Book Review: Fiendish [Plus: Half Lies]

What can I say? What can I even say about this book. I don’t know, I don’t know. But it stole my heart and I can’t imagine not having picked it up on a whim that day at the library. It’s just so good.

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Fiendish

  • Author: Brenna Yovanoff
  • Publisher: Razor Bill
  • Year: 2014
  • Shelved in: Still on the new shelf. Might end up in paranormal romance, or stay near the fantasy/adventure section.
  • Genre vibe: Southern Gothic, a little bit of Atmospheric Horror
  • At a glance: Clementine has been trapped and sleeping in the cellar for a long time. Fisher finds her. Turns out there is magic everywhere, and now they’ve set off a heck of a lot more of it.

The Good Stuff

I love this book. I ate it up and absorbed it into the music of my mind. Yovanoff’s writing is so spectacular. I see hints of Maggie Stiefvater in it (probably because they are best friends + critique partners) and it’s so concise and descriptive and it’s one of those writing styles that has a taste. Like oranges sometimes, or like dust.

It’s so readable. Sometimes you read a book because you want the story, or because you love the characters. But sometimes there’s a book where the writing quality is just so stellar that it almost ends up being your favorite part. Those kinds of books where you really, really enjoy the actual act of reading the words. Those are my favorite kinds of books. This is one of the best.

On top of that, the atmosphere is just fantastic. Remember how I said Beware the Wild was just barely lacking? Fiendish was not. Fiendish was perfect. It scared me a couple times, and made me melt a couple more, and altogether absorbed me just as much as I was absorbing it. I finished it a week or so ago and I still feel like I’m . . . stuck inside this book. And I will be forevermore.

I feel like this review shouldn’t be as short as it’s going to be, because this book was so darn good.

And now we come to my favorite part: the characters.

Everyone in this book is my precious. If you harm them, I have the right to protect them, and I don’t feel that particular way about very many characters.

When I first found out about this book, read the synopses, etc., I was really…doubtful. I’d heard some things about how Clementine was “not like any other heroes” and side-eyed it a bit thinking it’d be a Girl Preachy book. But it wasn’t. Clementine was amazing, and people were right, she wasn’t like very many other protagonists in her genre. But she was also a part of her story, through and through, and that I think was my favorite part about her.

And then Fisher. Fisher Fisher Fisher. I think, honestly, one of my favorite parts of this book was that none of the characters really truly fit all of the requirements for their “type” to really be included in a trope or stereotype. Like they were almost the Bad Boy, almost the Rebel Girl. But there was something poking out on the edge that made it . . . different. That made them find the crack in the mold just enough to bend it a little.

I liked that. I liked that a lot. I’m all for subtlety in the “breaking cliches” department. Because then you’re at least honoring that the cliche is…a thing.

Story-wise everything was on point. Just. So so good. So so so so so so good.

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

WHY ISN’T THERE ANOTHER BOOK.

Not really, it ended fine.

I just want to read it over again.

Overall

  • Rating: 5/5 stars
  • Recommended to: Fans of Southern Gothic, Atmospheric Horror, really good characters, subtle mold breaking, and really good romance subplots.
  • Lasting impression: Roots wrapped around my face, and imagined kisses that taste like summer sunshine.

Additionally, on Christmas Eve I read this little gem

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the Half Life trilogy is probably my second (third?) favorite series as of right now. I’ve read Half Bad twice and excepting Raven Boys IV, Half Wild is my most anticipated read of 2015.

So when Sally Green announced on twitter that she had an e-book short story for me, well, I may or may not have shrieked.

I have many many emotions. Half Lies is a prequel story about Gabriel and his sister, set pre-Half Bad and filled with feelings of every sort. I cried, as only Gabriel seems to make me do. And while I usually dislike things told in journal form, like this was, Green’s prose is…pretty darn great, I must say.

(also, come on, cover art, anybody? I die a little every time I see any of these covers. So good.)

So, overall:

  • Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Recommended to: People who like Half Bad, of course
  • Lasting impression: Gabriel, my precious, why must you hurt so much.

Stay tuned for a 2014 wrap up…

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Fiendish [Plus: Half Lies]

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