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ARC Book Review: HavenFall by Sara Holland

Title: HavenFall

Author: Sara Holland

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

I was excited to receive this proof copy in the post. I couldn’t wait to get started on a new duology.

Synopsis: Most people think Haven is just an ordinary small town in the Rocky Mountains. Maddie Morrow knows differently. Her family is full of secrets. The Inn at HavenFall is the biggest secret of them all. Deep beneath the beautiful, sprawling manor are the doors between the ancient realms – including Byrn, Fiordenkill and Solaria. The door to Solaria was sealed long ago, by ancient magic, for the protection of the other kingdoms. Once a year, delegates from each realm meet – to keep the peace and celebrate the solstice – under the careful watch of the InnKeeper, Maddie’s uncle. This year is different. The door to Solaria has been opened. And Maddie’s safe Haven will never be the same again…

First off, I should say I liked this book. I really did. I just think it could’ve been excellent, but it didn’t reach it’s full potential.

It starts with Maddie making her way to HavenFall, which she one day hopes to inherit, to help her uncle as the magical realms come together for the annual peace summit.

The premise was so intriguing. It’s such a clever idea, and I thought it was going to be really interesting and intricate, but it was just lacking on a few levels.

For me, I didn’t feel any connection to the characters. None. Whatsoever. Maddie, the main character, was sort of just whiny and annoying. She was really one dimensional and I just wanted more from her. To be honest I don’t even really remember any of the other characters. So I guess that sums up what I thought of them.

It also needed much more world building. There’s three other realms, that we get to hear about but not in much detail, but never get to see. The story mostly took place in the Inn and it just felt restricted and basic. If it’s going to be an epic fantasy, give me epic fantasy!! Don’t just hint at it. I really think you needed to see the other realms to give this book some depth.

There was also a romance (of course), but it wasn’t a good one. I didn’t feel a connection between them, and the love interest wasn’t around long enough to build one. It was the kind of book where we are told they’ve got a connection, a history and they belong together. We’re never actually allowed to feel it. We’re just supposed to believe it.

Now, some parts of this book were predictable, the romance, The Silver Prince (oh I just remembered another character! Well dmone Jack). It had its fair share of twist and turns, but I just don’t know if because it was lacking in some other areas they didn’t quite work. They sort of left me feeling ‘meh’.

I know it sounds like I don’t like this book, but I did. It was a quick read. I was never bored, not totally invested, but I never thought about stopping. The main character was bisexual and that kind of representation is always good in a ya fantasy. Also, it left on a bit of cliff hanger and I would like to know what happens next. Il definitely being reading the next one.

Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for gifting me with a copy of this book in return for an honest, unbiased. It out March 3rd.

Until the next review

JTH

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