I am finally finding my happy place when it comes to fantasy books and therefore rather excited to read this one. The hype around it promised so much but I’m here to say that it feel short. Maybe this was a case of too much hype? Regardless, I walked away confused and disappointed.
Everything about this book screamed for me to love it: the cover (let’s be honest, it is stunning), a unique fantasy tale that includes necromancers and people raising the dead, and the chance at a bisexual protagonist. Well, kittens, those statements are true… in a way. Here is what was actually delivered after those bold promises: one-dimensional and underdeveloped characters, far too much time spent on describing things that utterly don’t matter, addiction, and an incredibly slow pace that caused me to forget what the hell this story was supposed to be about. Plus, this story was all around depressing.
The protagonist, Odessa, loses the ultimate love of her life in the very early chapters of the book. I know I’m supposed to be heartbroken but how can I when I am only given one or two chapters of her boyfriend and their undying love? That is not enough time for anyone to form a bond with these love birds. I do understand that losing her true love would cause Odessa to fall into a depression, but I didn’t realize that a huge chunk of the overall story would be dedicated to her grief. Chapters and chapters and yet more chapters about her sorrow, grief, and sadness did nothing but bring my mood down. Odessa was constantly referred to as one of the toughest necromancers in the kingdom, even being called Sparrow for her ability to fly between the land of the living and the land of the dead. However, I never saw that toughness in her. What I saw was stubbornness. Instead of asking for some kind of help, she turned to a numbing tonic that she became dangerously addicted to. Then it was chapters of her sneaking off to buy this tonic, drinking it over and over just so she could have a vision of her dead love, then constant self reflection about what she lost. If I had know loss and grief was going to take over that much of this story, I would have passed on this book.
Aside from my above rant, I wish more detail had been given about the people that were brought back from the dead. I don’t feel enough information was given on why people needed to be brought back or why it was even an option. Were these zombie-like people able to live relatively normal lives, aside from the fact they were previously dead? Did they die again? If so, how? Old age? No real info was given and it was a little maddening. I’m not the type of reader that agrees with something just because I’m told to. Call me crazy but I like to be given facts and information. The world building itself was well done but so few details were given when it came to anything outside of Odessa and her addiction.
Overall this was not a terrible story but it was not for me. The constant hype I heard about the story made me believe I was going to read something other than what I got. What I read did not deserve the hype. This needed major revisions and re-editing. This is the first book in a new series but I don’t believe I will continue reading it. I barely made it through this story without DNFing. I didn’t care what was going on, I just wanted to finish the book and read something else.