Bennet Delivers a Hauntingly Good Tale
I absolutely devoured this book like a hungry Sin. I cut my teeth on the likes of Madeleine L’Engle and The Boy Who Lived. And I honestly think that MN Bennet might earn his spot along the greats of YA Fantasy. And he definitely has in my heart!
About the Book
Determined to pass junior year, Logan won’t let Henry distract him—much. Logan’s focusing on all things human, which means his swoony vampire ex-boyfriend will have to file his own fangs for a change. When he goes to the school bonfire and runs into Henry, wandering into the woods seems like a great escape. Until he’s bitten by a wicked Crone with some twisted magical munchies.
Logan is certain his ex-free human future is done when he’s dragged off to a scientific institution for study. There, he’s presented with an opportunity to keep his life, family, and future. All he has to do is stick to human ideology, since all things paranormal are illegal. But complications arise when the Crone begins to haunt him and Logan realizes that if he wants to get his life back, he has to navigate his lingering feelings for Henry.
With the Crone set on devouring him and the institution ready to obliterate him for any missteps, Logan must decide between pursuing the human future his family wants—one that he thought he wanted too—or the chance to embrace Henry, even if the world isn’t ready.
This book kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, and had everything I enjoy. Sweet, angsty romance – check. At least a hint of a love triangle – check. Strong social commentary – seemingly always a must for sci-fi and fantasy – check. An amazingly complex world, introduced without info dumps – check! In fact, he did so well at this last bit, I checked more than once to make sure there wasn’t a first book that I missed.
Bennet built a beautifully complex world for his characters. It’s a near dystopian, but also near real-life setting. If anyone has read or watched the “True Blood” series, it’s a similar setup. Supernatural creatures are “out” and the government and “normal” people are attempting to deal with this information. I enjoyed the lore development behind the supernatural creatures, as well as the complicated governmental systems put in place to deal with the new information. Honestly, especially in the United States where it’s set, it seems exactly how we would handle things. There’s a new kind of people, we better make a government branch to watch them.
Bennet explored some deep social issues with his story. Without revealing spoilers, he featured LGBTQIA characters, which is already a big political issue in our society and that was clear in the book. But instead of dealing head on with those issues in the book, Bennett added another layer and explored how we treat “different” in general in our society. Using the high school experience and a small town to highlight how we treat differences was a great choice. Both of them offer a small, microcosm experience perfect for brewing a “no differences allowed” environment. He explored the topic without beating us over the head with it and while still making a thoroughly enjoyable book, something I always appreciate.
Relationships and Characterization
When I read in the author’s bio that he is a high school teacher, it made sense because he brought that high school experience to life so well – including the intensity of those “first loves.” The main characters are LGBTQIA characters, and the relationship was intense and beautiful. Bennet developed each character so well that I felt like I knew them. I rooted for the main characters and relationships. The actions of two distinct characters in the story surprised me, which is a nice treat for me. I frequently figure out twists and turns early, so I especially enjoy when authors surprise me.
In the past, I would have avoided this book because it has some horror elements, but I’m glad I’ve been giving horror more of a chance. While the story is categorized more as a fantasy and paranormal romance, it is a little scary and might be too much for extremely sensitive readers. It had some graphic descriptions of various rotting monsters, which might disturb some people.
Note: I received a free ebook copy of this book for an honest review as part of Love Books Tours. It has in no way affected my comments here.
About the Author
MN Bennet loves reading and writing about magical worlds, sweet romances, and snarky characters. When not writing, buried in a stack of TBR books, or binge watching something captivating, he can be found working on lesson plans.
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