Iris and Malina are twins that have inherited a “gleam” from their mother, Jasmina, who they live with in the quaint town of Cattaro, Montenegro. Malina can sing enchanting songs and Iris can make kaleidoscopic fractals appear from shapes and patterns. Iris has a very strained relationship with her mother and things get out of hand when a mysterious woman shows up at their cafe and days later Jasmina is violently attacked. While they try to find out who’s responsible and why, the sisters unravel a mysterious thread that ties them to their magic and a long line of uncannily beautiful women.
I wanted to love this book so badly and for the first few pages I was so sure I was going to. I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and I’m sad to say that I feel I was being fairly generous since a 2.7 isn’t an option. This book was so confused about what it wanted to be that it all came together in a jarring mess of tones and twists that I had a hard time keeping track of. This book is like 80% gorgeous descriptions (I’ll never say Popovic doesn’t have a way with words there), 10% fantasy epic, 5% murder mystery, and 5% teen romance drama. The beginning is great, then it completely falls down a hole about 75 or so pages in and it doesn’t pick up until about 250. This was so close to being my first DNF of 2018.
There are passages that blew me away with how wonderful the imagery was and then one page later I’d be rolling my eyes at the juvenile dialogue between some pretty weak characters. Iris is the only interesting character. The magical abilities are cool but I really don’t feel like I got to know anyone in this book besides her. This made for some really unbelievable romances that I didn’t buy at all. The only one I could sort of subscribe to was between Iris’ sister and another character that we still don’t know too much about. The plot twists are half-assed and there’s a huge plot device that was just dropped and left for dead halfway through.
I’m so sad this book wasn’t what I’d hoped for because it had so much potential. I could maybe be convinced to read the next one at some point but my expectations will be so much lower.
Isobel is a girl living in Whimsy, a human town outside the realms of faeries. Her Craft is painting and her portraits are highly sought after by the Fair Folk. Isobel had never painted faerie nobility until she is visited by Rook, the Autumn Prince. She unknowingly paints human emotion in his eyes which is a huge “no-no” so Rook returns to bring her back to his court where she will stand trial for her crime.
This book is like a bag of chips. 75% of the bag is air and the last 25% is the chips that you paid for. The concept of this book drew me in and the first few chapters were incredible! I loved the world building and the rules Rogerson sets up for this faerie story. The writing is really good too with the exception of some awkward dialogue. There is a bit of a disconnect where characters speak like modern day teenagers in a world where they clearly aren’t. Most of the characters themselves are barely more than cardboard cutouts to be honest and the plot moves quickly and awkwardly in a meandering path- that is, when there is plot at all. Most of this book is just Isobel and Rook walking through the woods. .
Do you hate instalove? Give this book a pass. Did you want to actually see the Autumn court that’s been hyped up since the beginning? You’re not going to.
I don’t have a lot to say about this book because it’s only 300 pages and a standalone story and nothing really happens. It’s not terrible but don’t be fooled by it’s gorgeous cover art. It’s a very quick read with a couple of good scenes, good writing, and not much else.
Charlie McGee’s parents participated in an experiment involving a drug called “Lot 6” for $200.00 when they were in college. As a result they developed psychic abilities that were passed to their daughter in the form of pyrokinesis. The government is hunting Charlie and her dad to turn them into guinea pigs to further the testing of the Lot 6 drug. While they evade the tireless members of “The Shop” Charlie must learn to control her power and understand what it means to have such an ability.
Charlie McGee could be Carrie White’s sister and Stranger Things’ Eleven’s more legitimate doppelganger. I found her character to be very cathartic and believable for a seven year old girl. I enjoyed watching her relationships with her father and the other adults in the story develop and change like they do in real life as a child matures and learns that their parents don’t know everything and not everyone in the world has good intentions.
I gave this book a 3/5 on Goodreads and a 7/10 on bookstagram because there were some slow parts while King builds his characters and setting and such. There’s usually a section or two like this in other books of his I’ve read so I don’t mind too much, especially as the character building makes them feel more real and relatable. That being said, I didn’t like Firestarter as much as I’ve liked other King books such as Pet Sematary, Salem’s Lot, or Lisey’s Story. There were a few deaths in the book that I expected to feel more strongly about than I did and that disappointed me a little. However, I think the problem there is with me somehow; I’m confident that others may get more out of those moments.
I’ve yet to read a “bad” Stephen King book and Firestarter isn’t bad at all. On the contrary, I’d highly recommend it to fans of his other work, sci-fi stories, and Stranger Things. There are probably just a couple other titles I’d recommend first.