I really liked this novel – it was such a cute little story, and I really enjoyed Amy Alward’s narrative. There was something so effortless about Alward’s writing, especially when you remember how hard it is to write in a first person narrative and keep the characterisation so well throughout.
I really loved the concept, especially as the Talenteds and ordinary is such a similar one to what I’ve got in my own novel, (but not quite the same thank God). I loooved the setting – it came across as a modern fairy tale with some adventure thrown in. Plus I liked how Alward didn’t make Sam’s journey easy – she had plenty of set backs and still managed to come out on top. I liked how Alward used magic in her narrative, showing the old and original ways to be battling with the newer synths produced by Talenteds.
I found the concept really funny – the princess Evelyn trying to give her friend a love potion to make him fall in love with her only to accidentally end up drinking it herself and falling in love with her own reflection. It was really funny! But Alward showed perfectly how dangerous Evelyn’s situation actually was.
I loved Sam’s characterisation – her narrative was so easy to fall into, and came across so well throughout the story. I really loved reading her adventures, and she came across as so vulnerable at various points in the story and was so easy to identify with. I liked how she was shown to be talented in her own way, and she didn’t drop everything she loved just to be with a boy. Even after the worst possible thing had happened to her within the story, she doesn’t lose focus and still tries her hardest to prove that she is capable to completing the challenge of the Wilde Hunt, even when she doesn’t have to.
I loved that Alward focuses on showing Sam’s friendships and family values, as this makes her a far more rounded character. This book does what so many Young Adult books fail to do – it has a love interest, but doesn’t make them the sole interest of the protagonist’s narrative. With Sam’s friends and family being just as prominent as the love interest, it felt much more natural as a story. It made Sam so much more loveable as a character.
The narrative did have some cheesey overtones but it fit so well with the fairy tale setting. I loved how it felt way more contemporary with the technology incorporated into the story, and this added to the feel of the old ways dying out and being overtaken by the modern synths. However I loved how Sam managed to get her happy ending in the end.
I loooved this novel and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was such a sweet story and the characters were so endearing, it’s definitely a young adult novel worth reading. I would give it a 5/5, and I can’t wait to read next novel in the series.