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Review: Fawkes (N. Brandes)

February 2, 2018

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this book. On one hand, I loved the premise and I enjoyed the last quarter or so of the book a lot. On the other hand, I really wasn’t a fan of the first three quarters of this book, and as a result it took me quite a while to get through it.


The novel follows Thomas Fawkes, a victim of the Stone Plague and son of the famous (or infamous) Guy Fawkes, as he struggles to find his place in a society that seems to want no part of him. Because not only has he already lost part of his face to the plague, but he is a Keeper as well, a group of magic-users who believe that each person should only be able to wield one color. The Igniters, who currently have a king on the throne, believe in the White Light, and that users of Magic should be able to wield all of the colors. Each blames the other group for the Stone Plague, which turns people to stone, eventually killing them. After Thomas is refused his color power due to lack of parental support, he goes searching for his father, only to be sucked into an assasination plot that could potential cure him and give him his color power... but it would come at the cost of the deaths of those important to the girl that he loves.


The premise of this book seemed amazing. When I saw it on NetGalley, I requested it right away. Assasination plot? Magic? Plague? Sign me up! The last quarter of the book was everything that I dreamed that this book would be. There was tension, drama, a dramatic reveal, and a part where things got all kinds of messy (in a good way). I really didn’t want to put the book down, even though that meant that I was probably going to be late for my class. I just wanted to figure out what would happen next, who would live, who would die, all of the works.


I also loved Emma. She was strong, independent, and all of the things that I love in a female character. She didn’t mince words, she was honest (brutally, sometimes), and she didn’t need anyone to protect her or treat her like she was some delicate china doll. I really can’t say much else about her character without spoiling anything, but I really liked her.


My issue with the first three quarters of the book is twofold. One, it took me a while to get into the storyline because it was a little slow for my tastes, and also a little disjointed and ordinary. The super unique twists on the story didn’t come until much later in the book, and it was really hard for me to push through the first part (which I really wasn’t a fan of) to reach the part where I really liked it. My second issue was Thomas himself. I really did not like him as a character, since he seemed to be a very selfish character. Everything he was doing was for his own benefit, and he seemed very entitled. It was hard to connect to him, and to become engrossed in the storyline, because of this.


I really did like the last part of this book, since it was really engrossing and interesting. The first part just made it hard to get to the point where I felt like I was into the book, and didn’t want to put it down. 


2/5 Stars


Disclaimer: I received an eARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This has not influenced my view, review, or opinions of the book.

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