Indie Review: The Forever Girl by Rebecca Hamilton

TITLE: The Forever Girl: Sophia’s Journey
AUTHOR: Rebecca Hamilton
PAGES: 352
FORMAT: Kindle
ISBN: B00729GQ0A
BUY IT: Amazon
RATING: 4.5/5 [in the genre] or 7/10 [all books I’ve ever read].
FOR: Wiccans, or anyone who is even marginally interested in Wicca. Fans of The Vampire Diaries looking for something more grown-up. Anne Rice fans.

At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.

Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she'd settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous.

One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor's hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him.

Survival in his world, she learns, means not asking questions and staying out of the immortal council's way. It's a line she crossed long ago. If Sophia wants to survive the council and save the people she loves, she must accept who she is, perform dark magic, and fight to the death for her freedom.

The Basics: It’s not difficult to tell why this book has been blowing up the book blog world. Hamilton has an ear for pretty descriptions and a head for an exciting, twisty plot. Nothing is as it seems in the world of Sophia Parsons. Just when you think you understand the game, everything shifts. I really enjoyed the Sophia and Charles romance—very sweet and well done, and if you’re more of a romance fan than me, you’ll adore it even more! The supporting cast was a little sporadic, but all the characters felt fully realized. Even through a few draggy bits that could have been cut, I was fascinated by the fantasy world Hamilton has created. It’s a take on vampires like you’ve never seen before, plus a whole host of clever mythological hybrids that I couldn’t get enough of.

Plot (3/5): Most of the time, I was paging through quickly, excited for the next piece. The twists keep you guessing; this is anything but predictable! Especially during the first half and the last half. Only a few parts dragged. One, I thought the romance between Sophia and Charles got too intense too quickly. But other than that, I thought their progression was sweet and I really enjoyed them together. Also, I liked hearing Ivory’s story but it was just too long right in the middle of intense action. The ending could have been shorter too. I didn’t really need the slow denouement.

Concept (5/5): One of the most clever takes on vampires I’ve seen. Hamilton sets up a world of elementals that gels perfectly with the Wiccan backdrop and ties in lots of fun mythology. I thought her stories of the Universe and the creations of the elementals were brilliant! Original, very well thought-out, and they just had this atmosphere of magical-ness. Top notch.

Characters (5/5): I love Sophia. Even when she annoyed me, it was in an, “Oh, you silly girl” endearing way. She felt like a friend by the end. Charles is a nice break from Mr. Controlling. He had a few moments of being too domineering, but in the end, he let Sophia do her own thing and helped her grow. Some of the side characters didn’t get a lot of play time, but I still felt like I knew them quite well. Mrs. Franklin was an eerily fantastic addition.

Style (4/5): Hamilton’s writing is largely very pretty and very clear. I could imagine everything extremely well. She has a great sense of atmosphere, which is important in any book. Only, there were too many adjectives for my taste. I didn’t really need to know the exactly color or texture or brand of everything. I didn’t need everything to be stripped out, either. Sometimes, a very detailed description is a great accent. I just didn’t like so much of it.

Mechanics (5/5): A couple typos, but nothing that I noticed more than in passing. The book is very well formatted in general. Hamilton has a great sense of grammar, which always makes me smile. Yeah, I’m a grammar nazi. Deal with it.

Take Home Message: An exciting, fresh take on supernaturals with its own mythology. Must-read for any fans of the paranormal.

Note: I purchased this copy. The price of the book and its origin in no way affected my stated opinions.

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