Vespertine (The Sun Born, #1)
by Cecily Flynn
This will be a tough review to write, only because I can't really say anything that will do this book justice! I was swept away, mesmerized, and enthralled by the original and imaginative world the author created, which was reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson, and Mary Shelley. It can be considered an urban fantasy tale, where a paranormal world exists in a modern day Canadian town. But it was so much more than that! Dark, hypnotic, and so well thought out, this is definitely one of my new favorite books!
Our journey begins with Ana Lanoway, a teenage girl who has just relocated with her father and stepmother to a small, Canadian town called Cold Water. Their home is on a lake, outside the main hub, and secluded by a dense forest. After leaving her hometown, and spending a summer visiting her mother in England, Ana's world has been turned upside down. And now she's doing her best to find her way in a new town and a new school. Luckily, she's approached by Holly, who is vibrant and energetic (if not a little quirky), and is pleasantly relieved to ease into her new environment alongside someone who seems to know her way around.
At the local cafe, Holly shares some frightening tales about the town's history that Ana finds a bit far-fetched. Still, she can't deny the strange sensations she's felt while walking through the woods near her home. Ana spies a group of boys in private school uniforms, and is intrigued. One boy in particular has caught her eye. She finds herself face-to-face with the boy, James Sulien, at a local event, and a budding infatuation appears inevitable. But as Ana begins to let down her guard, her parents' imposing curfew gets in the way. A generally quiet and easy going girl, it is clear that Ana still harbors some resentment toward her parents. All of this sets the foundation for what is to come.
I thought this was going to be a straightforward paranormal story about a teenage girl. But oh, was I wrong! This is a very adult tale, with two main storylines that intersect and intertwine seamlessly. We travel from modern day Canada to the 1800s, where a journey through Switzerland, Poland, and France describes an intricate series of events leading back to the town of Cold Water. A perfect balance between old and new, there is a dark familiarity between these two worlds around every corner. And everything from the character dialects to the symbolism was spot on.
This is an enchanting, dreamy, and entirely unique tale that is like no other. I would love to share all the details about how amazing it truly was, but I can't give anything else away without including spoilers! Just know, if you love a story that will make you fall in love, question reason, and believe in the paranormal, this book is for you! The quality of writing is also some of the best out there. A second installment is on its way, and I'll be first in line!
Available on Amazon
Reviewed by Stephanie
Reviewed by Stephanie