Author: Amanda Hocking
Genre: YA, paranormal romance
Pages: 318 (including short story: The Viitra Attacks)
Published: 2012 (UK)
Acquired: Bought in WHSmiths clearance sale
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ [1.5]
Book Blurb:: Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she’s not the monster her mother claims she is- she does feel that she doesn’t quite fit in…
She’s bored and frustrated by her small town life- and then there’s the secret that she can’t tell anyone. Her mysterious ability- she can influence people’s decisions, without knowing how, or why…
When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night- her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers, and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist: Förening, the home of the Trylle.
Finally everything makes sense. Among the Trylle, Wendy is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chose for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring, not only to separate them, but to see the downfall of everything that Wendy cares about.
The fate of Förening rests in Wendy’s hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever…
So, I’ll be honest: this book didn’t do it for me. I bought the book during a clearance sale and the idea of the Trylle did intrigue me (especially as it was different from the usual vampires and werewolves that paranormal romance usually focuses on). I also felt the introduction to the book was going to be really interesting, as I liked the initial twist that the mother tried to kill the main character when she was a young child.
I thought the was going to be about really glamourous fairies that the protagonist- Wendy- was separated from, but it wasn’t quite like that. Trylle are trolls (so a type of fae), and Wendy was in fact a changeling. Oh and a princess, of course…
It was also supposed to be fairly glamourous, as all Trylle’s have survived by being really rich, but… it just didn’t work for me. I really didn’t like the whole concept, I’m sorry. #trolldiscriminaton
The blurb on the back of this book actually explains the whole plot pretty well. Once Wendy follows Finn and find out who she really is, the rest of the book is about her adjusting to a life of royalty with her mother, while learning to control her persuasion powers.
As far as stories go that doesn’t sound too bad, I tend to like stories like this because you can learn about the world while the main character does. Except in this case, you just don’t. I mean, there is a little bit of explanation about the Trylle and the town Wendy moves to (Förening), but that’s pretty much it. The rest of the book basically confines Wendy to the house, where she is expected to act like a princess with no training, and no one tells her (or the reader) ANYTHING about what is going on. Not only that, but then everyone gets annoyed when Wendy doesn’t act how she should do! Without anyone knowing anything, how can Wendy or the reader really get involved in the plot? It really frustrated me and even know I don’t know what’s really going on around Förening and ‘the castle’.
Also, what was that ending? I mean, in 3 or 4 pages Wendy makes a snap decision with Rhys (the second changeling in the pair and one of the only characters I liked), gets on a motorbike and goes to visit her brother. It felt like the end of a chapter, not the end of a book!! It left me more frustrated that before, and it just didn’t feel right in a novel.
Not only did the plot and world building not interest me, but I just couldn’t empathise with the characters at all! I didn’t like Wendy’s character, there wasn’t enough true emotion and reflection, I just felt she was constantly angry. The logical part of my brain says that that is a justified part of her personality given what happens in the book, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t care for or feel sorry for her at all; in fact I just felt exasperated.
It was the same with the relationship with Finn too. Finn was written slightly better by being the angsty young adult conflicted with his love and his duty, but I felt it could have been done slightly better. The first meeting between Finn and Wendy was really rushed, which didn’t help me empathise with them at all. Throughout the book I’m sure Finn’s main personality trait was “emotionless“. It didn’t work for me, I’m sorry.
The only characters I liked were Matt and Rhys. They were a lot more realistic and showed more emotion than the other characters. Rhys especially had a rough time given the situation in Förening, and when he went with Wendy at the end I was hoping he would have a nice time with Matt! ♥
Overall I didn’t like this book at all. It is one of the only books I’ve ever read that I have been dissatisfied throughout the entire story. I didn’t feel there was a lot of emotion in the book and I just didn’t empathise with what was happening to any of the main characters.
There were a few bits that could have been more enjoyable, such as the attempted murder when Wendy was a child, the development of Wendy’s powers or the introduction to Förening, but it wasn’t executed as well as I would have liked.
There seems to be mixed reviews about this series on both end of the scale, and unfortunately I’m on the lower end of it. Although I’m so angry with how the book ended I don’t think I can bring myself to read book 2 and 3 to find out what happens, I’m sorry. This is why I can only rate this book 1.5 stars (my first low rating! 😦 )
Has anyone else read this book/series? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments!