(Cover picture courtesy of Michelle Zink’s website.)
An ancient prophecy divides two sisters—one good…one evil…Who will prevail?
Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, they find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents’ deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets.
Lia and Alice don’t know whom they can trust. They just know they can’t trust each other.
This book had everything possible going for it: an unique premise, mystery, decent enough world building…I should have loved it. But “should have” does not mean “did”.
I just could not connect with any of the characters, especially Lia. Lia is someone I should have connected with not only because the book is written in first person, but because Michelle Zink has made her a consistent, normally likable sort of character. But I just could not connect to her on an emotional level. I did not really feel her grief at her father’s death, her burning curiosity to learn more about the mysterious mark on her arm, her happiness with her friends…it just didn’t ring true. It felt like it was superficial, shallow, that something was missing. I don’t know if this was just me or it was the very pared down writing style, but I could not connect with Lia and since the book is in first person POV, that tends to make it more difficult to like.
Aside from the lack of emotion in Michelle Zink’s writing I was quite impressed with her world-building and the premise of the book. Prophecies are kind of old, but I love how she adds her own twist to it by making not everything as it seems. The idea that Satan (or Samael as he’s called in this book) wants to return to Earth to unleash the 7 plagues signalling the end of time is not all that new, but the way Zink handled it was. The Spiritual Plane, the different levels of the spirit world, the ‘keys’ to the prophecy being actual people…it was all very fascinating. Sure, I would have appreciated more information in the beginning rather than having massive info-dumps and needless exposition in dialogue, but you can’t have everything.
The plot was fast-paced to the point of being rushed in some places, but it did have lots of twists and turns to keep the reader interested. The cliffhanger at the end is great, but I don’t know if I really want to continue the series yet. But who knows?
I give this book 3/5 stars.