I’m always leery about reading an unknown author; it’s like meeting a complete stranger at your favorite coffee shop, having a brief chat, then asking if they’d like to go out to dinner and maybe a movie; only to discover thirty minutes into the meal that its quiet possible, you’ve made major mistake.
The cover looked good; suggesting just the right amount of what the interior might hold as to make you want to look under the hood. Even the synopsis they gave you while standing in line as you both waited for breve’s, felt like it had potential. But when that crucial moment arrives that makes or breaks any book, your brain suddenly screams; OMG! What were you thinking?
Let’s be honest. We’ve all been there. At one point or another we’ve picked up a book simply because everything on the surface beckoned for us to trust what we saw, slap the money on the counter, and made it our own.
So how tall is your stack of disappointments? Mine? More than I’m going to admit to here.
Fortunately, that is not what happened with The Angel of Blythe Hall. Not only was I intrigued with the cover art (which in my not so humble opinion, is almost as important as the content; deceitful though the art work may be) and synopsis on the back, but it only took me a few paragraphs to realize I was in one of my favorite elements: historical Scotland, with lots of potential for magic, mystery, and bad guys.
I personally love openings where the author plops you down right in the middle of something, then spends the next three or four hundred pages unraveling the truth. From the moment you step into their reality, you are catapulted into a world far more vibrant than the one you currently occupy, and if they’er worth their salt, they’ll keep you at the edge of your seat …even when you think you’re done.
Hannah has managed to do all that, and more.
I love her use of POV, and that she doesn’t give her characters secrets away until the very last-minute (even then your fairly certain there’s more to be had). Like a surgeon, she brings her readers up underneath the characters skin, and lets them view the story from the heart, not just the mind; weaving the characters vulnerability and pain, into both a weapon and a savior.
In my estimate, the true mark of a really good author is; they always leave you wanting more, and I can’t wait until the next installment.
On my readers scale of 1-5, The Angel of Blythe Hall gets a 4.5.