I received a copy of this book on NetGalley from Curiosity Quills Press in exchange for an honest review.
In a world where magic and anything related to it is banned, Marek Tobar finds himself caught up in the beginnings of a war between Cryptids and regular people, people who think Cryptids are dangerous. He meets Enyo, an ex assassin and they go on a journey to find Sanctuary. A hundred years after the last fairytales took place they struggle to find their place in their own world.
This was an interesting book to read, there was references to a lot of fairytales that were part of the world but slightly different to the classic telling, and told of what happened after the end of the tale itself. There was a few fairy tales that I knew of from a child and having crazy audiobooks that I know a lot of people probably wouldn’t know about, like Snow White and Rose Red (a very different Snow White to the one commonly know) and I found that aspect really enjoyable because it showed that Bennett did research into lesser known stories.
There was a lot of secondary and tertiary characters, too many really, that I really didn’t get a handle of and couldn’t really get to grips with who was who. For example, about a tenth of the way in we meet a bunch of Marek’s family and there was literally about 10 characters introduced at once and it was really overwhelming. It felt as if there was a lot of set up and world building but not enough character building. I felt like I didn’t really know anyone and things tended to jump around a bit with the narrative that suddenly everyone knew everyone but I didn’t.
My other problem with the jumpy narrative was that it randomly told fairytale/background stories that whilst helpful to explaining why the world was the way it was didn’t really help the novel, it took you out of what was happening and just felt a bit awkward. I got used to it after a while but the first couple of times it happened I was just very confused.
There was also times where people just accepted things and there was no conflict over this and sometimes it even felt like things were just skipped.
S.E.Bennett is like the same age as me and already has 2 books out, wtf?
Whilst this review is kind of negative, that’s mainly because most of the things that strongly jumped out at me were things I wasn’t fond of. For the most part this was a fun story to read, it was different.