This book has made me believe one thing to be absolutely true: I can no longer trust the reviews on this app.
Many of the reviews say these characters come to life, that the writing is beautiful. I’ve read a few that discuss the authors background and, when she writes about natural occurrences, the life science behind these occurrences, I do get a sense of science weaving into art and it is rather pretty to read. But the characters are cardboard. The dialogue is what makes it obvious that not only this a debut novel, but Delia Owens is not well versed in writing fiction. The dialogue is repetitive, filler content. Something along the lines of, “Kya gave the book back. Tate took the book. ‘Thanks for the book, Kya,’ he said.” Etc. I found this frustrating. Had Delia Owens had previous experience writing fiction, this novel would be a hundred pages shorter.
The plot was a little unrealistic, but I’ve never been in the 1960s and that’s why we read fiction, right? But the plot was also a little stale. The same love-triangle gone wrong story that we are used to from seeing Twilight, The Hunger Games, etc. only the supernatural has been taken out and the characters replaced with ones that don’t necessarily justify why they do what they do. A main character makes a big decision to not approach another main character about something that, up until this point, has been very important to both of them, simply because that character just “decides” to not approach with little justification, as if their mind has suddenly changed. This is prevalent throughout the novel.
This novel wasn’t terrible, and I believe Delia Owens can only get better at her fiction writing. But I will say, I have absolutely no idea how this book has gotten so much hype. If you’re looking for the next groundbreaking novel, with characters that speak like real people, and a plot that doesn’t make decisions simply for plot’s sake, look elsewhere.