When her Aunt Ruth is kidnapped and taken to a hidden world called Everly, all of Madison’s plans are put on hold. Guided by a mysterious stranger, Madison and her best friend follow Aunt Ruth’s kidnappers through a portal into Everly. Traveling through fairy lit caverns and towering oak tree forests Madison quickly realizes that behind Everly’s beauty is a world of magic, violence, and shocking truths about her family.
There, armed only with an enchanted sword and a sharp tongue, she battles her way past deceptive witches and bounty hunters to attempt a dangerous rescue that changes both her and Everly’s future forever.
This is a typical Young Adult Fantasy - a girl on the cusp of adulthood who finds she has an otherworldly home and lineage that makes her hero to some and danger to others. That said I liked Madison - she's snarky and a little awkward that makes her very relatable as a character. Her relationship with her best friend is by far the most amusing part of the book causing me to laugh out loud several times. You also have a future love interest in Ren - who is just as awkward as Madison so it could be a long wait for that to kick off.
I didn't understand the need for Jason (Madison's best friend) to be gay. As a writer myself, it feels as if it was done solely to make it clear to the reader there is no chance for the stereotypical falling in love with your best friend. Now I have no problem with gay characters in young adult stories - but this was a little like having a token black guy in a film. I will take this back if future volumes sees this aspect explored more.
Other things that bothered me are that I was left with more questions about Lacy's parentage than Madison's and there was a time junp, that when I did the maths left me very confused and viewing certain characters in a new light.
However, it has a good pace, with lots of action. It was a little light to start with but got a tad darker towards the end which I liked. I don't like fantasy that is wishy washy with clear heroes, villains and unicorns running around farting rainbows. Its the sort of book I recommend one reads for themselves though. Its a bit like Twilight, you'll probably either love it or hate but do form your own opinion.
I give it