“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”
Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere, He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.
Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.
You know when you’re on Goodreads and you see a friend add a book to their shelves that you’ve never heard of but just based on the title and book cover you want to know more? That’s how this started out for me. The cover drew my eye for sure, but it’s the title that made me want to know more. See, I’m familiar with something else that’s also titled Haven, a TV show previously on SyFy which I LOVED, but I knew that this would be nothing like that…..or would it? The synopsis sounded interesting and didn’t give much away so essentially I went into this blind all around and I love that because it turned out to be a pleasantly surprising read. I’ve read a lot of paranormal and sci-fi in my day but nothing quite like this one and after all of my recent reads it was quite refreshing. It had action, mystery, some steamy romance, and well developed characters. Not much bothered me about this which means that I can give this book a well deserved 4 star rating.
There may or may not be spoilers so let’s turn on the SPOILER ALERT just in case.
- As I constantly say, what truly makes a book good is the writing. I thought the writing here was really good. I think what I liked most about the writing was the fact that while it was in Rain’s POV, it was all done in third person and, in my opinion, that’s hard to come by in YA these days. I’m not saying that every single YA author writes in first person but I am saying that of what I’ve read this year, a good 85% of the books are done in that narrative. It’s neither a good or bad thing but sometimes I feel like third person allows for “better writing.” Here’s an example: in Leigh Bardugo’s The Grisha Trilogy she writes in first person, but in Six of Crows she writes in third person and everyone will tell you that her writing is better in the latter. Sometimes in first person, I feel like you can really get lost in the character and trying to connect with them and often find yourself personalizing the narration and pretending that it’s actually you as the character, or at least I do. But with third person you can be more of a third party observer but still have a feel for the character. Does that make sense? But the bottom line is that I like how the narrative was third person and I felt like it made the writing a lot better. I also thought it was interesting that it was all in Rain’s POV rather than splitting between him and Freddie and while I’d usually complain about this, I’m not. I liked how you as the reader were unraveling the plot as Rain was and I think Freddie’s voice would’ve created too much confusion and even some predictability. Only having one POV kept the mystery alive here and I liked it.
- The tagline makes this book out to be somewhat of a Beauty and the Beast retelling but I just want to assure everyone that it’s not, but it is about beasts of a certain kind. Rain likes to call them Moon Creatures, which I think is cute, and I can honestly say I’ve never read a book dealing with this kind of paranormal/supernatural creature before. I mean yes, there was Wolf in The Lunar Chronicles, but there was so much more going on in that series than just him and what he was. It kind of reminded me of Teen Wolf but only to the degree that werewolves were involved. Plus, there weren’t any hunters or kanimas or darachs of any kind here. There were witches, which I thought was super interesting, and I thought that having a story about werewolves and witches was really inventive and intriguing. Vampires aren’t my cup of tea but witches and werewolves are so I liked how they were mashed together in this one story. And I know I said that this book probably wouldn’t be like the Haven that I know but on some level, it kind of is. A small town with supernatural secrets that would be dangerous if they were found out? Kinda sounds like my Haven to me. Though they never dealt with werewolves before so point to Freddie Burkhart.
- By far, my favourite thing about this book was the characters. It’s ultimately what drew me to reading this book in the first place, namely Rain and his bad boy description. You can’t blame me for knowing what I want, ok? But god, his character was fantastic. I love that he has like this big and tough exterior and he knows how to handle himself in a fight but deep down, he has such a big heart. He cares so much about keeping those he loves safe and there is so much unbelievably strength within him. He’s defensive, protective, smart and intuitive, and he’s also hot as hell. As far as bad boys go, he’s perfect. And he’s not that kind of bad boy that’s an asshole to others just because he can be. He’s definitely guarded when meeting other people but he’s nice to those who deserve his kindness, like Petra for example. I love him, ok? When it comes to Freddie’s character, I loved how badass she was. She was a bit like Rain, with that rough exterior and intimidating presence, but I think she had more of a hot streak and a temper. She seemed like the kind of character that’s in charge and others would turn to for reassurance, and when you later learn why everyone looks to her, her entire character makes so much more sense. But she’s also unbelievably protective of her family and especially Rain and it’s probably what I loved most about her. I liked how the case with these two wasn’t that typical “bad boy and good girl” (which I love, don’t get me wrong) and I don’t think this story would’ve worked if that was the case, either. They’re both the kind of characters that are good on their own but great together. They’re for sure an alpha couple. *hint hint nudge nudge*
- While a lot of this book focuses on family and packs, one thing I noticed a lot is the idea of “how you want to be seen.” Rain sometimes uses this as a defence mechanism to protect himself while Freddie uses it to blend in, I suppose. But with Petra’s character it’s more connected to how she feels about herself. A lot of people don’t like her because she’s a freak and has these large eyes and can see things because of her gift. Her family hides her from other people and most people don’t like being around her. But when Rain asks her how she wants to be seen, she answers with “as something other than a freak”, and this conversation really stuck with me. It’s more than seeing Petra as a Sealer or Freddie as a wolf or even Rain as a junkie’s son; it’s about who they are beyond that. People see what you want them to see but if you show them more, they’ll see more. That’s the biggest thing I took away from this book and I love it.
- I’m glad this is a standalone because I don’t think this story needs to be more than what it already is.
- While overall I loved the romance between Rain and Freddie, a teeny tiny part of me couldn’t help but feel like it happened slightly too fast. The timeline is definitely a month so that’s why I can confidently like the relationship, but I think that initial interest was a little more intense than I wanted it to be. But, like I said, I’m not too pressed about this because I really enjoyed them together and they had some pretty hot scenes together.
- I think my only complaint about the writing is that it wasn’t overly descriptive when it came to characters. It’s interesting, actually, because majority of the time we complain that authors are overly descriptive with their characters, like from their eye colour down to the size of their big toe. I think Freddie, Grant, and Petra were all described fine but with Rain, I could never figure out what he looked like. But on the other hand this isn’t a terrible thing because the ambiguity allows you to picture them however you want, whatever colour you want. So I’m mad, but I’m not mad, which is evidently a common theme in my bad points.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- Whether you go into this book for a yummy bad boy or a thrilling supernatural plot, you shouldn’t be disappointed. With good writing and great characters, you’ll be completely enthralled by the mystery that this book has to offer. Kinda wish this book came out before Halloween because it would’ve been a perfect read for it.
BONUS: how this book made me feel in a GIF
ABOUT THE BOOK
Author: Mary Lindsey
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Pages: 371 (Hardcover)
Until next time,
What did you think of the book? Leave a comment below!