Monday, August 26, 2013

Review & Giveaway - The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Series: The Danaan Trilogy (Book #1)
Author: Laura Howard
Release Date: April 28, 2013
Pages: 197, eBook
Goodreads Rating: 3.79 stars
My Rating: 3/5 stars
My Content Rating: 16+ (One scene of a sexual nature)

Summary from Goodreads: Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

I really enjoyed The Forgotten Ones and thought that it was a great start to this series, but there were a few things that kept me from truly loving the book.  

The story follows Allison O'Malley who spends her life working hard to take care of her schizophrenic mother.  When her father suddenly reappears in her life, Allie finds out that he is no ordinary man - he is a Danaan, a fairy, and that he may hold the key to helping Allie's mother recover.  But, the question is, can Allie protect her mother long enough to help cure her?

The negatives:
  • Not enough fantasy.  The whole first half of this book really feels more like a contemporary romance than a paranormal novel.  I think that the book could have been a bit longer so that we could have spent more time in Tír na n’Óg (the fairy realm).  As it was, the part of the book that involved the Danaan (fairies) went by just a bit too quickly and I didn't feel like I got enough of them.
  • Too many Tuatha de Danaan characters.  Again, this might have been solved if we'd spent a bit more time in Tír na n’Óg, but there were so many characters names being thrown at us (all of which were unfamiliar Irish names) that it was hard to keep track of who was who.  I never felt like I really got to know any of these characters, so they all just sort of blended together for me.
  • The ending.  The ending of this book didn't really feel like an ending to me.  There was just not enough of a climax and I felt a bit let down when I was finished.  I found myself feeling like this could have been the first half (or maybe three-quarters?) of a really good book, but I just didn't think there was enough in this one book alone to truly grab my attention and the ending felt a little too abrupt.
What I loved:
  • Ethan and Allie.  I mentioned that the first half of the book felt a bit like a contemporary romance and I actually really enjoyed this part of the book.  Allie feels like she has to take care of her mother and she won't let anything get in the way of that responsibility.  She is sure that a relationship with Ethan will do nothing but distract her from her true goal.  I thought that Allie was a very relatable character and I truly felt for her because of her situation with her mother - she felt that she had to provide for her mother because she had somehow "caused" her mother's schizophrenia.  This is quite a burden for her to bear.  I really loved Ethan as well.  I thought that he was the perfect love interest - he's a bit cocky, but in a good way - he's not a jerk and you can tell that he really cares about Allie.  I liked the fact that the two had a history together - I could really feel that history and it kept the dreaded insta-love at bay.  I was definitely rooting for these two!
  • Allie's Family.  I really enjoyed the family dynamic between Allie and her grandparents.  I thought that the bond between them was really sweet and I loved how they banded together to take care of Allie's mom.  
  • Tír na n’Óg.  I thought that the fairy realm was really amazing with it's sentient plants and air that was sweet as honey.  My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen even more of it!
Overall, I enjoyed The Forgotten Ones and I will be very interested to read more about Tír na n’Óg.  I will definitely read the next book to see what happens with Allie and her friends and family!  3/5 stars.

***Disclosure: This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own***

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Laura.jpgLaura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.
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