BOOK REVIEW: Havenfall (Havenfall #1) by Sara Holland

BOOK REVIEW: Havenfall (Havenfall #1) by Sara HollandHavenfall (Havenfall #1)
by Sara Holland
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Synopsis:

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 . . .

Review

Is this the year of the 3s for me???!?! I don’t think I’ve ever rated this many books a three in such a short period of time. Again, it’s not that any of them have been bad, I’ve just been missing some kind of wow factor.

This story in particular had the structure to be great. I honestly think we’ll see more of that in the next book if Maddie is able to travel to different realms, it just seems like this one spent the entire time setting up for future events and because all of it took place within the walls of Haven (or just outside of them) I really didn’t feel like I could rate it any higher than a three.

There still were quite a few twists and turns that had me really guessing who the mysterious bad guy was going to be and honestly you don’t get all of the details on certain things until right at the end which made the suspense more real and exciting. Along with that, I really liked the writing in general. I haven’t read Holland’s first series, Everless, yet even though I’ve heard really good things especially about the first book. I can’t say for certain then that those of you who loved that will love this but I really think she set up for an amazing second book.

Other than more action, one thing I hope to see more of is character development from Maddie. I think she came a long way over the span of this book but it seemed like every other second she was doubting herself and being self-depreciating and just going through a LOT. Given her circumstances, I really do ~get~ it but…it was a lot to handle. I just wish she had made some better decisions a little earlier or tried to get help or something, anything really. I don’t know, I’m conflicted, lol because I can see how everyone kept her in the dark and it makes complete sense that she was such a novice at everything. I keep playing devil’s advocate with myself to see both sides of the picture but I also can’t help but feel what I feel immediately as I’m reading, ya know?

Overall thoughts, this wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t something that WOWED me–it was just good. It was solid. Will I still read the next book? For sure!

Huge thanks to Bloomsbury YA and NetGalley for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!

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5 Comments

  1. Beware Of The Reader

    February 28, 2020 at 7:07 am

    Arielle honestly your review reminds me of my own for Everless. Not a bad book but I wanted something …more.

    • Arielle

      February 28, 2020 at 10:32 am

      Hmmm that’s good to know! I actually own that book so I know I’ll try it eventually but it’s going to be a bummer if it’s the same type of feeling for me!

  2. This was me in 2019. I found so few books that really grabbed me and I couldn’t stop talking about. A lot of 3, 3.5 and 4 stars. 2020 is working out better so far. If you haven’t read Malice by Pintip Dunn, give it a try!
    T.H. Hernandez recently posted…Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – WHERE WE BELONG by Shann McPhersonMy Profile

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