Tuesday 17 September 2019

Book Review: Clouded by Envy (Laith #1) by Candace Robinson (YA/Fantasy)

Title: Clouded by Envy (Laith #1)
Author: Candace Robinson
The Parliament House

Publication Date: 19 February 2019
eBook - EPUB
ARC via NetGalley


Brenik has always been envious of his twin sister, Bray. Growing up as fairy-like creatures, known as bats, everything came easier to Bray. While Brenik spent his time in her shadows, never feeling he was enough. After escaping their world of Laith, and living on Earth for ten years, Brenik attempts to strike a deal with the Stone of Desire to become human. Though true humanity is not an option, he will accept the curse that will alter him to get as close as he can.

Living in a tree trunk for the past year hasn’t been easy for Bray, more so after her brother disappears again. When a human boy and his brother, Wes, find her, a new friendship is struck. Through Wes, Bray learns there can be more to life than waiting within a tree. But worrying over where Brenik has vanished to always remains in the back of her mind.

When Bray reunites with Brenik, she realizes she must help him break the curse after she discovers the need for blood is beginning to overpower him. The curse not only damages those who get close to Brenik, but it could also destroy whatever is blooming between Bray and Wes.

Clouded by Envy is a difficult book to rate as it had both positives and negatives. On the plus side, the concept is certainly original, and the Dorian Gray connotations had potential. Unfortunately, the execution wasn't quite up to scratch. The world building was rather shallow; I wanted to understand a lot more about Laith and its creatures, and their abilities. I found it hard to connect to the characters, especially the humans who seemed to accept Bray without much difficulty after a first initial fright. The work also struggled to decide what it wanted to be. It read like a middle-grade fairy tale at first, only to veer suddenly into YA territory with more sexual content. The cover bugs me too. It's gorgeous, but I don't see how it represents the story. At no point did Bray turn into a tree that I can recall. Finally, I was a concerned about the issues with the prose. This is a published work, not a mid-edits ARC, but I spotted multiple instances of incorrect word use, incorrect punctuation and incorrect verb tenses, all of which pulled me out of the story. In conclusion, I am giving this three stars. The story had potential and was new and interesting, but it wasn't as well executed as it could have been.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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