Olivia might look human, but she's grown up with a heavy secret: her mother is a potion-maker who fled her home in a parallel world, the Hidden Lands. When her mother is captured by the potions merchants she once made a bad deal, Olivia is left alone.
Alfred is the blind young heir to the illegal potions trade. When he offers to help, Olivia isn't sure if she can trust him, but she has no choice. She goes with him to the Hidden Lands, a new world given a familiar veneer by bootlegged American pop culture, but strange at every turn. Lifelike doll people are created for menial labor, illegal magic dealers pay off the police, and reincarnation is accepted as fact. Alfred soon finds himself putting his position on the line to defend Olivia's mother against his family's conniving plans. Maybe he has morals…or maybe he's just falling in love.
But rescuing Mom proves the least of Olivia's worries. When she escapes from an attack by a curiously familiar sorceress, she learns that Alfred's family wasn't the only thing Mom was hiding from. Olivia was born with only half of a soul, and she can only become whole by finding her other half—and killing her.
Unfortunately for Olivia, her other half can kill her too. And she's not holding back.
With interior illustrations and comics by the author!
This book was so fantastic! I'm so glad that I read it, it was so enjoyable, these characters, this world! And the illustrations and comics? Yeah, those added just that dash of humour to balance the more serious nature of the story!
So the Families, they were interesting. I know other readers will love Alfred like I do, but then his family, and the others, and even Alfred himself, do some pretty questionable moral things. Like tossing Olivia's mom in prison to convince her to work for them. Not nice!
I really enjoyed the depth of this world, of the three groups in the world, the history, and all the connections. It made for more things going on, and more twists and turns that were just so darned entertaining to read!
Oh, and the mix of technology and magic, of cultures, that George made a movie casting Alfred as Daredevil, yeah, that was fantastic! The old and the new, and how that translated to the world that Alfred grew up in, and Olivia always wanted to now, though it changed since her mom left!
What I would love to see explored in the second book, is the disappearing magic. Alfred encounters this-the well-trained potion makers are dying, and the current generation isn't so great. And he makes note that it's happening. Making me think that it's not localized to potion making, but to their magic in general, and I want to see that!
Yeah, this was a really incredible book, and I can't wait for the sequel! (I would also love to see the illustrations for the later half of the book :) )
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Series: The Hidden Lands #1
Read: February 19th, 2016
Source: Author for Review
Reason Why: Loved her other books, and it's a Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2016 Book!
Publisher: Catlord Press
Expected Publication: March 10th 2016