[Review] Havenfall by Sara Holland


young adult | fantasy

A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.
Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.
For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.
But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .

This advanced copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange of an honest opinion.

I sat on this review for a few days because I was not sure about my feelings since what I liked is connected to what I found… lacking. WARNING: Slight spoiler ahead.

I enjoyed the book because of the plot, the pace was slow but the mystery was engaging and the list of suspects and theories cycled at a moderate speed. The style is fantastic, the descriptions of Havenfall, Lake Mirror and the delegates are great and imagining the ball makes me want to be Maddie just to get a glimpse of all that. I loved the characters and the diversity between them, I certainly want to know more about Greylin and Willow’s life in their own realms. I just want more worldbuilding but I hope we get more of that in the second book. The twist get more obvious the more you read, but it doesn’t make you enjoy it any less. It’s not revealed on the last ten pages and the end makes a great introduction for the following book.

I loved the plot, I loved the mystery. But…

But this is all because Maddie is so, so, SO NAIVE AND EASILY MANIPULATED. The villain is charming and reliable, and I understand that Maddie is dealing with a lot of pressure and lack of confidence through the book after being appointed the Innkeeper. But she decides to trust and rely on a character she JUST MET over the people she has known for years. This makes me facepalm so hard. Her beliefs are so easily swayed that it had me screaming out loud. Through the book she basically reacts to what is happening around her and she would have been helpless if she had been alone. I can’t help but feel that if she didn’t trust so easily then the mystery wouldn’t have developed as good as it did.

Maddie: I don’t trust my gut. I always trust the wrong person. My instincts are wrong.

Also Maddie, 5 seconds later: *trusts someone she just met*

Honestly? By the end of the book, I don’t really feel that she grows as a character, but I hope she grows a lot more in the second book.

I definitely want to read the second book because, like I said, the plot itself is pretty good. The twists revolving the characters were amazing and I want to know what happens with Taya, the Solarians, and the rest of the realms after everything is resolved.

If you wanna give it a chance, Havenfall will be released on March 3rd! You can preo-order or buy a copy on Amazon or Book Depository

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