ARC Review: Everless by Sara Holland

Everless

Title: Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Date: 4th January 2018

Publisher: Hachette Children’s Group

I want to start this review off by saying that I was so happy to find I had been accepted on NetGalley to review Everless by Sara Holland. As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew it was going to be a book that I would enjoy. It has been a while since I read one that captured my attention and managed to keep it, and trust me when I say that Everless easily managed to do that. I was hooked until I had read the last page and some of the twists that this book had were amazing. Sara Holland created such a unique world and I believed all of it.

Set in the land of Sempera, time is the currency and the rich rule over all. The myth of alchemy and sorcery has been around forever, telling of a time when the two bound time to blood and created blood iron coins that time could be bound to. The richer you are, the more time you have and the poor are selling their time to stay alive. Jules and her father are running out of time and can no longer afford to pay their rent and eat. Her father has given everything and she worries that he now longer has the time they need, so she offers to help by going to Everless.

Everless is the stately home that belongs to the Gerlings, a rich family that Jules and her father have history with. Not everything is as it seems though, and as she remembers her past, she is thrown into a world that she doesn’t truly understand. There are consequences to every action and Jules must try to find the truth of why she was told to stay away from Everless and the Gerlings, especially the Queen.

The world that Holland has created had so much mysterious and I was always left wanting more. She writes beautifully and it flowed well, always making me want to read for longer than I should. We are given the history of Sempera and the blood iron early on in the story, and while it is a lot to take in at once it was described perfectly. The legend of the Alchemist and Sorceress was excellent, and it was believable. As I made my way through the book, I found myself becoming more engrossed and I wanted my questions answered. I wanted to find out the truth and when I did, I was shocked. There were twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting and Holland had me gasping out loud in shock.

The characters in the story are wonderful and mysterious. Personally, I loved Jules and how selfless she was to try and save her father. She is just a girl trying to discover herself and learn how to survive in a world that is cruel. I can’t say too much without giving away plot details, and this isn’t the kind of book that should be spoiled for anyone.

I was glad that even though there were a lot of characters, it didn’t feel like there were too many, and Jules’ relationships with them all seemed genuine. Learning about her past with the Gerling brothers was great and being able to see the comparison with the present was interesting. It was great to read a book where a romance wasn’t at the centre of it. I especially loved the mystery that surrounded the Queen and why she was deemed so dangerous, something you will have to find out by reading this incredible book.

Overall, this book was mind blowing. I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to read the second book when it comes out. Holland has created an original and captivating book that I know fans of YA Fantasy will love. It was so easy to give this book 5 stars and it is more than deserving of them!

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Review: A Darker Shade Of Magic

A Darker Shade Of Magic

Title: A Darker Shade Of Magic

Author: V. E. Schwab

Date: February 27th 2015

Publisher: Titan Books

I first heard about this book while watching one of Peruse Projects videos on YouTube where she spoke about her favourite fantasy books. After doing a bit of research and checking out a few reviews (with no spoilers of course) I made a note to buy it and I am so glad I got to read this. A Darker Shade Of Magic is so unique and different, I haven’t read anything quite like it before and the characters are perfect. I can already feel that the rest of the trilogy will be just as good.

Kell is an Antari, one of the last remaining with an ability to travel between multiple worlds; Red London, White London, Grey London, but never Black London. No one has been there for quite some time since it collapsed. Raised in Red London, a world abundant with magic, he travels to all the London’s, acting as an ambassador for the royal family. But he has a dangerous habit of transporting relics from one world to the other, the price of giving information to those who want to know about magic. He thought it was harmless until something falls into his possession that puts him in grave danger. Looking to escape he flees to Grey London, a world without magic. There he meets Lila, a poor and cunning thief, and they set out on a dangerous journey to save their world.

Schwab is a wonderful writer, creating a world that is so vivid and colourful, I could easily conjure up the images in my mind. Creating the four London’s and making them seem believable isn’t something that everyone can do and I believed every word of it. I wanted it to be real and I wanted to be like Kell, able to travel between them whenever he wants. Fantasy is quickly becoming one of my favourite genres and A Darker Shade Of Magic is my favourite so far. It was dark, magical and fast paced. I was finding myself not wanting to stop reading and having short chapters makes it so easy to read more.

Onto the characters, starting with Kell. How could I not like him? He is complicated, having been raised by people who aren’t his actual parents and having to pretend to be something that he necessarily isn’t. He has so many layers to him, much like his magical coat that seems to always be changing, and I think there is more to explore with him in the next two books. I would even say that he surprised me at some points in the novel, especially when it came to Lila. I think I liked her even a little bit more than Kell, only because she is so badass and witty. A cross-dressing girl who wants to become a pirate and see the world, but she is stuck being a thief, stealing from those who have always had more. She is stubborn and funny, and very cutthroat.

Then there are the supporting characters, all of whom are just as developed as our main two. We have Rhy, the Crown Prince who is a dangerous flirt and full of character. He always had me smiling as I read his encounters with Kell. There was Holland, the only other Antari that Kell knew, and who was the most complicated character of all. You would never know where he stood on certain matters and it often seemed he did things he might not have wanted to. The evil twins who rule over White London, causing mayhem and ruining the lives of those who don’t agree with them were awful. Schwab created characters that I cared about and wanted to root for!

A Darker Shade Of Magic has everything a fantasy lover could want. Interesting and unique characters, incredible story writing that captivates you and multiple worlds you’ll want know more about. For me, personally, this was a five-star read, so that is what I am going to give it. I cannot wait to pick up the next instalment and see what journeys they go on next.