I really liked the story, and Sandrine was a very relatable main character - she sounded, to me, very much like your typical teenager.
I would love to read more from this author, though I did have to take off stars for:
- digressions - background information is good. but if it doesn't add to the story, it is simply confusing. there were several times where i had to go back and re-read sections to remember what was going on in the first place.
-description - the author has some lovely passages, almost poetic, but at times seemed to get lost in them. The first time I stumbled across that was the finding of the body, and, as it is mostly inside Sandrine's head, figured it made sense with the shock of finding a body, but it sadly didn't stop there.
I think that an experienced copy editor would make this a 5-star book, no problems.
So my only criticism of this book is that it was too short. I wanted more!
It starts with a sense of urgency, as Lia rushes to get to the village in time to turn in her family's quota, and that feeling lasts the entire novel. There are Watchers in the woods, creatures who will rip you to shreds, and they come out at night. Something is going on in the village, though Lia is to preoccupied by taking care of her family to pay much attention, until the Farthers come. The Farthers are people from another country, who expand their empire and use technology, the opposite of the village, where everyone contributes their share.
Lia was an interesting character, focused solely on her family and work, to the exclusion of everything else. She is one of those characters who puts everything behind a mask, hiding behind a tough persona. That isn't to say she isn't tough - she is - but she isn't as unfeeling and stoic as she portrays. Her brother and sister were fully fleshed characters, as well as Ann, Cole and Adam from the village, which was really great. Gabe, an injured Farther Lia and her family shelters and cares for, was pretty fascinating as well - it was easy to see why Lia is interested in him.
I really liked this book. I want more of this book. It has the dystopian feel to it without the hopelessness. I am seriously looking forward to reading the sequel.
I really enjoyed this! My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough!
Longford's interpretation of gargoyles and harpies was a new and interesting one. I didn't really know what to expect when I started it, and was surprised at how much of this particular gargoyle mythology we got, especially considering how short it was. Gargoyles in packs, being able to turn human when the sun hits them, being basically indestructible when in stone form, those are fairly expected, I think. But we also got quite a bit of info on how the pack actually works, who leads, how they make decisions, etc. It was anthropologically interesting.
MacKenzie was an interesting heroine. She is very matter-of-fact (to the point where she seems emotionally detached at times) and obviously tries to be a good person. Her relationship with Valor seemed very realistic (except becoming bonded so quickly - that was a little surprising).
There were a few times where the author falls into telling instead of showing, which was a little annoying as a reader, but for the most part, it didn't really bother me. I definitely want to read the next one. And hopefully, the series will extend to each of the gargoyles in the pack.