The Book of Shade by K.C. Finn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Finn has achieved that rare thing - an original and unique YA paranormal romance. Lily's story is one of the best I've read for a long time, and I'm delighted that it comes from a Brit author. It's been a while since I read a decent book based in the UK, and I tend to forget how enjoyable it is to read in my native language without being peppered with americanisms. Lily is delightfully British, feisty and level-headed in the presense of so much weirdness.
However wonderful The Book of Shade is, it's not easy to review without giving much away. Let's just Finn has put together a world of intriguing magic and mysterious characters. The romance is deliciously slow-burning, with a host of far more practical things to be taken care of first. Such as why Lemarick Novel is covered in lightning flowers, how he performs such incredible feats on stage, why his arctic blue eyes keep locking with hers, and why he never, ever smiles.
Finn has that perfect combination of characters that will hold your interest completely, a story that will grab hold of you and won't let go, and a world so curious that you won't be able to leave it alone once you get a glimpse. She isn't afraid of doing things differently, such as introducing a male MC who is nothing like any I've ever encountered, but somehow in his ennigmatic, stoic character is utterly divine. Lily starts out as a completely normal girl - a freshman at uni who does all the normal things like going out drinking with her friends and joining an intriguing society just because a cute guy asks her. Even when things turn distinctly un-normal, Lily maintains her down-to-earth tendencies, and isn't afraid to face things head-on.
I want to leave as much as possible a mystery for new readers, so that they can enjoy the full effect of the book, so I'll stop here. I'll just add that I can't wait to read more from K.C. Finn, and the Shadeborn series.
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