Title: The Wrythe and the Reckoning
Author: Yvonthia Leland
Genre: YA, I guess?
Edition: ARC from NetGalley
Blurb: The Wrythe and the Reckoning is an avant-garde nostalgic story that will have you not only falling in love with the characters, but you’ll also gain an understanding of their individual perspectives on life. This fantasy tale is sure to be enjoyed by readers of all ages, from teens to older adults.
In the mid-1800s, Lina and her family move from their small New Hampshire village to an industrial city in Massachusetts. During this time, it is said that a bizarre, malevolent human-like monster is lurking about in the forests of the New England territory. In addition, Lina is an independent thinker. She’s determined to make something of herself and to live her life the way that she wants to. Lina must face and overcome the difficult challenges surrounding her society in order to live her ideal life, all while avoiding being murdered by the so-called human-monster. ‘The Wrythe and the Reckoning’ is an epic urban fantasy tale of love, courage, bravery, freedom, and friendship.
If you’re looking for a story that’s simply about romance or a horrific event, this isn’t the story for you. The Wrythe and the Reckoning is an intricately woven tale of a teenage girl’s life experience as she grows into a woman and continuing afterwards. Not only is this story about her life, it’s also about the lives of those close to her and the society in which she lives.
Intriguingly complex and yet relatable, The Wrythe and the Reckoning is a thought-provoking and intellectual story of fantasy, mystery, adventure, and romance.
Review: Y’all, this is the first time in a while that a book has made me so confused. It’s also been a while since I was close to straight up not finishing a book. If I didn’t feel obligated by NetGalley to do it, I probably would have given up on this book.
The first thing you notice with this book is it’s voice. The tone is very old fashioned, reminding me of some of the late 19th/early 20th prose I studied for my English degree in college, except . . . way too simple. It is overly plodding, giving every detail. This book badly needed some edition. There were too many pages where nothing really happened. At all. It could have easily been a short story instead of a novel.
The pacing is also just strange. The first few chapters were reeeeaally long, and then they got really short. And there didn’t seem like a point to it. Also, I should point out, that the ARC is 20 chapters long (with chapter 2 broken into two parts for some reason) and it is incomplete. There is a note from the author basically saying to check out the rest of the book once it’s published.
So let’s talk a bit about the story. The main character is Lina, a young girl who is determined to be independent. Which basically means she doesn’t want to get married, which is unusual for her time period. This doesn’t stop several men from being smitten with her, despite everyone else describing her as not particularly attractive and very difficult because of her modern views. She attends abolitionist meetings and volunteers for the suffrage movement, but in a very bland way. All of the characters were very bland and they all had very average lives that were very dull at times to read about.
Now let’s talk about the “monster,” the thing that is really supposed to get this story hopping. There are a handful of hints about it in the book, none of which make it sound too serious. Maybe there is a murderer loose, but that’s it. Any hints of it being a “monster” are brushed off by EVERYONE as just superstition. But we the reading, through our point-of-view character Lina, don’t actually experience the monster until chapter 18. Of a 20 chapter ARC. That should have happened much, much sooner, but instead we got a lot of day-to-day details that don’t really go anywhere and, are frankly, quite boring.
Another weird thing: this book and this author have no information on GoodReads at all. The blurb above was taken from the NetGalley page.
I really hate to give bad reviews, only because I know how much blood, sweat, and tears go into writing a novel. But I also have to be honest, and honestly, I did not enjoy this much at all.
GoodReads Rating: 2 stars