I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. May 24th will be relaunched, go and grab your copy now!
by Mandi Oyster
- First Published: July 16th 2019
- Expected publication: May 24th 2022
- Format: e-book, hardcover and paperback
- Genre: Fantasy, young adult
- Language: English
And a Demon.
Who knew freshman year in college would be so complicated?
Dacia doesn’t believe in prophecies, but when she starts living her nightmares, she can’t help but wonder if she’s wrong.
Strange things have always happened in her presence—unexplainable fires, ground-shaking tremors, inexplicable weather changes. People in the small town of Bittersweet avoid her, and in her own home, her parents fear her.
The only person who doesn’t make her feel like an outcast is her best friend, Cody Hawks. Around him, she is free to be herself.
Desperate for a new start, Dacia is excited to go to college, leaving everyone but Cody behind. However, when her powers surface in class, she finds herself a pawn in a demon’s plot to take over the planet.
Plunged into a world where magic exists and monsters are real, Dacia must learn to control her powers and find a way to return the demon to the Abyss.
This was a book I´ve been looking forward to read and I wasn´t disappointed. There are some books that I devour in 2-3 days, and books that I take my sweet time to enjoy, like a chocolate truffle, I want it to last longer. This story was one of the latter.
What I liked: It´s easy to get fond of the characters. I thought that, as I´m not from the target age range, I would not feel identified with the protagonist, but Mandi Oyster has a knack for making sweet, relatable characters. It made me remember my high school years, when love and friendship meant a lot especially when dealing with difficult moments due to family problems or bullying, which Dacia suffered a lot.
Two tropes I love when they are well written:
- Friends to Lovers: (no spoilers) came into the story in a soft, sweet way, maybe this is the way I would have loved to see romance at that age. Anyway, those tender love scenes did not feel like an imposed trait inside the story.
- The Chosen One: this can be a boring trait if the hero suddenly has the urge to save the day and everything goes well. I loved that Dacia had the doubts and fears many people would have with such a hard task, mixed with the uncertainty that youth gives at that age when dealing with school and saving the world. Oh, now I feel old!
Bullying: Of course, bullying is always awful, but even inside the story it helps with character growth and the hero´s journey without unnecessary scenes.
What I didn´t like so much: Dacia´s parents. Really, I can´t say much as I try to write spoiler free reviews, but what´s wrong with that kind of unsupportive people? I know, there are people like that in real life… Also, there were some moments when I´d love to shake the characters in the book, but that´s just me, I´m the kind of girl who yells at the movie hero not to go alone to that basement. And of course, there were plenty of those moments that kept me awake dreading what I knew was about to happen. Even though there were those moments when I could guess what would come next, they were very well written, so I could keep on reading with that snug smile and an «I told you so».
My general opinion: It was a breathtaking book, it made me look forward to bedtime snuggling, when I lay down and read a good story to relax from a stressful day and prepare myself for a good sleep. Those who know me know that I prefer cozy stories when I´m mentally exhausted. This wasn´t a cozy romance, but the wholesome friendship / love relationship made it an enjoyable read. It was a well written story, and I´m looking forward to reading the rest of the book series to know what happens next.
How I got this little book: Mandi Oyster asked on Instagram for ARC readers, I was happily surprised to be accepted, as this is my first ARC review. The author gave us plenty of time to read it and prepare a review prior to the publication date.
About Mandi Oyster
Mandi Oyster lives in Southwest Iowa in the middle of an enchanted forest where unicorns, fairies, and dragons abound. At least, that’s what she assumes when she looks out into the trees. Her husband, two kids (when they’re not away at college), four cats, and two chinchillas share the house with her. Besides being an author, she also runs her own editing business and works full-time as a digital prepress technician for a local printshop.