- Author: Adalyn Grace
- Series: Belladonna #1
- Genre: Fantasy, Mystery and Romance
- No. of pages: 416
- Dates read: 23.10.2022 – 25.10.2022
- Star Rating: 4 stars
Plot: Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer. However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.
Now I saw this all over social media and I knew I needed to somehow get my hands on it! I was super lucky to receive a proof copy from Hodder and Stoughton in exchange for an honest review.
Well, in all honesty… I had a great time!
This was perfect for the halloween season and I was swept up in the drama, the danger and the allure of this book. Starting off with the writing. Grace just has a way with words. I found myself highlighting quote after quote after quote. TikTok would have a field day with some of the phrases in this book. Grace had a great balance of lyrical and romantic writing alongside detailing the horror and melancholy of the situation our main character finds herself in. I was really caught up in the beauty and the pain of the writing.
In terms of plot, I felt I had this one sorted. I have read many a murder mystery in my time, I am a massive fan of the genre, and I have a pretty good track record when it comes to figuring out the murderer but this time round I couldn’t even begin to guess who it was. There were other mysteries to solve in this book that I guessed pretty early on and I felt that left me feeling extra cocky about trying to guess who the murderer was but oh my gosh. I just couldn’t guess who it was at all. And when it was revealed!!!!! I was shocked.
The structuring of the plot alongside the development of Signa and her growing relationship to her new family was done really well. I didn’t feel that any sub plot over-lapped or was over-shadowing another. I felt that Grace found a perfect balance between the two.
In terms of characters, I liked Signa. I liked her determination and her kindness. There were times where she made decisions and I was literally screaming at my book like “DON’T DO THAT GIRL!” but overall I enjoyed watching her journey. I especially enjoyed watching her growing relationships with her family members and ESPECIALLY her interesting dynamic with Death itself. Also, Death is hot. There I said it!
I shall end it on that final note. I really enjoyed this, I am definitely going to read the sequel. It was fun and gothic and an interesting mystery. I highly recommend.
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