Evening my lovely little bloggers, I am writing to you from my snugly nest on the sofa. See, I haven’t been very well recently, and I have taken this extra time as an excuse to go through the backlog of books that are nesting in my blogging email. If you are still waiting for a review to appear I promise it will, in time. I didn’t realise how demanding my job would be and how much time would be ‘cut’ from my reading budget so to speak. However, I have been rediscovering some gems in the depths of my email inbox so just keep waiting a little longer! Now, first thing to say about this review, is the cover is glorious. I love a good book cover and it really intrigued me and helped me get more involved in the book from the very first page; hope you enjoy the review!
Sometimes you find home, sometimes it comes looking for you. Callie knows a lot more about pain than she does about family. She’s never belonged, at least, not until she falls through a portal into her true home. The beautiful faerie city of Eirensae doesn’t come free. Callie must find her amulet and bind herself to the city, and most importantly, avoid the Fallen fae who seek her life. Seems like a small price to pay for the family she’s always wanted. Then she meets cynical and gorgeous Rowen, who reads the darkness of her past in her eyes. He becomes Callie’s part-time protector and full-time pain in the ass. He has secrets of his own for Callie to unravel. What they don’t know is that the future of Eirensae lies with them, and the once peaceful city is about to become a battleground for power.
The best way to describe this story is as a young adult urban fantasy moving between the mortal and the ‘fae’ world. Callie finds that she has hidden powers, and after falling through a pond (which is actually a portal) she finds herself in the fae city of Eirensae. Here is somewhere that she belongs, however, she finds that she is incredibly powerful and there are people that are desperate to use and abuse her power. Told from the differing perspectives of Callie and Rowen, we go on a fantastical journey to see whether the two can find themselves in this new and different world
Although the blurb, as above, sells it more as a love story it revolves around the theme of family whilst integrating romance as a sub-plot. I am honestly not a huge fantasy fan, but I found myself getting involved in the plot. Vanderkarr writes with such power and passion that you cannot help but be caught in the action and find yourself madly turning the pages. She also doesn’t give everything away so you find yourself needing to keep moving through the book to discover the mysteries that are written in by this skilled author; for example the fae choose instead of raising their own children to have them raised by the mortal and then when they come of age they are brought back. They must then find their amulet or be cast out once again. It’s a really interesting storyline, and by creating something so strong it allows the author to introduce a number of different characters helping to create an all consuming story. I don’t want to give too many secrets away as this book really deserves a read!
What I also really liked was how realistically written the main characters were; take Callie, the way she reacts to the situations she is placed in is incredibly well managed and you can imagine her making those decisions even though it is a fantasy story. I had a lot of sympathy for Callie throughout however she took a little time to grow and form as a fully-fledged character and I needed some time to get to love her but she really grows on you. Rowen is very different, he is sarcastic, mysterious, dark and brooding; I loved his character, and the mysteries in his back-story. Treated as an outsider I understood fully Rowen’s character and I thought the author showcased this brilliantly to expose the need to be accepted.
I only found a few issues with the book; firstly I love a well paced book, one that flows and moves quickly keeping the reader enthralled but at times I would have liked to see the plot pulled apart and examined more carefully. I know that the events that Callie is going through are destructive and fast moving but to slow the plot down would have helped to pull the reader in more fully. I also would have liked more of an insight into how the fae created the system and how they developed it in the first place. Although it doesn’t limit the story I would have enjoyed the insight!
For me Reflection Pond was a book that took me away from reality for several days and placed me into a new fantasy world. The characters were interesting and their back-stories were believable. Although the genre is fantasy based I didn’t find it too overwhelming and the author has created a beautiful mysterious ‘fae’ world. The city of Eirensae was so vividly written that I couldn’t help but be consumed by this book. The romance that builds between Rowen and Callie is vivid and exciting and I like the way the story unfolded between them. The ending was created only to build up to the second book, which didn’t give closure, but I cannot wait to see what comes next!