, it really did grab my attention, and to me it felt like something new, it didn’t go where I expected it to, right to the last minute.