Some great ideas that stumble in execution

Halayda (Star-Fae Trilogy, #1) - Sarah Delena White

Disclaimer: I'm reviewing an uncorrected proof via NetGalley, so it's possible the final draft changed some of the issues. Also, I made it about 10% before throwing in the towel.

Basically, something's gone wrong with the worldbuilding on this one. It kind of seemed like a second in series or spin-off series, where lots of people and places are being referenced as if to remind you of who/what/why? But I checked Goodreads, and this is a debut book, so I think the author was trying to do too much worldbuilding and it came at the cost of story and characters.


OTOH, maybe the problem was with where the story started. I think the author could have backed up a few scenes and let us get to know the characters and their stakes before diving into chaos and it would have given her space to spin out the worldbuilding in a more natural manner. Instead, there's just a string of extended info-dumps with a lot of running around in between and . . . I wanted to care, I really did.


I liked the striking cover design. I liked that there was obviously a big, fully-realized world with rules and tensely-navigated interactions between fae and humans and magic/alchemy-users, and . . . I mean, there's royalty, there's orphans with powers a la X-Men, there's lady alchemists and shady politics and freakin' faerie wings and that's all great, except in practice it just felt really dry. So, pass. Maybe a strong developmental editor could turn this around, but my tbr is too big to keep wading through all the words to find the story.