Title: Marrow Charm
Author: Kristin Jacques
My rating: 2.5/5 stars
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: October 1, 2019
‘In his pursuit of the occult, the Third Reich opened the Gate to a realm of magic and brought the world to ruin. The Gate was eventually closed, but They were already in our world and They were hungry.’
-The Lost History, Library of Avergard
Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.
Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.
The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.
And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.
I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much The Parliament House!
Marrow Charm, though it was interesting and great at some parts, can be confusing and a bit of a letdown. There’s an interesting world-building and a fast-paced story line, but the plot, for me, failed to bring me as a reader to new heights.
The writing was one of the things I really liked about this book. It was dark, it was atmospheric, and at times, it could be creepy, as well. The author has an excellent way of describing the current setting of the scene, and that will really get the readers hooked. Indeed, the visualization in this book was truly awesome.
The characters of Marrow Charm were okay and I loved reading about their journey, and the dangerous things they went through. However, I was not that invested in them.
Azzy was interesting and I loved her love for her brother and her family, but I just wasn’t quite hooked with her character. She was interesting, but there were a lot of vague things about her that weren’t explained. Kai was okay as well, but I wanted more backstory for him. Same with Brixby and Armin.
Let me begin by saying that the synopsis is a bit misleading. In the synopsis, they talked about the Gate and Armin’s powers, but I didn’t see that in the book. If there was, it was very little and it wasn’t the main focus. Which is a bit disappointing for me, because there was a fast-paced story line and dangerous conflicts and adventures here and there, but all of those things didn’t add up to one big showdown or some sort of revelation. With all of those in the book, I definitely expected Azzy’s journey to reach a climax, or a plot twist, or some pivotal situation that will heighten the story. Sadly, I did not see anything like that, and the ending, for me, was just confusing and lacking. I believe this is the first book of a series, but that ending didn’t really give me something big.
As I said before, the author has a very atmospheric writing—she was able to describe the setting of the story, both Below and Above. The author also described the creatures and the animals so wonderfully and it just helped the world to come alive even more.
As much as I loved that part though, it still felt lacking to me. Again, in the synopsis there was stuff about the Gate and everything, and I feel like that is such an important part of the history and the world-building, but there was no information about that. I’m always craving for a great world-building, but Marrow Charm fell a little bit.
Overall, this book was okay. I expected to love it, but unfortunately, there were more lows than highs for me.
I’m so sad to be giving this such a low rating! I truly expected to love this book as it sounded so good.
But anyway. Maybe Marrow Charm is more your thing, dear reader. Have you heard of it?