The Vengeful Half by Jaclyn Dolamore
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...
Rating: 3 Stars
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I first saw the description, I thought that this book would be the start of a grand adventure and possibly a new series. It certainly had that potential based on what I'd read. After reading it, my estimation is somewhat diminished, though not completely.
The story itself was good and had a nice development. The execution was a little on the childish side, which made me think that this would be better labeled as a middle grade book rather than a sci-fi young adult book.
The pacing felt a bit rushed. We're barely into the book before things started happening in a rapid fire succession. Maybe a little more fleshing out would've been good?
The art was cool, though at times I wasn't sure whether it was consistent with the book moments that it was meant to represent, which is a huge problem for me.
My final thoughts are that this was a decent book, but I wouldn't say an excellent one. It was more or less fun to read in the moment, but I'm not sure whether it has the staying power for a re-read.
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