I read this... I loved it... is there more to say?? Yes. Do you NEED to know more??... Probably not but I'll tell it anyway :-)
This book deftly sets the stage for what I believe will be one hell of a freaking good series. It sneakily devoured hours of my time which happens to be, for me at least,, one of the signs of a great read. It is a wiley little find too because, right now, it's free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. I was sucked into this book from the very first chapter and later I found myself unceremoniously and very much against my wishes, spit out at the very end bleary-eyed, missing hours, totally out of sorts, hooked and fiending for more. Fun times huh???
Well, the safe answer to that scenario is usually NO BUT I am happy to report that no one was harmed in the reading of this book... well I wasn't that is. Anywho, once I reached the very last page I drastically veered off track, derailing my carefully planned list of what I was to read next, and snatched up the other 4 books in the series. Did I know before I started that I would be completely engrossed... mentally and emotionally effected... blindsided?? Heck no but I am sure glad I was. To me it felt more like a sprint rather than a marathon and I couldn't have slowed down to appreciate the view even if I wanted to!
This book has lots to love. It contains a magically kick ass female MC, a unique and varied chast of characters, highly imaginative world building and writing that will have you fully immersed. The female protagonist Florence, aka Ren, is formidable but is totally unaware of just how so. She is resourceful, has immense raw innate power and she is not afraid to explore this new world. She unabashedly flexes her burgeoning magical abilities with flare. She learns quickly and is a most adept student... a highly effective combination. She is strong willed, clever, talented, determined and decidedly morally grey... just how I like them. There are 5 extremely dynamic characters that form a support network for our resident bad ass, Ren. Her Crew?? Team? Pack? What have you... each contributes an exclusive piece to this cohesive group and each are essential players in the grand scheme of things.
Then there are the technical aspects. The writing is solid. The dialogue is excellent. It is organic, flows naturally and feels real. The character development is superb. Each character is unique in his/her own right but together they are a formidable group. I adore each of the main 5 + Ren... a rare occurrence for me. I usually find fault, or become vexed to the point of... skimming...
I'm usually repulsed by at least one of the main cast's irritating traits/dumb decision making/ flat-out stupidity BUT that wasn't the case here. I won't regale you with descriptions of each character we meet but I will say this... not only is there a beautiful bond of friendship blossoming between the supporting characters... there is also a couple I wholeheartedly ship... a couple that is so far from being a thing right now that it seems like a near impossibility. These two would be paramores are in the "just barely friends" category at the moment, mainly because Ren is totally immune and uninterested in this aloof guy that oozes charm and sexual prowess YET I can't help but root for them. This is yet another curiosity because I am usually 100% repelled by the ultra sexy, filthy rich, nonchalant, devil may care, player type. BUT there's something about Constantine. He is a bad boy who is knee deep in swooning girls and couldn't care less. He is a menace to society and is also a well known troublemaker YET he is more interesting than he has any right to be, he's extremely intelligent, a tad dastardly, charming and gorgeous... just like any yummy heartbreaker should be!
I loved it, breathed it, lived it! This book is an excellent introduction to these dynamic characters, in this unique/highly imaginative world with its multi layers and overtly creative cast. Doesn't that sound like fun?? Try this Magically Realistic Fantasy... it'll be worth the hours you get lost in its pages!