CW: sexism, parent ill and possibly dying, and general danger
My rating is a bit generous, I will admit. I think it was closer to a 3.5 than a true 4, but I really did have a lot of fun reading this. It’s not without its faults, I’ll be honest. Which, hopefully, I’ll be able to point out along the way of this review.
Rhen, our MC, has a sick mother and is following in her father’s footsteps with trying to find a cure for this disease that is affecting her mother and other people in the town. She lives in a very traditional world where women stay at home and host parties and look nice. Basically, not be smart and into science.
In this world, each year there’s a labyrinth that’s held by a mysterious Mr. Holm and is open to all boys of a certain age. The winner gets a free ride to a university and has a free education at university. Although, the invitation never quite rules women out. They just never join in.
Rhen is tired of the way things are and knows that if she can have that education, she can really do something. She wants to be more than a wife and mother and hostess. She wants to have something else in her life to look forward to. And with some boy from her past courting her, she knows for a fact that’s not what she wants.
I think what really drew me to this was that it took its time. The book didn’t rush things. It literally took half of the book to get to the labyrinth. And, honestly, I wasn’t mad about that. I liked that it was laid out. You could see the problematic, sexist society and the reasons why Rhen made her choice. You also got to know the characters before being thrust into this adventure.
I was a bit disappointed that the adventure went so fast. Literally, the time flew by and, before I knew it, there were forty pages left in the book and the action was over. I didn’t like that. I felt like the book could have been a bit longer because the ending felt abrupt and a bit rushed. This is a stand-alone, after all. (Another selling point for me!) While I liked the ending, it just felt as if it could have been more drawn out.
Then, there are the characters. I didn’t quite get drawn to them like I had hoped I would. Rhen was great, but she never quite felt fleshed out. I could understand her, but she just wasn’t fully there. Same with her friend, Seleni, and the boys that she was surrounded by. They fell flat for me, even though I was very interested in the action that was going on around them.
In the end, this was a solid book. I did really enjoy reading it. But it definitely had its issues that kept me from liking it more.
Have you read this? What did you think?
Is it on your TBR?