Hello happy readers! I hope you all had a good weekend. I worked the whole thing and had a tiny bit of a mishap with wet tile and flip flops that resulted in an interesting story and a few bruises. I also made some cute cupcakes for my co-workers just because that’s how I roll! Today I’m going to be discussing The Vengeful Half by Jaclyn Dolamore which I was provided a copy for an honest review.
This book is a fantasy story about two worlds, our normal world, and the Hidden Lands, a parallel world. Olivia has grown up knowing about the Hidden Lands and magic and such, her mom has always told her about it but she has never seen the other world or done magic aside from some light telepathy with her mom. She yearns to see where she is from and not to live on the run constantly moving around, but her mom is a much desired potion-maker who fled before her birth. Alfred is a blind young heir to the family business, and who is looking for Olivia’s mom. When her mother is kidnapped by the people she’s been running from, Olivia has no choice but to trust Alfred in helping her. As they get to know one another we see if Alfred is as cruel and conniving as her father or if he will risk it all to do the right thing and help Olivia as she uncovers secrets about her family and herself. In a world full of magic, living dolls, reincarnation, and much more there is more to the story that first it seems.
So something interesting about this book and it seeming to happen more and more I’m finding, there is art in the books. I hope it’s a trend that continues, it’s rather fun. This book has little snippets of things the artist drew and inserted in, which was kind of a fun aspect and knowing the author did them herself added to the book. From what I hear she also did her own cover art which was pretty awesome!
The story moves along pretty quickly and the plot itself was interesting to be sure. The world that seems similar in so many ways but vastly different in others, making the world building with different races and such fit easily. Just enough of what we know to be familiar but enough new and magical stuff to be different. The Fanarlem for one were fascinating. Living dolls almost, brought into being or souls moved into them, how crazy right. Seeing the different levels and how they are looked upon in society kept me intrigued.
The main characters we focus on are Olivia and Alfred. We get the most development out of them, of course, but I found I rather enjoyed the other as well including George, Lester, Thessia and the parents. Olivia seems to go into this a mix of apprehension and determination. She’s always wanted to see where she is from and while the circumstances aren’t ideal she is still in awe of it all both good and bad. Alfred is someone ruled by who has been bread to be, never show weakness always look for the advantage. His life was set out on a certain path even if he has qualms about it. Both strong contenders it’s easy to see the connection and the conflict their situations place them in.
Overall I enjoyed The Vengeful Half and thought it was something different that stood out for me. I know the copy I had, originally an ARC, only had half the art in it and I look forward to getting the full copy from Amazon soon enough (aka payday) to see the rest of the art. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this book, art in books, different worlds, or bookish thoughts down in the comments below.
Until next time…