Friday, October 31, 2014

Sweet Unrest ~ Lisa Maxwell (earc) review [@lisamaxwellYA @fluxbooks]

Sweet Unrest
October 8, 2014
336 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

Lucy Aimes has always been practical. But try as she might, she can’t come up with a logical explanation for the recurring dreams that have always haunted her. Dark dreams. Dreams of a long-ago place filled with people she shouldn’t know…but does.

When her family moves to a New Orleans plantation, Lucy’s dreams become more intense, and her search for answers draws her reluctantly into the old city’s world of Voodoo and mysticism. There, Lucy finds Alex, a mysterious boy who behaves as if they’ve known each other forever. Lucy knows Alex is hiding something, and her rational side doesn’t want to be drawn to him. But she is.

As she tries to uncover Alex’s secrets, a killer strikes close to home, and Lucy finds herself ensnared in a century-old vendetta. With the lives of everyone she loves in danger, Lucy will have to unravel the mystery of her dreams before it all comes to a deadly finish.

Lisa Maxwell's Sweet Unrest begins with both a unique character and a unique premise. Lucy's character is very well imagined, from her love of photography to her desire to be back home in Chicago not in New Orleans where they've moved to her dreams. All of the aspects of her character, from the small things to the big, not only make her a character you like reading about from the beginning, but they play into the story as well.

She is still unsure of her family's new life, but enjoying the photographic opportunities when she meets Alex. He is not only attractive but it feels to Lucy that they already know each other. And he's so infrequently around that she spends much of her time hoping to see him again. Even if he won't tell her much about himself.

Soon, Lucy is made aware of a world she never new of before, that of Voodoo. Her new friend Chloe knows Lucy, the Yankee, has no idea about it beyond her misconceptions and finds it fun to educate her.

Until it becomes more a part of Lucy's life than either of them imagined. With the dreams Lucy has had all of her life evolving into something more, filling with people of a long-ago time that are proving more real than is logical and danger all around, the move to New Orleans quickly becomes something else entirely for Lucy.

I like the mix of Voodoo, the past, the setting, Lucy's character and the other characters. Most of it works really well together in Sweet Unrest and is different from other things I Have read.  Readers get an idea of who Alex is before Lucy seems to and while it's frustrating how much she'll deny, at times, I enjoyed her path to accepting that knowledge.

The romance aspects of the novel were not quite what I was hoping the would be. They're okay and the story doesn't suffer but I wanted more. The characters have a strong bond but mostly because they said so or were supposed to, I didn't really feel it.

I also wish that the past we glimpse in Sweet Unrest had felt more real. I enjoyed its inclusion in the story, but it always felt a bit less like reality, not as whole, as the present.

Still, Sweet Unrest is a fun, enjoyable and unique story. The characters are very well imagined, the story comes together nicely and the characters play such a great role in how everything unfolds. With its mix of Voodoo, danger, and the past it is a great read - especially for Halloween!!

(I haven't been able to check the finished copy, but in the arc, a character uses 'y'all' as a singular. It's only a handful of times, but it was . . . odd. Unless, in my life, I've missed that people do that.)

review copy received, through NetGalley, for review from publisher

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