Rating: 3/5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dystopia, New Adult, Paranormal
I didn't intend to write this review.
I was lucky enough to get an ARC, but after I read Society of Wishes back in January I couldn't find the will to write something about it, because I realized that as soon as I finished the last page, I wasn't overwhelmed with emotions like all the other times I finished a book written by Elise Kova. Instead, I felt nothing, and it was devastating because no words can express how much I loved Elise's Air Awakens. Society of Wishes was by no means a bad book. It was simply average, and saying that about Elise breaks my heart.
Then why now?, you may wonder. Well, the turning point was Elise's newsletter, where she publicly admitted that she could do better, and that all those reviews already written helped her realize the things she should have done different. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do something like that, and it gave me the power to proceed, three months later, with this review.
“Ven pa aca, mijita.
I have a story for you.”
And the authors did tell us a story, a truly unique and innovative one, a story made of wishes and magic and stardust.
“Step one: Cast the circle.”
December 2057, Lonestar Republic, Texas.
Josephine 'Jo' Espinosa is a hacker on a mission to breach the system of the most powerful credit bank worldwide. But things don't follow the plan, and her best friend ends up dead in a pool of his own blood. Trapped and awaiting her end, she remembers her grandmother's tales about generations of witches and wish-granters.
“Step two: Say the invocation.”
Now a whole new world unravels before Jo, and she finds herself among the ranks of the Society of Wishes, a team living outside time, bending and reshaping the world and its endless possibilities according to the wishes casted. Between alternate realities and newfound magic, Jo tries to unravel her potential and prove her value, while the enigmatic leader of the team shuts her down. But when Jo made her wish, no one warned her of the price.
“Step three: Make your wish.”
The price is steep: Jo's existence was erased. And when the same friend she sacrificed her life for steps on the same path that lead to his death, Jo decides to bend the rules in order to save him, without realising the consequences of her actions.
Since it is no secret that my adoration towards Elise Kova and her Air Awakens series knows no limits, I was curious for her new project with Lynn Larsh. First, I'd like to commend her for the variety of her works, The Society of Wishes didn't remind me at all of Air Awakens. While the latter was character driven, with heavy romance element (how I miss you my dearest Aldrik), this one was mainly plot-driven. The world the authors crafted was groundbreaking; while reading Jo's story, the occasional confusion, instead of being a setback, it was a motivation to continue, to dive into wishes and secret societies and unravel mysteries. The problem is that all those questions that fueled my need to keep reading were not solved by the end of the book. I can feel that the authors tried to tell us something, but they failed in some respects. I still have major gaps, for example who grants the hours and sets the rules of the Society, and it prevented me from fully grasping their intricate world.
As for the characters, while I admire their diversity and their backround stories, I found them rather superficial. The relationships portayed were devoid of depth, I knew they existed only because I was told so, and not because I felt them. I guess the foundations were there, but they needed further development. As for Jo, the main character, she was sadly indifferent, and at times annoying because she couldn't shake that trait of recklessness that heroines nowadays are so fond of.
To sum up, Society of Wishes was an enjoyable and fast read with an intriguing and imaginative concept, but there were some execution fails that could have been avoided.