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January 9, 2018

Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey

by MK French

Rain Ryland had moved around a lot or lived on the street with his mother until she died of a drug overdose. He then moved with his aunt Ruby, who he hadn't  known existed, and is in a stable lifestyle in New Wurzburg for the first time in years. Some of the people in the town behave oddly or reference weird things, but Rain is drawn to Friederike Burkhart. The more she and others warn him away from her, the more he wants to get to know her. Discovering some of her secrets does nothing more than make him even more determined to be part of her world and truly belong.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

Haven
November 2017; Entangled Teen
978-1633758834; ebook, print (400 pages)
fantasy, young adult
As tough as Rain comes across initially, there's that sense about him that he's very likable and dependable. It bears out, as it does with Freddie, even with the prickly demeanor she's introduced with. The teens all behave like teens initially, and even after the supernatural elements are introduced they're still very much in character. They want more responsibility but don't know what to do with it, exactly, and the problems are much bigger than they all expected it to be.

A lot of times, shapeshifter stories tend to fall into alpha/beta/omega power plays that really turn me off. This story does none of that. It introduces the concepts slowly, through little clues here and there until Rain gets it and confronts Freddie about the truth. There are pack dynamics, but this seems closer to actual wolf dynamics than artificial power plays that are little more than plot devices. The Watcher/Weaver dichotomy of magic and its roots in ancient history was fascinating for me, and I liked seeing how the truth developed as well as the romance between Rain and Freddie. The mystery surrounding Freddie and her family was also very well done, where just about every townie but Ruby was a suspect, and Rain didn't know who he could trust or what the truth was. We feel that tension right along with him, and it ends in a very fitting way.

Buy Haven at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever.

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