Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my review in any way and the thoughts expressed are my own.
I’d seen this series around and excited to get the opportunity to read this. I was expecting a more scifi style time-travelling adventure and was happily surprised to find a unique realm hopping adventure with entertaining characters. Everly, a girl kept alive by a clockwork heart, must retrieve her magic sword from the man that murdered her family. To catch him, she and her friends must travel to The Land Under The Waves, a realm full of castaways and enchanting sirens.
I had to infer a lot from the characters’ interactions about what had happened in the first book. Luckily the author did a slight summary in the first few chapters. This universe is broken into several worlds, each different with unique inhabitants. The Land of The Living is where the humans (including Everly and her friends) are from. But Everly is a Time Bearer, Father Time’s chosen hero, and she will protect the world, all of them, and there is no greater threat than Markham. Not only did he kill Everly’s family but an entire world.
Not only did I love the world and magic system, but also the characters. Our hero Everly is strong, independent and determined and skilled with a sword (which I loved, fairytale-style heroines are often non-combatants). Jamison is a good man who is open about his feelings for Everly (they were forced to get married in the previous book) and is a nice match for her, they fit together so well and are both great in a fight. Laverick, aka The Fox, is sarcastic and funny and obsessed with explosions which made her one of my favourites. Radella is a pixie and like Everly works for Father Time and helps guide them through the realms. Despite being only able to speak in tinkling bell sounds, she still has so much personality. Claret, aka The Cat, is mischievous and more than willing to lead her friends into trouble. Markham was a great villain, conniving, manipulative and difficult to figure out. His heartless, self-centred nature made him an excellent contrast to Everly. Harlow, Markham’s girlfriend, is tough and stupidly loyal to him and they are a good display of an unhealthy, abusive relationship.
I loved this book’s mix of classic fairytale elements and its’ own unique flare. It had such a great ‘storybook’ vibe with modern pacing, action and characters. I’ve never found a book like this and it felt like a breath of fresh air which and I’m desperate for more! It reminded me of several books I read as a child, from Narnia to Peter Pan. The twists and turns where surprising and I loved how all the foreshadowed elements were brought together in the climax. I give it 5/5 and have already put the previous and future books on the top of my TBR!