I loved this book. I don’t read a lot of YA/NA work because it has to be extremely good, nay… epic for me to enjoy it. Ms. Cordova nailed all of the good parts of the age level in this book for me.
She writes an emotional, fully developed character who I empathize with. I loved so much about this book, but most of all the peek into a window of a faith that is similar enough to mine that I could understand it, while being different enough that I wanted to keep reading.
While there were some parts of the book which made me intensely uncomfortable, the only reason it did so is because I choose not to use those aspects of my faith. It’s fascinating to see those aspects portrayed so beautifully.
The magic is real and gritty, the main character well written and the plot fast paced enough that it kept me turning the pages and wondering about the characters when I wasn’t reading.
There were minimal points in the book where my editor brain spoke up to say… well, maybe that could have been worded better. I counted, because as I writer there is always a part of my brain that is set on edit/learn more of how to write. Three times. That’s it. It’s become increasingly difficult for me to read a lot of authors these days due to this particular trait. Some NYT bestselling authors I literally can’t read these days because my brain is constantly ticking over their writing and keeping count of the ‘goofs’. Three times is an amazingly low number in a novel length book for me to have editor brain issues.
So… when I say this story is good, it means it’s good on character, character arc, plot, magic, and it’s even fantastic as far as the craft of writing goes. Well done, Ms. Cordova, very well done indeed.
Readability: 4/5 stars. The characters stayed in my mind while I did other things and I wanted to know what happened. They were well written and well imagined. The story was fast paced enough that I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened. Due to the age range, I had some difficulty with the motivations of the characters, but this is definitely a ‘me’ issue because I don’t read much in this age level.
Arcs: 5/5 stars, extremely well developed, the puzzle pieces all lined up and the story is well told.
Writing Craft: 5/5 stars These days, I’m really picky about craft. Yet as I’ve said above, the book only made my editor brain grumble three times. (This is fantastic!)
I’d highly recommend this book. 5/5 stars.