After reading so many ya books about vamps and wolves, I must say this was a refreshing break from them. That said the book does have its problems. At the onset, you can easily tell that this was written by two authors. Especially in the beginning, there are two distinct voices even though there’s one narrator. If you read carefully, there are some instances where you feel like you’re reading the same paragraph, but there are slight shifts in the description—little nuanced details that mark the discrepancies in the voice of the narrator (notably when Ethan describes his map and books). There were also some clichéd high school trauma scenes in the book that made that little voice in the back of your mind say, “Who didn’t see that coming?”
Yet, the characters were likable, and for the most part, allowed me to ignore the issues regarding the book’s structure and focus on the story. I enjoyed the few scenes with the three sisters; they’re kind of cute and entertaining, and I can sort of understand why Ethan doesn’t really mind their company. I also quite enjoyed the image of Amma brandishing her sharpened number 2. ;) Ethan’s likable as well, though I think if you didn’t enjoy reading about Sam in Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver, you probably won’t like Ethan either. Both characters have a similar voice—sad yet sensitive but also verbose (After all, the book’s 550+ pages *wink*).
I found the book’s paranormal aspects rather appealing. The mystery and magic peaked my interest and kept me motivated, without ever becoming tedious. Though at the end, I did get a little confused, and was forced to go back and reread a section. Was a bit disappointed that this is the first book of a series, and would’ve preferred that the story concluded with book one, but I am interested in knowing what will happen next for Lena.