Thursday, July 24, 2014

Review: Thorn Jack

Title:  Thorn Jack
Series:  Night and Nothing #1
Author:  Katherine Harbour (Website | Twitter)
Age Group:  Young Adult
Publication Date:  June 24, 2014 by Harper Voyager
Source:  Gifted.  Thanks, Mom!
They call us things with teeth. These words from Lily Rose Sullivan the night of her death haunts her seventeen-year-old sister, Finn, who has moved with her widowed father to his hometown of Fair Hollow, New York. After befriending a boy named Christie Hart and his best friend, Sylvie Whitethorn, Finn is invited to a lakeside party where she encounters the alluring Jack Fata, a member of the town's mysterious Fata family. Despite Jack's air of danger and his clever words, Finn learns they have things in common.
One day, while unpacking, Finn finds her sister's journal, scrawled with descriptions of creatures that bear a sinister resemblance to Jack's family. Finn dismisses these stories as fiction, but Jack's family has a secret—the Fatas are the children of nothing and night, nomadic beings who have been preying on humanity for centuries—and Jack fears that his friendship with Finn has drawn the attention of the most dangerous members of his family—Reiko Fata and vicious Caliban, otherwise known as the white snake and the crooked dog.
Plagued with nightmares about her sister, Finn attempts to discover what happened to Lily Rose and begins to suspect that the Fatas are somehow tied to Lily Rose's untimely death. Drawn to Jack, determined to solve the mystery of her sister's suicide, Finn must navigate a dangerous world where nothing is as it seems.
Find Thorn Jack online

My Review:  I've been looking forward to this book for so long!  I absolutely fell in love with the cover and the blurb - it sounds exactly like something I would enjoy.  However, this book didn't live up to my expectations.  The fact that it was a debut novel was glaringly obvious with some of the mistakes made throughout.  Despite this, the story was extremely creative and the concept and execution were unique and thrilling.  Katherine Harbour is full of potential and I'm excited to see how her writing develops in future novels.  

Finn was a character that I liked but I never fell in love with.  She was unique and interesting but she made some terrible decisions and did a couple stupid things that just made me want to scream at the book.  Honestly, she knew how dangerous a situation she was getting herself into and she just jumped in anyways.  Her heart always seemed to be in the right place and she would make a smart choice but then go back on it a chapter later.  And then we had Jack.  Jack intrigued me.  He was a mystery I just wanted to figure out.  And, of course, he was attractive and dangerous and thrilling.  You know, all that good stuff.  But I honestly didn't understand what made him like her so much or vice versa.  They were just suddenly all up on each other.  Also, I really didn't like Finn's friends.  I felt that they were hinderances more often than not and became liabilities in these situations.   

One of the most frustrating things in this novel - the thing that really brought the rating down - was the fact that nothing was ever explained.  Seriously, nothing.  There was this huge mystery building up throughout the entire book and it was driving me crazy trying to figure out what was going on and I never really found out what was happening.  All these clues would be dropped and Finn would finally realize what was happening and then it would just drop.  It was never explained to the reader and it just...I just... 

I'm not sure if I just didn't understand what I was reading or something but I wanted everything laid out and explained.  None of this ambiguous stuff.  No, stop it.  Just tell me what is going on.  

Despite all this, there was still parts that I absolutely loved.  The atmosphere was so creepy and gothic.  It was so much fun jumping into this world.  The concept what I figured out about it, anyway was unique and drew me in.  It was like a dream while reading.  

Thorn Jack is a book that had a lot of wonderful aspects but they were brought down by things that just frustrated me to no end.  Katherine Harbour is an author full of potential.  I'm looking forward to what she comes up with next and seeing how she improves.  

"He kissed the girls and stole their breath
Kissed them 'till there was nothing left.
Now they are lilies, white of skin,
sown by the lips of the prince of sin"

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