Hey all, Sam here.
I hope you are all having a lovely weekend. I’ve been working around the house, trying to do some more packing and cleaning, getting ready for our move in just a week. It’s a bit nerve-wracking. Our previous moves were simply across the street or across town, so it was easy, and we could manage it little by little, carload by carload. But we’re moving from Ohio to Iowa, so we have to pack up a moving truck and get it all done in one go. It’s a big deal.
Anyway, today I’m here with another review for a recent read, a book I read during our latest Hocking Hills cabin getaway. I’m going to miss having that option just a couple hours away, but hopefully we’ll be able to still reserve a cabin once a year or so and come back to visit.
Let’s go ahead and get started with the review.
When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.
Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.
Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long.
Rating: 4 stars
There was something nice about reading this book while holed up in a cabin in the middle of the Hocking Hills. Disconnected from the digital world and surrounded by nature, where I read this book really helped to heighten the reading experience for me. This was another book that I read rather quickly, in just a few hours. It was a nice time.
I didn’t feel as drawn in and compelled to keep reading with this second novel by Saft. I was pretty much obsessed with Saft’s first novel, but both books have a different vibe to them. The first book was a bit spooky, a bit mysterious. This one felt more pastoral, more rustic, and simpler. Not that it didn’t have its complexities. It just felt a bit simpler, a bit smaller in scale than the other book.
But I still really enjoyed it. Would I have liked to have delved deeper into the alchemical nature of the world, and learn more about the mechanics and steps of alchemy, but it was still interesting.
This book also dealt with bullying and in essence hate crimes. Both Margaret and Weston were from minority cultures within the world, although Margaret definitely had to deal with a lot more of the vile words and deeds than Wes did.
And this book was a romantic one, although I wouldn’t say that was the main focus. It happened slowly, with both characters growing closer while holding themselves apart and longing for most of the book. I do enjoy that extended longing and slow burn. It makes it more rewarding when the couple does finally get together.
Overall though, I liked this book, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Allison Saft writes next.
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