Author: Sara Holland
Series: Havenfall #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.
Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.
For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.
But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .
Upon reading the synopsis of this novel, I was instantly intrigued. I am usually not a fan of “urban” fantasy where these magical things are happening within out own world, however this was a good spin on that. Within the first few pages, the atmosphere really stood out to me. Taking this fantasy world and sticking it up in the mountains of Colorado provided a beautiful, cold, and eerie setting, which I felt was perfect for this story.
This novel started out very strong for me. I was in love with the main character, I loved the world, I was swooning over the love interest- however the farther along I got the more jumbled everything became and I didn’t really understand my feelings for anything or anyone. That being said, I do not think that that was 100% a bad thing.
Havenfall is chalked full of political intrigue, it is truly the driving force of this story and I thought that it was done very well. This is very much a story where you do not know what is necessarily real, or who you can trust and I personally thought that was executed very well.
As a whole I enjoyed this story. I devoured it in about 24 hours and it kept me entertained. My biggest complaints about this book were mainly with the writing style and pacing. I have not been able to put my finger on it, but the story just didn’t seem to flow naturally. This is a 300 page book where things are constantly happening and I think that it was almost too fast paced. There could have been another 100-150 pages digging deeper into the many story lines flowing through this novel that I think would have helped it a lot. The author has created a great story where you are constantly guessing and have hundreds of theories as you are going through, with most of them ever changing.
Overall this was a solid, entertaining read and I will definitely be picking up book two when it releases. If you are a fan of political intrigue and atmospheric books, then I definitely recommend giving this one a shot.
*Thank you Bloomsbury YA for sending me an Advanced Reader Copy. This is no way affect on my thoughts and feelings on the story as a whole.