Incanta - Soul-Catcher: A Dark Fantasy Novel (Lost Souls Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Cy's world was introduced right from the beginning, so it took some time for me to get used to their culture. Very dark, it is, but since I quite enjoy that sort of thing, this world only became more desirable. It was frightening, and nostalgic, but so hopeful for the people who weren't completely lost to the lies they were fed from birth.
The plot was well thought out and I loved that every character was played out to their full use. And that twist in the end? It's left me wanting more, especially the second book, which I desperately need. It's an enormous recommend read for me. The writing, the complexity of the characters and the things left unsaid, the suspense, the slow burning, forbidden romance, the dry humor, I loved every single bit of this and the different emotions evoked.
To skip this is to miss out.
Now Cytriah is an interesting character. On one hand she is extremely likable, but on the other she drove me crazy making some really bad decisions. She just doesn't seem to think of potential repercussions.
Amond on the other hand is a very mysterious character and only slowly did I find out more about him. He sure adds some spice to this story. The ending is a closed ending, however it seems like there will be more books in this series that I will definitely read to find out what the future holds in store for both Cytriah and Amond.
The first three chapters were dark and macabre, not my usual light and fluffy fare. There was so much darkness at every turn, not only in setting, but in human souls that I found it a little off putting and wanted to just put it down. We get enough ugliness in the real world.
But if there was one golden thread to follow in the darkness, it was the heroine that kept drawing me in. Consistent in her inconsistencies, flawed in her naivite in a way that made me want to slap her; and yet strong, durable and clever in her self-preservation with all the ugliness Fate dealt her. I wanted to cheer for her as much as I rolled my eyes at her. In the end, she didn't disappoint. Her soul is pure, even though her innocence is tainted, and she knows what she wants and she recognizes her strengths and limits with refreshing clarity. She has an uncanny knack for deciphering people, often relying on her intuition to guide her. She is also unconsciously and fiercely loyal to those she cares about, something she probably doesn't even recognize in herself.
She wouldn't be complete without her cast of side characters either. They are key to her character development. From the old, withered spider ex-Emperor to her servant Smee, they give her an outlet or foil for her thoughts and her common sense to come through. At times, all the voices in her head get a little crowded, but it's not a lasting distraction.
Poor thing does get beat up and manhandled a lot. Living in her dark, patriarchal and misogynistic society it comes with the territory. People who are squeamish about that are forewarned.
On top of the dark and macabre atmosphere being a little too stifling at times for my tastes, I wasn't entirely fond of the heroine being tossed about by her circumstances. In the end, she does nothing to save herself but is the victim of her unfortunate choices and must wait for each loose end to unravel as Fate would determine. And, it all played out in a convenient way to lead the readers to the next book.
You end on that cliffhanger so common in the fantasy genre; but the author tells a good story with prose that isn't weighed down with nonsense, so you feel compelled to continue Cytriah's journey with her, if only to see what is to become of her. What will she do now that one chapter of her life is over? Will she remain constant? Will her lover? Are we in for one of those tedious love triangles that fantasy authors think are so necessary? Will she forego all of it and somehow save the world instead?
Like the spider ex-Emperor, I am curious.
When I started Incanta - Soul-Catcher I wasn't really sure what I was getting into. And I wasn't actually sure what was going on at first, either. It took me a few chapters to really grasp it all, which is why I gave it 4.5 stars instead of the full 5. But the more I read about the complex and intricate world of Daemon-controlled Malvaar Island, the more engaged and fascinated I became with it. This story was so unqiue, so special. It's a top favorite of mine now.
What struck me instantly, though, was the beautiful and lyrical writing. I practically devoured the pages because of this. Also, the world-building was very much on point for me. I loved it all!
As for the characters... I really like the main character, Cytriah. I really felt bad for everything that was happening to her and what had happened to her in the past. She wasn't perfect. She makes some bad decisions, though she means well, and is flawed but that's kind of why I liked her so much.
I was also surprised by the character of Almond. At first I didn't expect him to be a major character in the story, for some odd reason. But I absolutely loved his relationship with Cytriah and how it slowly morphed into something more.
Overall, Incanta - Soul-Catcher by Avia Adams has got to be one of the biggest surprises of the year for me. It took me a little while to really get into the story but once I did I barely could put the book down. It was such a captivating story and deliciously dark. I would very highly recommend it.