Come, the Dark. (Forever Girl, Book 2) Rebecca Hamilton. A reluctant heroine that eventually kicks ass
I must confessed I haven’t read the first book in the Forever Girl series but decided to take part in the blog tour and review the book because at the moment I’m particularly interested in Young Adult/New Adult Books, I was intrigued by the background to the story (with the setting in Salem at the time of the witch hunts), and the premise of the book sounded intriguing.
The book begins with a bang. Rose’s family situation is terrible and the events that take place in the first chapter show her as a girl who’s suffered greatly and who seems to have some paranormal abilities (she sees things, or rather creatures, that others don’t). When she’s suddenly transported to a different historical period and wakes up as a different person, one of the advantages of the book being narrated in first person is that you experience her confusion and puzzlement with her.
Abigail (the person she is now) lives in Salem in difficult times. I felt the setting of the story could have been used to more advantage as the main character seems to come and go (and at some point is locked up) there, but has very limited interactions with the town and the trials. When she comes into contact with some true horrors, the paranormal background and underlying plot of the story seems to reinterpret the actual events and only a comment at the end puts this to rights. There are situations where reality puts fiction to shame.
Rose/Abigail/Cordovae is one of the most reluctant heroes (heroines) I’ve met. She struggles with her new role and powers/obligations bestowed upon her, insisting she wants to go back to the person she was because her daughter needs her. William and Tess, who act as guides and try and bring her up to speed with the universe she lives in (not only the human one, but mostly the paranormal and the variety of creatures and the cosmogony that explains them) try to convince her, but she resists. Although the explanations are a useful way of introducing readers who are new to the series, I felt they slowed the action somewhat and I was not sure I could really grasp the differences between all the supernatural races. (But then, neither does the protagonist, who learns as she goes along.)
It took me a while to connect with the main character and I grew somewhat impatient of her reluctance to engage. Also at times the first person narration meant we spent a long time reading about her doubts, her memories, and her determination to leave. However, although it is somewhat long in the coming, eventually Cord becomes a true heroine, selfless, brave, intuitive, and a great fighter, and you can’t help but root for her. As I mention in the title, she does kick ass indeed. The battle scenes, although not described in gore detail are imaginative and vivid, with some very visual and beautiful touches. They would be very spectacular if adapted to the screen.
The twist at the end is satisfying and to me it is a fairly happy ending, given the circumstances. Although I haven’t mentioned it until now, there’s a love story too (although both protagonists try and resist for very good reasons) and all loose ends are tied up for the current story, whilst leaving open the possibility of further explorations into the world of the forever girls.
Overall I felt the book has some ups and downs, but it gains pace in the second half when it becomes a very good read. The premise of the series is intriguing and I suspect there are a few more to come. If you like YA paranormal series with strong heroines and some very dark elements, you’d do well checking out this novel.