Thursday, June 30, 2016

Review: The Vengeful Half

ISBN: 978-0692641941
Pages: 316
Source: YA Bound Book Tours
Publication: March 3, 2016
Initial Reaction:
Olivia might look human, but she’s grown up with a heavy secret: her mother is a potion-maker who fled her home in a parallel world, the Hidden Lands.
Alfred is the blind, charismatic young heir to the illegal potions trade. When Olivia's mother is kidnapped by the magic dealers with whom she once made a bad bargain, she has no choice but to trust Alfred's offer of help. They travel to a strange new world of bootlegged American pop culture, lifelike doll people, and reincarnation. Alfred finds himself putting his position on the line to defend Olivia against his family’s conniving plans. Maybe he has morals…or maybe he’s just falling in love.
When Olivia escapes from an attack by a curiously familiar sorceress, she learns that potion dealers weren’t the only thing Mom was hiding from. Dark secrets lurk in Olivia’s past, and now Olivia must kill or be killed by the girl with whom she once shared everything...
The author drew illustrations! I have to admit, that was the driving factor for me with this story. The Vengeful Half is a fun fantasy novel with a fascinating story line and illustrations that add a bit of wit and humor. Olivia is a normal teenager until a blind heir to an illegal potion empire comes asking for help from her mother to lift the curse she placed on his grandfather. His arrival turns her world upside with her mother being kidnapped and her being thrust into a world out of a fantasy movie with political intrigue and social injustice.

Like I mentioned before, the illustrations were a huge thing for me. They added a lot of inside dialogue and jokes along with some character profiles that made the story a lot of fun to read. I didn't know what to expect with the illustrations but I'm kind of in love with them. They're not super simple but they're not elaborate either. It's like the author decided to sketch some scenes throughout the story to see how things would play out if the novel turned into a comic.

Okay, beside the illustrations, I loved how the author included so much history and world building. It's always fascinating to see the foundations of fantasy worlds and we get to learn about all the critical events through Olivia as she tries to understand the world that she is truly from. Everything from the history lessons to the flashbacks. The society from the high elite to the poor working class is introduced with so much history that it was just so exciting.

As for characters, I was so afraid there would be some sort of love triangle but everything turned out okay. Since this is the first book in a series, I'm glad to see how the relationships were established and I can't wait to see them grow. There are some questions I have about a couple of details and I have a certain ship in mind but I'll just have to wait to see how things unfold.

The plot is riveting and definitely keeps you engaged however it might be the fact that I'm fighting jetlag right now or I just got too caught up in the history to pay attention to current detail, but I found myself getting confused throughout the story in terms of what was going on. Despite that, it's definitely worth the read and I'm definitely keeping an eye out on the future books!
3.5 out of 5 stars

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