Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
Publication date: January 23, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction
First off I must say that this cover is STUNNING! It’s the perfect mesh of badass with the skull and feminine with the jewels and pink-hued background. Odessa has known that she wants to become a necromancer her entire life. She’s an orphan along with a few of her fellow necromancer’s and is perfectly content with the life she leads. Then people start dropping dead left and right and her life is thrown into chaos.
Things I liked:
Characters: DIVERSITY! Not only was there POC representation but there was also same-gender relationships. I loved Simeon and Danial’s moments together, though there weren’t many, there were enough to know that they loved each other. Meredy and Lysander were possibly my favorite characters in the book, yes one of my favorites is a giant grizzly bear and I love him. Odessa was a fairly average MC, as she had a special skill when she was in the deadlands, earning herself the nickname Sparrow. Her determination to save the ones she loves is an admirable quality, though it causes her to make some reckless choices.
Magic: I thought that the magic system was explained fairly well. The color of your eyes determines what type of magic you have: blue is a necromancer, green is a beastmaster, gray is weather, brown is inventor and hazel is healer. If I had my choice, I would pick beast master as you get to bond with any animal you choose and how awesome would that be. With this great power, however, comes with consequences. Necromancers can’t be raised from the dead, beast masters lose part of their humanity temporarily, weather could suffer a stroke and healers suffer temporary paralysis. I liked that detail of give and take because in so many fantasies there is so much magical power but not always consequences to using it.
Dealing with Grief, Depression and Substance Abuse: These parts of the story were beautifully handled. Odessa had to deal with so much grief throughout this story and we see how that led her to her depression and substance abuse; it wasn’t glorified. She spent prolonged periods of time holed up in her room in a drug induced state until finally she gets help from others. She’s lucky that their are those that care about her that can help her because some aren’t as lucky.
Things I didn’t like
Romance: Specifically minimal intimacy between the MC and another secondary character. It was during the time that the MC was grieving and while I understand that some people seek the company of others during their grieving period, it’s not with someone they call their “brother.” I believe it was just kissing, however, these interactions between these characters really bothered me to the point of almost DNFing this series despite it being part of my ‘Finish this series in 2019″ challenge.
This was a fun action packed read! I loved the character and relationship representation as well as how the author handled grief and substance abuse. While this a hard topic to read and write about, I think it’s important because there are people who suffer from these things. I will be continuing this series and am excited to continue to follow Odessa’s journey!
Have you read Reign of the Falle? What were your thoughts? I would love to chat!