My To-Be Read List is a meme hosted by Because Reading is Better Than Real Life where at the beginning of the month visitors can choose which book I’ll be reading this month. On the first saturday of a month the poll will be up, then on the second saturday of the month I’ll announce the book that won and on the last saturday of the month I’ll post my review of the book.
Yes I know Lady of Souls actually got the most votes this month, but I already started this one and finished it and then I didn’t finish Lady of Souls in time, so I decided to post this review today instead.
Freya Holm is smart, quick-witted, and an Alva—a paranormal species with the ability to fly. In a bid for a normal life outside of family expectations, she moved across the country. But within a few days of arriving in a small California town, she finds herself fighting over the last bag of lentils with an attractive but ill-tempered werewolf named David.
David Waterstone is desperate for normal, too. Recently banished from his pack, he finds himself struggling to stay sane. The presence of another supernatural power in his new town, especially one as inquisitive and lively as Freya, makes his struggle even harder.
When their new city gets besieged by an insane supernatural with a passion for Dante’s Inferno, Freya’s family sends in one of her old schoolmates. Alrik Isaksson has long been in love with Freya, but she can’t see beyond their hurtful history. Despite the tension, David, Alrik, and Freya must work together and use their intellect, supernatural powers, and sense of humor to survive the layers of Hell being created in their town by a maniac with a passion for literature.
I received a copy in exchange for an honest review
Freya’s Inferno was a fun and enjoyable read. The reasons why I decided I had to read it? The lentil encounter mentioned in the blurb. Lucky for me the book actually started with that scene and it was a great starting scene. Freya’s Inferno is filled with dry humor and fun plot and quirky characters. And while I enjoyed it, I just never felt fully connected to it. Like there was something missing, but there isn’t any flaw in the story I can really point out as the cause. When I was reading I enjoyed the book,but I had no trouble putting it down and once I put the book down i didn’t think of it or was in a hurry to get back. It just kinda left me indifferent when I wasn’t reading, which is weird as like I said I can’t really point out any flaws in the story.
The pace was a bit slow, but it never got boring. Beside the supernatural storyline we also get a feel of Freya her daily life and teacher job. I liked to see the supernatural and daily life side next to each other and it’s one of the reasons I love urban fantasy as it has both. The author certainly managed to combine these two nicely. Then there is the writing style, while the story flowed well, there were some points where I felt like the writing was just a tiny bit off or like the author still has to mature her writing style a bit.
The story focusses on a supernatural who turns crazy and is throwing the layers of hell from Dante’s Inferno at the town. I won’t say anymore as not to spoil anything, but it all makes sense why that town and how it happens in the book. I haven’t read Dante’s Infenro, but again I didn’t feel like I missed anything as everything you need to know about it is explained in the story. Then there is a side plot about David his old werewolf pack, but that’s more of a subplot. There’s enough going on and problems to focus on. The ending felt a bit anti climactic to me, everything got solved and the werewolf issue was solved a bit too easily and there was a weird thing with the mental powers which was just weird. Then the lose plot ends are tied up and then in the middle of the scene the book ends.
The characters are well done, although again here was my issue that I never really connected with them. Freya the main character is a down to earth character, who has a dry sense of humor and can crack at a joke in any situation. I liked her and she was a great main character. I just wanted to connect more emotionally with her, she goes through a lot and while we are told she does feel things, I never really felt it. I like how Freya goes out to help other people and while this means she lands in dangerous situations she does try to be careful. Then there are the other characters who knowing this thinks she needs a body guard and ofcourse she tries to prove them wrong and then lands herself in trouble, while proving them right instead. That was a bit frustrating, although I did feel like she wasn’t intentionally seeking out the danger, like is mentioned at the end of the book she wants to help people and that often leads her into dangerous situations.
Beside Freya we have a nice casts of side characters, we get to know all of them a little bit, but I still felt like most characters stayed pretty flat. they were likeable, but I never really felt like I knew them or connected with them.
Then there is the romance, in the blurb it is hinted towards romance and a love triangle, but this is very mild. the focus is more on the story and the mystery and not on the romance. Freya meets David in this book and he shows his interest in her. Then Alrik comes to visit to help with the supernatural mess and he also expresses his interest in her. Freya doesn’t really seem to care about the two hot man throwing themselves after her and focusses on the problem at hand. On one hand I liked how Freya stayed focussed on the task at hand, but on the other hand I wanted to know how she felt and who she liked or not. And how she felt about both guys. David and Alrik basically have a pissing contest over a girl who doesn’t show she’s interested in either of them. There are a few kisses, but beside that, there isn’t much in the sense of the romance developing. It feels more like the pieces are set up in this book and it will develop more in the next books.
The world building is pretty original with the orginal types of supernaturals. Like the Alva, which Freya is, who can fly and have bat like wings. Then there are the Sun and Moon people, who are a really original type of supernatural where a couple is basically a real life Ying and Yang who balance each other, but can also literally give the other their strength and such. It was fascinating and I actually would love to read a book about a sun and moon people couple. I really liked these original types and there are hints of many different supernaturals out there. So that is one things I liked. On the other hand I felt like there wasn’t really much time to explain and explore how they all worked. half way though the book the mental powers of Alva are suddenly thrown at the reader and it seems very random which mental powers who has and it was just weird and didn’t make much sense to me. Then there is the werewolf “magic”, which was original and a little bit weird at the same time. And I would’ve liked a bit more focus or explanation about that all. Then there is a paranormal council, but again I would’ve liked a bit more information. I did really like the concept though, it’s a bit different from other books and I am curious to learn more about the supernaturals and the council in the next book.
To conclude: Freya’s Inferno was an enjoyable read. The story was filled with original supernatural types, quirky characters and dry humor. My main issue was that I didn’t really felt connected to the story, I never had that keep reading feel and once I put it down it was out of my mind. The pace was a bit slow in some places and the writing style was a bit off at times, but beside that there isn’t really anything I can point to as cause of that feeling. I also didn’t really care about the characters, even though I did like them. There is some set up for romance and a love triangle, but it only plays a small part in this book. And Freya rather focusses on the problem at hand as on the two males who want her attention. The World building was original, although I would’ve liked a bit more building at times, there is hinted at a lot and some mental powers that suddenly come from thin air halfway in the book and some parts just didn’t fully connect or made sense. All in all is Freya’s Inferno a fun start of the series and while I didn’t fully cared or connected with the story, I am interested enough to continue the series.