(I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I found this book really entertaining to read. I liked seeing the friendship between Nicholas and Jaq… and it was good to see how different they were as people, as well as how their upbringing made them different people. I really liked the opportunity to see Nicholas interacting with his parents and the family dynamics there.
I did find the concept of the orb to be a particularly intriguing one, especially given how it seemed to respond to the people’s emotions. It was sad to see the negative impact that the power had on Jaq and how it affected his relationship with Nicholas… as well as the fact that he clearly didn’t understand what real love was.
I liked being able to see the different abilities awoken within Nicholas and Jaq and how they were able to play off each other. I did feel that there was a very real element of danger in this book, with the way the townspeople viewed magic and how things were later.
I would have liked a bit of explanation as to why different abilities were awoken in different people. Was it because of their personalities… or the emotions that they felt more deeply… or something else? I also thought that there were passages of time that were skipped over that could have been spent developing the relationships between the characters. I felt that both Jaq and Nicholas were drawn primarily to Mary because of how she looked. While Mary’s character did develop later on, I still found her a bit more difficult to understand than Jaq and Nicholas.
I really didn’t like Jaq’s father. Most of the other characters did have some redeeming qualities… but he was the only one who was a thoroughly unlikable character.
I did think this book was a really interesting ‘origin’ for All Hallows Eve. It was also nice to see that Nicholas and Jaq weren’t the only ones who were able to use magic… though it would have been good to get a bit more background on the characters like Yuki, for instance.
I’d be interested in reading a sequel to this book, especially since I noticed some problems for the characters in the future. But I would also be interested in reading more books by these authors in the future.