Hello, hello! It’s that time again, the last Wednesday of the month, which means it’s time for a book review. This month, I’ll be talking about Mareth Griffith’s Court of Twilight, which came out on October 17, 2017. First and foremost, I have to thank NetGalley and the publisher, Parvus Press, for sending me an ARC (advanced reader copy) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the actual review.
I really wanted to like Court of Twilight by Mareth Griffith. The basic premise is that fairies (or trows, as they’re called here) exist and once a year, the King who is chosen by lottery every April is killed by the Enemy the following March. Ivy Gallagher, a seemingly normal human being, is dragged into this drama simply because she answered an ad that seemed too good to be true on Craigslist for a flatmate. Sounds fun, right? And it is to a point, but I had far too many issues with the story, so it was often hard to enjoy.
For example, Ivy was portrayed as your average twenty year old, but a lot of the time, she had about as much brain power as a box of rocks. Especially when the secret of the trows was being revealed to her. Even though the guy kept telling her that humans had a tendency to ignore the unusual, she couldn’t pick up on the blatantly obvious weirdness going on around her. It was as if she was being willfully ignorant. And she couldn’t remember names that she had heard in the last day or so, even though they were odd and important. And when she finally remembered, it was like the biggest revelation ever. Aha! moments are great, but not everything needs to be one. Worst of all, she didn’t recognize her own mother whom she had lived with until she was twelve. I understand they hadn’t seen each other in seven years, but she had pictures hanging on the fridge and everything. How could she forget her mother? Ivy was just too stupid for me a lot of the time.
I wanted to blame all of her stupidity on the veil (the mechanism that keeps trows invisible to humans), but nothing in the book supported that hypothesis. It made things invisible to the naked eye, but the book didn’t say anything about it messing with people’s memories. Unfortunately, there’s a limit to how much I can buy into characters being idiots without a reasonable explanation.
Another thing that got to me was that throughout most of the book, Ivy had no love interest (which I was totally down for because not every book needs a romantic subplot), but at the end she suddenly has feelings for a trow she had spent the majority of the book wary of and occasionally downright hating. Like, when did the whole love thing happen? And why? At least take the effort to thread it throughout the book.
Aside from that, the writing is fairly ramble-y and there’s too much filler. I don’t really care about Ivy standing by the sink eating a pot of noodles unless I’m learning things while she’s doing it. But at the same time, I’d rather see her eat noodles than have the same thought discussed in her head for an entire page or more. I found myself constantly thinking “I understand that’s how she feels, now what’s she going to do about it?” for the first two thirds of the book. I’m impatient, I know. And when things finally started getting good and I wanted it to slow down, a couple of pages later, it was over.
Ultimately, it was left wide open with more unanswered questions than I’m usually comfortable with, so I’m kind of hoping for a sequel. Even with all my issues, the premise was interesting enough that I would give a second book a shot.
I’d rate it 2 out of 5 stars as it is. It had a lot of promise, and if a little more work had gone into it (on top of what I’m sure was already a ton of work), I think it could have been great.