It all started when I saw that cover in my email. I immediately stopped to take a closer look. Then I read the blurb. I was so there. Bi-racial nerdy chemist? Fuck yes! Science + Fae magic? Awesome!
The fact it’s New Adult with Elena in college and assuming she’d deal with contemporary problems was a sweet bonus. The romance aspect for me is hardly ever a big draw, but I figured as long as it didn’t get in the way, it’d be all good.
So close. And it wasn’t entirely because of the romance.
Some of it’s the fact I don’t like angels. Some of it’s specific to Fates Divided.
Find out what exactly below and why I’m still continuing the series.
Fates Divided (Halven Rising #1)
by Jules Barnard
Genre: YA Paranormal
Release Date: August 31st 2015
Summary from Goodreads:
Elena Rosales has busted her ass to get into a good college. She’s the only one in her family ever to attend, and expectations are high. No pressure. But Elena’s got this one in the bag, because she’s as dependable as the molecules she studies, as reliable as the chemical reactions that comfort her in their predictability. Until they don’t.
Elena has always wondered why her mother abandoned her on her first birthday. It’s not until she turns eighteen and her chemistry experiments go berserk that she learns the truth: Her mother wasn’t human, and the Fae are willing to harm those Elena loves if she doesn’t use her power over the elements to cure them of a deadly disease.
Derek, Elena’s brooding neighbor, isn’t the friendliest guy, but he has access to an off-hours lab and is willing to help Elena create the antivirus. He has his own secrets to keep, and this business Elena is mixed up in could blow his cover. But when Elena and Derek get together, more than chemicals spark fire—and they soon discover just how complicated attraction can get when they find themselves on the other side of the portal, fighting for survival. Lives collide, and allegiance and love are tested, in Fates Divided.
----- In the Halven Rising Series, love and ancient allegiances are threatened when the worlds of Fae and Halven collide. Each Halven Rising novel features a different couple and may be read as a standalone, but an overreaching story arc connects the books, so it’s fun to read them in order.
|The Good||The Bad & The Other|
|+well written||-Plot hole|
|+invested in the characters||-Ugh angels=blonde & white again|
|+intriguing world building||-Don’t like angels, hate their mythology|
|+thrilling action||-heteronormative gender norms, stereotypes & slut shaming|
|+cover love||-special snowflake virgin protag|
|+unique twist on Fae||-tiring repetition (shut up about falling in love with her & her beauty & his muscles already.)|
|+liked how it handled science & magic|
|+Enjoyed the journey|
|+will continue the series|
Fates Divided starts with Elena freaking out over something unexplained and unscientific happening in the lab and her flurry to figure it out. I was immediately hooked.
Her roommate Reese seemed cool and I liked their relationship. Soon after, we meet Derek the aforementioned broody neighbor. He’s mega-hot, standoffish and there’s an immediate reaction from Elena.
Par for the course, and I was rolling right along. The first minor blimp for me was the incident during their first meet. Elena accidently brushed her boob on his arm. And it was painfully obvious and awkward. Like I almost wanted to stop reading. Elena’s attitude of “well, it’s not the first time these jugs have got me in trouble” didn’t help.
Thankfully, we get back to what’s really important in the lab quickly. Then Dereck’s POV comes into play. His perspective was important to have, it wouldn't have worked without him.
Their romance is everything you expect from New Adult. Amazing perfect sex between two ridiculously attractive people, one being a special snowflake virgin while the other has more experience. Take a guess who is which.
Their relationship goes push and pull for a bit and rockets off into soul-mated instalove.
At least it’s important to the plot for reasons I cannot reveal. But safe to say if you love star-crossed lovers, you’ll love it. Me? Not so much, but it wasn’t terribly bad. Besides Dereck going creepy stalker, alpha protector bro.
Worse though was the heteronormative gender roles, stereotypes, and slut shaming. Basically, whenever their crew would talk relationships, it pissed me. Ugh. If you can’t tolerate this nonsense, feel free to skip it. Don’t become enamored with another problematic as hell fav like me.
Sadly, that’s not the biggest socially conscious critique that can be made.
First let me say this take on Fae with Angel origins is pretty clever and original. And my grips aren’t just that I do not like angels, their mythology, and the way authors use them but avoid questions/consequences while making Christian assumptions.
No. See, these angels are the Nordic type: big, tall, and blonde with blue eyes. They are, of course, racist against half-breeds like Elena. Elena’s Mexican heritage is used to highlight the very obvious parallels, themes, and overall message of “Let’s all love one another, kumbaya.”
It feels heavy-handed and I did not appreciate being beat over the head with this very goddamn obvious fact. It became so irritating, I felt like Elena’s race was a tool for this. If you’re looking for subtly and finesse, this is not where it’s at.
So why in the hell am I continuing?
I became invested in the characters and their relationships. I want to see more of the Fae realm. I want to see Reese and Keen get it together. I keep wondering days later what’s going to happen to them and the realm. I want the little details and the big picture.
I’m hooked. I can’t really explain why. I just am. The writing and plotting are damn good to make this happen. And while I’m not a fan of how angels screw everything up, it is an original paranormal I won’t soon forget.
In fact, I’ve signed up for the tour to review the second novel, Fates Entwined that follows Reese and Keen because I need to know how this goes so damn badly.
Join me in the “omg I enjoyed it but whyyyy do this” corner so maybe we can figure it out together or avoid the torture chamber.
You can preview the first five chapters on Amazon and see just what hooked me and kept me going.
When all is said and all is done, despite my beliefs, I enjoyed this one. (Sorry, Hamilton is all I listen to now and I couldn’t help it.)
About the Author
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A RITA-nominated author, Jules Barnard began her publishing career in 2014 with Deep Blue, the first book in the contemporary Blue Series, hitting bestseller lists on Amazon, iBooks, and All Romance. In 2015, she launched Fates Divided, the first of a romantic fantasy series Library Journal calls “...an exciting new fantasy adventure.” Whether she’s writing about beautiful Lake Tahoe, or a Fae world embedded in a college campus, Jules spins suspenseful stories filled with realistic characters who have heart and humor.
When Jules isn’t in her sweatpants writing and rewarding herself with chocolate, she spends her time with her husband and two children in their small hometown on the California coast. She credits herself with the ability to read while running on the treadmill or burning dinner. Join Jules's Facebook Fan Group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/66563...
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