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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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The murder mystery made my skin crawl and my heart pound. Though I hadn't read one in quite some time, I love a good mystery when I read one and this one was AHHMAZING.
The romance was sweet and fun for the most part. And then the side story with Evelyn and Clyde was utterly darling and I love them so much. *huggles characters*
The characters were SUPERB. Without discussing each of them separately as I'm going to do I would surely miss something (though I will anyway).
Romulus is an intricately crafted character, full of details uncommon for the usual hero/love interest in these type of stories. The magazine, Scientific World, is his pride and joy. Unfortunately, that goes too far and we find Romulus measuring his self-worth against the popularity and success of the magazine he co-owns with his cousin, Evelyn. In the beginning there's plenty of room for developing Romulus's character, and the change in him through the course of the book was well-paced, realistic, and wonderful to watch. Um...read. ;)
Stella is an enchantingly beautiful artist with, as Romulus often reminds her, an extremely large ego. He's good for her and keeps her from allowing her fame and talent to go to her head. The character growth in her was much quicker than the change in Romulus and not so realistic. Much more sudden and spot-on. I enjoyed all the talk of dresses, accessories, and fashion in the parts from her POV too. It added so much historical detail. :)
Evelyn, Romulus's cousin and business partner, and Clyde, Evelyn's husband, were both intriguing characters. Having gotten a legal separation years ago (it wasn't called a divorce, and they were still technically married), they have lived their own lives, each of them trying to ignore the still-present feeling for their spouse. When Clyde ends up back in Boston on business...he's bold enough to face Evelyn and persistent enough to try and win her heart back.
Although Evelyn and Clyde weren't the main focus of the book, they were...my favorite. Odd, I know, I should like Stella and Romulus. And I do, but I honestly enjoyed Evelyn and Clyde's story more. I enjoyed watching their story progress SO-O much!
*spoilers ahead* With everything that happened over Clyde's injury...I CRIED, people. I loved them...I need a story, a chapter even, of them somewhere...together...with their adopted daughter, Lily...*dreamy sigh* *end of spoilers*
I can't wait to read Summer of Dreams and get their complete back-story! :)
All of that said and fangirling over, I grappled over what to rate this book for awhile. For the writing style, the thrilling mystery, and believable characters, I would heartily give the book five stars. Unfortunately there were a couple things I didn't agree with, so I'm knocking off a star.
The kissing between two certain people about 60% through the book was a little over the top in my opinion. One knows that the other has no interest in a lasting relationship, yet they instigate the kiss...and continue to kiss...a lot... Just, yuck.
My last 'complaint' would be the lack of Christianity. The characters pray a couple times, God is mentioned, and Stella realizes in the end that she wants to be the tru Christian that her sister was. If you're just going to write a clean, historical fiction, that's great. I'll still enjoy it. But don't add a couple of prayers and then call it Christian. Please?
All together, I enjoyed this book immensely. The time period wasn't one I typically read, so it was neat to be different. ;) I would recommend this book to those who enjoy accurate historical fiction, vividly detailed descriptions, and clean mysteries.
"I'm convinced the joy from a single ounce of chocolate does the body and spirit more good than a whole cartload of turnips."
**I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.**
Ms. Camden is an excellent writer and she always does a great job with the historical details and bring life to things that are so foreign to the modern world. Her words paint in broad strokes what Boston was like in 1897, with the construction of the first subway system and the incorporation of electricity into everyday life. I also really loved the mystery and seeing what investigation may have been like before the turn of the century. She definitely kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat, wondering what might happen next!
The characters were also excellent! Ms. Camden has built a reputation for creating characters that are not at all the norm, and these two definitely follow suit! Stella is an outspoken, creative, eccentric odd duck. She can be brash, but she can also be a lady when it suits her will. She is often abrupt, determined, and so many label her difficult. I frankly didn’t love her at once, but she slowly grew on me, as I saw more of who she is and not just how she behaves under exacting circumstances. Romulus is almost the exact opposite. He has many friends and is known to be easygoing with an attitude of good cheer more often than not. He can be determined, but he is so easily distracted by new things that catch his fancy, it doesn’t often last long. I loved his character because of the openness found in him. He is rather insecure, particularly when it comes to love, because of his flighty demeanor. He has a great many interests and loves getting lost in learning all he can about them. I immensely enjoyed getting to know his character! Oh, and I can’t forget to mention their dialogue! I loved the sparring between Stella and Romulus, as they butted heads, but also just generally picked on one another. I found myself laughing at the most random times, because it may have been started out as a serious scene, but something they would say would make me smile instead of becoming serious with the turn in conversation.
Honestly, there were a couple small things that bothered me a bit. First, as I’ve already mentioned, I didn’t particularly like Stella for a while. She’s an interesting character, but she’s so selfish and self-centered for much of the story. That made it rather difficult for me to get into the book right off. Though, to be fair, her behavior allowed for an excellent opportunity to add faith to the story. And she did grow on me after a bit, so I can’t be entirely put out with her. I also found it rather strange that the story comes from the villain’s view point just once, rather randomly near the end, then we never hear from them again. That was just a little odd. Despite those points, I did quite enjoy this book and am anxious to see what this author writes next!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction that breaks away from the norm!
I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.
You can also find my review featured here, on Fiction411.com: [...]
Most recent customer reviews
I absolutely loved Stella, our heroine. Though the book takes place in 1897 Boston, Stella is a woman beyond her time.Read more