Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review: Briar Queen

Title: Briar Queen
Author: Katherine Harbour
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Rating: 4 Cows

Goodreads Description: The dark, moody, and mystical fantasy begun in Thorn Jack, the first novel in the Night and Nothing series, continues in this bewitching follow up--an intriguing blend of Twilight, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, and A Midsummer Night's Dream--in which Finn Sullivan discovers that her town, Fair Hollow, borders a dangerous otherworld . . .

Serafina Sullivan and her father left San Francisco to escape the painful memory of her older sister Lily Rose's suicide. But soon after she arrived in bohemian Fair Hollow, New York, Finn discovered a terrifying secret connected to Lily Rose. The placid surface of this picture-perfect town concealed an eerie supernatural world--and at its center, the wealthy, beautiful, and terrifying Fata family.

Though the striking and mysterious Jack Fata tried to push Finn away to protect her, their attraction was too powerful to resist. To save him, Finn--a girl named for the angels and a brave Irish prince--banished a cabal of malevolent enemies to shadows, freeing him from their diabolical grip.

Now, the rhythm of life in Fair Hollow is beginning to feel a little closer to ordinary. But Finn knows better than to be lulled by this comfortable sense of normalcy. It's just the calm before the storm. For soon, a chance encounter outside the magical Brambleberry Books will lead her down a rabbit hole, into a fairy world of secrets and legacies . . . straight towards the shocking truth about her sister's death.

Lush and gorgeously written, featuring star-crossed lovers and the collision of the magical and the mundane, Briar Queen will appeal to the fans of Cassandra Clare's bestselling Mortal Instruments series and Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely.

            What was initially a 3 star review turned 4 stars quickly as I reached the last 100 pages of Briar Queen by Katherine Harbour. Once again, Harbour has surprised me with plot twists in the final chapters of her books and endings that threw me for a complete loop.  I respect authors so much that can completely surprise a seasoned reader.
            Briar Queen is the 2nd book in the Night and Nothing series, which is an INCREDIBLE series for fantasy lovers.  My favorite part of this series is that it incorporates so many different elements of dark lore and fairy tales.  As a big fan of Alice in Wonderland, this book was perfect for me. 
            I liked that Jack was human in this book, because we got to see a side of him that wasn’t shown in Thorn Jack.  Unfortunately he doesn’t remain this way for long though when a trip down the “rabbit hole” reveals that his human form is not all that it seems.  For fans of Once Upon A Time, the ABC show, you’ll know what I mean when I say this part of the book had me thinking about Rumple and his infamous saying, “All magic comes with a price.”
            I would argue that the only part of the book that I was disappointed in was the attention to detail sometimes.  Typically in writing we all crave that sort of thing, but in this book I almost felt as if some of the chapters were incredibly long and drawn out (which is where my attention was often times lost) simply because the descriptions Harbour had were too long.  In some instances there were numerous pages devoted to describing one aspect of something in the book and by the end of the 1st page’s description, I was already tuning out.  This was the only issue I had with the book and what prevented me from giving it 5 cows instead of the 4 I gave it. 
            All in all though, I am still extremely impressed with this series and I can’t wait for Nettle King, the next book in the Night and Nothing series! 


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