*I received this book for free through a Goodreads review group in exchange for an honest review.*
Villainous is not a book I would normally read, and it was not what I was expecting after reading the blurb. It was much darker than I thought it would be, but I have to admit, that feel suited the atmosphere of the story perfectly.
It starts off quickly and we get into the story straight away, I liked that. The way the set up of back-story was written at the start was well integrated and didn’t feel choppy or awkward. We are introduced to our main character, Henriette Andrews as well as another character, Miss Cofi very soon.
Henriette was a well written character, she had incredible strengths but also flaws. She was human even though she was an ‘Anomaly’, even though she was special. In fact, all of the characters were incredibly written, and I identified with many of them in different ways.
Though the events of the story start off quickly, the things that happen to Henriette are of a paranormal nature (think more super-powers then magic), and I found it a little odd that she just readily accepted everything that happened without being a little freaked out, but it didn’t break the story much and we were onto the next part of the story before I had time to really think on it.
It is a fast paced book, there’s little if any fluff to bulk it out, every event and scene moves the story along or adds something to the characters. That was something I enjoyed, as too much drabble can sometimes turn me off a book.
Even though the book deals in super-human abilities, the author wrote them so well. I think this is one of the best parts of the book; the way the powers are described in such (sometimes grossly graphic, in a good way 😀 ) detail makes you understand exactly how it looks and the effects. The paranormal aspects fit into the world easily, and I had no trouble believing that these ‘anomalies’ exist in the real world along with the people chasing after them.
Something that struck me about the book was that it had no chapters, instead the story flicked back and forth between the present and the past, all narrated by the main character. It caught me a little by surprise at first and I did struggle a little to remember where I was in the timeline, but I very quickly got used to it and found that the tid-bits that were offered about her current situation wanted to keep me reading to find out what was going on.
Now then, I have to say what a brilliantly fantastic premise for a story this is. Though I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy it after the rather dark beginning (I’m more of ‘read happy things’ kind of reader), I was drawn into these characters. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I can’t go into great detail, yet I will say that the character growth and development was so well written. I found myself cheering these characters on in situations where I would normally have been routing for the other side and I could completely understand the path that their past events had led them down.
There are a few grammatical issues, the over-use of semi-colons instead of commas being one of them, and there are some spelling mistakes. Over all though, I could forgive it those few things as I really enjoyed the story and its characters. It was a strong plot, with great characters who were developed well. The relationships felt real and so did the fantastical events.
I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I would recommend it if you enjoy a darker, more mature story and possibly even if you don’t, after all, I enjoyed it and it’s not the kind of book I would normally read 😀