A Foothold In Two Different Worlds, And No Safety In Either…
I, Becka Rowan, live in a time of uneasy peace. A fragile truce stands between humans, shifters, and the fae-touched—those who turn inward to their Houses for loyalty and protection and live in isolation from the outside world.
For an ungifted like me, that’s impossible to do.
Born of the fae but not blessed with their powers, I’ve grown up as an outcast within the human world. Humans don’t trust people like me with fae heritage, and the fae don’t bother with the ungifted. I said screw it and embraced college, determined to make my own fate.
Just when I thought I could start a prestigious internship and continue my quest to address interspecies conflict, someone murdered my twin sister, an adept illusionist and heir to our family lineage.
So, I’m going back home to say goodbye. Back to House Rowan. I take a deep breath, knowing after a short few days I’ll return to the city, free again from the melodrama of the House I was raised in.
There’s just one hitch in my plan—Quinn, a fae-touched member of the Enforcer’s Guild assigned to investigate the killing. Quinn doesn’t let the typical fae prejudices against the ungifted prevent him from staying close to me. Uncomfortably close. Besides, he needs my help to figure out what happened to my sister.
How can I refuse?
The premise of this book was an excellent hook. An outcast diving back into the world she’d been banished from to find her twin sister’s murderer? I’m down for supernatural mysteries and this one promised to deliver.
Especially after the first few chapters, when we get to meet Becka. I loved her fierce independence and adoption of human culture. Denounced by the fae-touched, she embraced the Other, which was humanity in this case (humans and the fae-touched had a war a while back and the hostilities and prejudices are still trickling down to Becka’s time). While I loved that refusal to associate with anything tied to the people that banished her, I would have loved to see more bitterness come as a result of it. Or even bitterness toward humans, who might have tolerated her living among them, but still didn’t truly accept her. Candice Bundy goes to great pains to express how limbo-locked Becka is, not belonging to either group, but her personality doesn’t seem to reflect it truly. Sure, she has a few mean things to say to her family, but at the end of the day, it felt like she wasn’t truly messed up by their abandonment. She played nice (even though her family treated her horribly because of her ungifted status), slid back into the role of a dutiful daughter, and only made a few snappy retorts.
Quinn was similarly another character I had a few issues with. He seemed to be on the ball with everything. A revelation in the case was made to Becka, but then we had Quinn in the background, admitting that he knew that revelation already. It made him seem too perfect. Aside from his dark reputation (which actually wasn’t that dark as his reputation was as someone who seemed to value fairness over bigotry) he was the perfect book boyfriend: attentive, hot, mysterious, and charming.
The plot itself, at the beginning, was very engrossing. I followed along with the mystery, eager to uncover the clues and meet with the suspects. But when the culprit was announced, I felt disappointed. I won’t go into too many specifics, as I don’t want to spoil anything, but the stereotypical motivation and lackluster climax didn’t live up to the expectation I’d set from the stellar beginning of the book.
With all that said, I definitely encourage reading this book! I enjoyed it immensely and the only reason I’m drawing attention to these points is because after reading the author’s work, I feel like she can do better. I see great potential in her and I’m excited to see her skills progress as she keeps writing! 4 out of 5 stars!