This book was provided to me by the author for a review through Shut Up & Read’s "Read It & Reap" programme.
I feel sort of bad for this book... It has, at its heart, what could have been a really good story, and I think I have a pretty good idea of what the author was thinking when she imagined the world and the plot. Which was probably really wonderful and with complex background stories and a very well-built world.
Unfortunately, the author never managed to get that across to me in a readable or enjoyable way. Especially, in the beginning, I was very confused as to what was happening and found it really difficult to understand what was going on. And I usually don’t mind the "dump the reader in the middle of the story" – I'm a huge Steven Erikson fan, for crying out loud! ;)
But Avery just managed to somehow dump me in the middle of the action and then do a massive info-dump at the same time (!)
Actually what Erikson masters better than most, seems to be exactly what Avery attempts: a huge and elaborate storyline with lots of characters. And I'm sure it's all well thought out in her mind and I think I'd really like it, but her writing skills (or rather, lack of) just means that the book instead becomes a confusing mass of info-dumps and characters that you barely remember or understand what they were there for...
And honestly, while I'm happy to suspend disbelief to a very large extent, there are just a lot of scenes where Lily acts completely idiotic. I know she's a teenager, but she's also supposed to be a several hundred-year old witch/soul, so really...
And while I did like the basic premise of the story and the world-building, the writing just rubbed me the wrong way – it felt like every sentence had either been over-thought or just added because something needed to happen. None of the writing flowed for me and I was never able to completely lose myself in the story because of it.
And as several other reviewers have noted, the large number of grammatical and spelling errors, really didn't help the immersion into the story. I can accept a few errors, but when I stop every 3-4 pages at a sentence I literally don't understand due to an error, that's just hurting the story no matter how well-thought out it is.
So, the idea is there and I imagine that Tempest Avery could write a good book with the help of a talented editor, but this is just to unfinished and (I'm sorry) reads a bit like something a teenager would write in their journal most of the time...
So, for the concept and storyline (as I imagine it), I would give this book 4 stars, but the writing and inability to let me live it, pulls this down to a 2 star rating.