Havenfall (Havenfall, #1)

by Sara Holland

3.38 of 5 stars 8 ratings • 3 reviews • 49 shelved
Book cover for Havenfall

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Havenfall (Havenfall, #1)

by Sara Holland

3.38 of 5 stars 8 ratings • 3 reviews • 49 shelved
From the New York Times bestselling author of Everless comes a thrilling contemporary fantasy series about the safe haven between worlds - and the girl sworn to protect it.

'Sara Holland is a fierce storyteller' STEPHANIE GARBER

Maddie loves spending summers at her uncle's Inn at Havenfall. But the Inn is much more than a Maddie's safe haven, and life in Havenfall isn't without its secrets. Beneath the beautiful, sprawling manor in Colorado lie hidden gateways to other worlds, some long-sealed by ancient magic.

When a body is found on the grounds, the volatile peace brokered between these worlds is irrevocably compromised. What's worse is that Maddie's friend Brekken stands accused of the murder. With everything she loves at stake, Maddie must confront shocking truths about the dangers lurking beneath Havenfall - and discover who she really is.

This sweeping new series, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Melissa Albert and Holly Black, is sure to enthral readers old and new.
  • ISBN10 1547603798
  • ISBN13 9781547603794
  • Publish Date 3 March 2020
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Imprint Bloomsbury YA
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 320
  • Language English


Avatar for brittybuhh

Brittany 3 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed the last 40% of this but struggled through all of the rest. I have high hopes for the next book though now that everything is more established and I’m ~hoping~ there will be better character connections made in the coming book.

Avatar for adecker

Austine (NovelKnight)
Check out the original review and more on NovelKnight!

This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

As the first book by Sara Holland that I've tried... Havenfall wasn't a promising start. It reminded me a lot of the YA fantasies I used to love in middle/high school but what worked over a decade ago doesn't work now and the book fell entirely flat.

I think the book tried to be a mystery but ended up failing because the protagonist, Maddie, isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. She spent more time waffling about what to do and lamenting about her lack of preparedness while also wanting the very role she ends up in that I couldn't take the internal monologues anymore. Maddie makes so many bad decisions and maybe that's resembling of the teen experience so it will appeal to the intended audience? But I don't know because I've read a number of pretty amazing YA fantasies that manage to make bad decisions work without their characters coming off as a one-note brain cell. This just wasn't one of them.

Which I realize sounds harsh and may not be entirely reflective of my feelings about Havenfall because... I don't really feel anything. I started it and the story moved quickly. It's a fast read, I'll give it that. But I never gained enough of a sense of the setting to really imagine anything. The characters were all pretty flat. And the dialogue was everywhere and a bit of a mess. I grew bored with the plot and... that's it. After a while I finally just decided to let it go and move on. 

It's a shame because Havenfall has such an interesting premise and all the pieces are there, but the execution just struggled along from start to finish. I even made it farther than I expected, hitting the 68% mark before calling it quits (usually I just finish the book at that point).

Here's hoping her other books are better, I was planning on reading them but this one makes me hesitant.

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