I received this book for free through Voracious Readers Only.
Eva starts having disturbing dreams about the forest of Evin, where children are being killed. Then her cat The Abyssinian takes her to be introduced to a giant panther, an ancient spirit protecting Evin, who tells her it's all real. For thousands of years evil spirits have tried and succeeded in murdering Eva's previous incarnations, to stop her discovering her destiny. Eva and The Abyssinian are connected to the panther and Evin. So far each time time she reborn has ended in her being killed when she was young, before discovering her true destiny. This time, she has to hope the outcome of her quest will be different.
Evin is a horror/fantasy novel. It has decent prose and the concept of the story is promising, but I couldn't get invested.
Neither of the main characters seem to have any motivation. Eva is immature and has no clue what she's doing or why. When a magic panther in a dream invites her to go on a quest that will almost certainly get her killed, she doesn't hesitate to go. Her friend Ge tags along, though again it is not clear why.
Most of the backstory is told in dreams and visions, which the characters take for truth without hesitation. Neither of them questions anything. The pacing is slow and the stakes remain unclear, so for a long time there is no sense of tension or purpose. Only in the last 20% of the book does the story pick up with a flurry of action, turning dark and gory in the process.
If I had to compare this to anything I'd say it's like The Chronicles of Narnia meets Lord of the Rings, but without most of the depth, rich backstory, interesting characters, allegories, humour, or sense of wonder.
(review of free book)