This is probably the best example of wasted potential I’ve seen in a book. The massive problem this book had was pacing. For the grand majority of the book NOTHING happened. The editor should’ve gone John Bender on this manuscript.
We start with an intriguing prospect, this book starts out solid – but around page 50 is became a complete slug machine. We have moments of small intrigue with no answers, no further investigation and for a good 250 pages it turns into a YA contemporary. Then we have about 100 pages of confusion with santeria because you know that’s what happens when a character is named Abel Lukumi, kidnapping of a minor that no one reports, animal deaths all over the place and finally we get perhaps 30 pages at then end that are solid yet despite their solidness we get zero answers. None.
There’s no quality control in this book leaving Hodkin to rely on a cliffhanger to have us come for the second book, ending it at a place where we still have no answers, where we have an unreliable narrator with the personality of a wet fish.
I sat and thought about it for a while then I realised quite suddenly why I had such a hard time with this, because there was no plot. Plot was present in the last few chapters but the rest of the novel is spent Mara walking in a daze thinking that maybe there’s something wrong with her.
Another thing that knocked an entire star is that Hodkin has a tendency to end chapters telling you Mara made the wrong decision but this decision is dropped and not mentioned until the last 10 pages of the novel. I found that by the time I reached the end I could not give a single care about Mara and her problems.
So of course I made the rookie mistake of purchasing all the books before reading the first, they’re staring at me now wondering their fate as I type this. I’m torn between picking up the second one and giving the book 100 pages before I decide if to continue or simply re-gifting them to a young teen that might enjoy them more. I’m not certain yet but for right now I’m left pretty annoyed and let down by this entire novel.