This book commences on a very obscure, shocking and even offensive manner. The reader learns of a young boy kept in chains, tortured, and abused by a woman that we know nothing about, for reasons that are not given until later in the book. I can understand some readers throwing the book / kindle away at this point, but i did not, and at the very least i have learnt what is actually going on.
The young lad (Nathan) in question is a witch. Boys with magical powers are called "witches". His father is / was a black witch. Nathan has not seen his his father for many years. He was brought up with feelings of hatred and repression toward this man. But as he matures he develops the instinct and ability to recognise truth and thus is able to see the wood for the trees when it comes to dealing with the emotions and potential relationship with this figure that he knows nothing about.
Only white witches are "approved of" in this world in which the book is based. Half whites are ok but black witches and half black witches are not. Aaron's mother committed suicide before the book had started (why am i not surprised?) and we learn via a series of relatively interesting flashbacks that he was raised by his Gran (also a witch) and had allies in a brother (Aaran), one nice sister (Deborah) and one seriously sick and evil sister called Jessica. Who hates Nathan.
The author's writing style is certainly compelling. The story and plot line are original (up to a point) and there is no humour in the book. Characterisation is excellent and of course you can't help but become attached to the characters. Some you feel for immediately, and some you hate, instantly. Naturally once you reach the end of part one you want to see how it all develops, comes together and ends. The book is entertaining enough to make it difficult to stop reading.
And then we meet Annalise. The enjoyment factor of the book picks up considerably when Nathan meets his Juliet. She is beautifully portrayed and realised whenever she makes an appearance. The writing and descriptions used when these two interact are electrifying and beautifully depicted, and are perfectly pitched given the book's target audience.
And of course with a love interest involved, the stakes for Nathan (and the reader) are now a lot higher. He suddenly has more to lose.
I shall say no more of the book at this point. Read this glorious tome for both the young, and the young at heart for yourself. Enjoy the good times, weep for the sad times but don't forget it. Read it, keep it, look after it. Pass it on to your kids. It is a classic book for the ages that should be recognised by fans and the industry it comes out of.
In summary, then: I can't award this book five stars. It is dark, violent snd disturbing. At times it is bound to make the reader feel uncomfortable. Parts of it are stunning, and exciting and suspenseful, and despite the elements of light and love that you will come across, the book is not quite the fairy tale ride the publishers are promising. A very good start to a rumoured trilogy, but its not quite perfect.
- Paperback: 394 pages
- Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (13 January 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0147511461
- ISBN-13: 978-0147511461
- Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14 x 2.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 340 g
- Customer Reviews: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)