Author: B.C. Burgess
Date Published: April 4, 2012
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adult
Source: ARC from Author
About The Book:
After three years caring for her dying mother, Layla Callaway learns she was adopted under unusual circumstances. Following a cryptic message to seek her birth family in Oregon, Layla uproots her lonely life, quickly finding she descends from witches and wizards. Magic is in her blood, and a handsome family friend is eager to prove it. Through a ring imprinted with her birth parents’ memories, Layla’s enigmatic past comes to light, presenting possibilities and trials more chimerical than her wildest dreams.
Quin’s natural charisma yields plenty of witches, but he longs for the lost witch – the mysterious Layla. He's dreamed about her his entire life, envisioning the day he would lay eyes on her face and aura. When that day arrives, not only is he breathless, he’s confronted with the challenge of a lifetime – an innate need to keep her safe and forever by his side.
Employing fiendish manipulation and manpower, Agro uses the arcane force of others to elevate his supremacy and wealth. Nothing pleases him more than latching on to a mystical vein, and never has there been a more enticing source. The divine witch will be his.
Trust me when I say that reading this book will leave you wanting for more. And that's not always a good thing.
Everything starts out with the typical girl mourning over the death of her mother while working as a waitress in a diner. The beginning of the book presents Layla's non-magical background and two of her closest friends and co-workers.
To be honest, the beginning of the book started out too slow. Sure, I understand it was necessary to portray how her life was before she discovered her true identity, but I also think that this could have been done faster. I mean, the PDF file of the book had 300+ pages and with no clear ending in sight. The first half of the book was solely dedicated to Layla's non-magical life, and I wasn't really too keen on knowing about that in detail.
The first half of the book bored me to death, but I stuck it out because of the presentation of good-looking wizards and witches later on, which were a lot different than HP wizards and witches, and way different than the ugly ones in children's books. And the idea of witches and wizards living in close-knit covens kind of gave the homely vibe going on for them, which I think is a good thing.
Characterization-wise, Layla was presented as the kind of girl that was guarded and stuck to what was familiar to her rather than being a risk-taker. Taking that long trip to Oregon was already a huge step for her. Then, all of a sudden, she meets this strange guy who volunteers to show her around and she simply obliges? While I do understand that they have that instant attraction/soul mates thing going on, it would have been more believable if Layla had been more cautious of handsome strangers rather than being too trusting. This is where I find the contradictions lie.
The problem by using a "soul-mate" or "bond mate" tool into the storyline is that the romance becomes hard to sell to the readers. Sure, it's understandable because the genre is fantasy, but that doesn't translate to believability or even relatability. In this particular book, the attraction between the main pair seemed like Insta-Love, which is not believable at all.
And what about Quin? I think he's too perfect. That is all I have to say about that.
Also, I don't know if I'm the only one bothered by the portrayal of too much selfless love and noble idiocy in this book. Sure, romance and love added into the mix makes everything interesting, but not too much because it makes everything predictable.
I also didn't appreciate how the book left everything hanging. I was left with more questions and wanting more answers. And I felt cheated somehow because this book started with Layla and Quin but gave the whole story about Layla's parents instead. While I understand that this is only the first book in a series, it would have been great if it gave even a tiny closure for what happens to Layla and Quin next.
- o O o -
Well, I finally got through my hellish midterm exams. I'm badly beaten up and wounded, but I'll live. This means that I'm back in reading through my ARCs and books. I'm twelve books behind schedule for my 2013 Reading Challenge so I hope to catch up! =)))
Oh, and I won an Ebook copy of Dark Matters by T. Joseph Browder! Yay~!