Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy + Romance
Length: 416 pages
Author: Vanessa Len
Release Date: February 22nd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.
It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.
But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.
As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .
. . . she is not the hero.
Y’all. This book was incredible. I was hooked within the first few chapters and it rarely let up as this urban fantasy unfolded. Not generally one for urban in my fantasies, I ended up loving how this played out in London. I think the time-traveling aspects were exactly the right thing needed for this story that this combination led to my inability to put this book down.
Joan wasn’t a bad main character, but I did struggle with some aspects of her personality. I liked that she was incredibly loyal to her family and trying to solve many mysteries around her, buuuut, she was also a mega people pusher. It was bothersome to continually shove her thoughts down someone’s throat until they capitulated. Besides that, Joan made some tough decisions and worked with what she had, and for that, I liked her.
There’s some how a combination of fated mates (with an enemies kicker) + a potential love triangle? Honestly not sure what I’m supposed to do with that kind of romance information. I really look forward to how this expands in future books because it is wildly interesting and can go so many ways.
The magic system within the monster world is fascinating. There’s a lot to explore with the King, mysterious woman, Court of Lions and more. I think this book did a good job of giving the answers needed for THIS read, but leaving enough out there for the future books.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Urban Fantasy
- Language: very little
- Romance: kisses
- Violence: mild blood/gore
- Trigger/Content Warnings: mass murder event, loss of loved ones, weapons use, mentions of torture (side character), racism, psychological torture, kidnapping