Expected publication: March 12th 2019 by Delacorte
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
So this was so-so for me. I wanted to like it, but some things kept me teetering.
This story follows Rhea who is plagued by nightmares both while asleep and awake. When a strange boy who only seems to exist in the dark appears, she is thrust into a game where she soon discovers who she truly is.
This book is pitched with comparisons to Pan’s Labyrinth, which is one of my favorite movies of all time so I had some high expectations. As I did not get Pan vibes, I did get some Mirrormask, Oz, and Alice vibes instead. I can see some Hazelwood in there, but I chose to ignore it because that book was a major disappointment for me and I wanted to separate that book from this one.
What I did not like was the flowery writing. The descriptions were a bit extra and took me out of the book often. I found myself huffing and rolling my eyes because some of them just didn’t make a lot of sense to me and often dragged out without ending for an entire paragraph. I felt breathless after reading it. Not in a good way. In a way that was kind of like choking on a piece of popcorn.
What kept me reading was the expectation of magic and some cool ass beasts, but that didn’t come either. And the intrigue and tension weren’t there. I think that this may play out better as a movie and I would watch it if they did adapt it.
I did like Rhea and her family. The love gave me the feels. There was no real romantic love, though I the hint of it was there. It was a quick read with a tied up ending that will leave you satisfied.