When Lizzy’s mother is the next to vanish, she’s expected to grieve and move on. Instead, Lizzy wants to find out what happened, but the answers she seeks can’t be found in the fey realm of Arbaon.
With the help of her best friend, Booker Reed, Lizzy’s determined to retrace her mother’s final steps… straight through an illegal portal and into the mortal realm.
Whatever leads she expected to find, it wasn’t an academy of vampires, and a world stalked by their rabid cousins, the kavians.
Forced to rely on the vampires for protection, and secluded away behind the high walls of Speculo School, it quickly becomes clear not everyone is pleased with Lizzy and Booker’s investigation. With danger building the further they dig, the two fey need to decide if the closure they seek is worth risking their lives for.
But the longer they remain amongst the vampires, the more Lizzy begins to suspect that her answers instead lie with the deadly kavians.
My Review: 4/5 Stars – An engaging urban fantasy story that focuses on what family means
This book took me a little while to get into (mostly because of school interfering with my reading) but I’m glad I gave it a chance. Though the first part failed to catch my attention completely, because I ended up really enjoying this story. The greatest strength of this book is the relationships between the characters – especially Lizzy and Booker. They’re truly ride-or-die friends and it’s obvious from the beginning how much they care about each other, and though they have their clashes, they’re loyal to the end. I was wary of their vampire friends, Cara and Andric, at first, but I grew to really like them as well throughout the book as they proved their trust. I also appreciate that none of their interactions turned into a weird love triangle/quadrangle situation, including with the other minor antagonist/potential love interest/resident mean girl, Mia Harris. Their interactions were always a lot of fun and the switching of POVs worked well to facilitate the story. Maddy’s absence haunts the narrative and Lizzy’s grief and desire for answers is the driving force of the story. Even though we never meet her, it’s clear the impact she’s made on Lizzy and Booker’s lives.
I found the world-building confusing and a bit lackluster at first, but by the time the whole deal with the kavians was explained, I was already invested in the character’s stories so it was worthwhile. Urban fantasy is always a tricky space to play with – the creatures you use must be recognizable to the usual tropes and traits, without falling into the realm of cliche, and I think Holmes strikes a simple but effective balance here, and I’m looking forward to seeing the rest of the series!
Thanks for reading! I want this blog to be more than me shouting into the void. If I can use this platform to help boost other creators, I’d love to see your work too. If you want to have your recommendations and/or your own writing featured in a Resource Rec post, or if you want to collaborate with me, you can leave a comment below for both, or contact me on either tumblr or IG! If you feel so generously inclined, you can support my writing by leaving me a tip or buying stickers on my Kofi. Until next time, thanks for reading and happy writing!