Rating: 4/5 stars
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
I enjoyed it so much more than I expected!
Listen up, folks. Seventh Born is definitely neither a miracle nor a flawless piece of art. One of my biggest pet peeves (aside from love triangles, instalovetriangles, love squares and every other variation of love geometry) is the lack of solid worldbuilding, and in this case there was zero. Zilch. Nada. Rien. There were also some things about seventhborns, their power and the hatred towards them that were fuzzy to say the least, and Sera was your typical act first-think of consequences later YA heroine. I am sure you're perplexed by now, but there are some serious reasons to grab Seventh Born, since it was an utterly fun and addictive ride.
✔️ Professor Nikolai Barrington
✔️ Witchling Academy
✔️ Gruesome murders
✔️ Slow burn romance
✔️ Dangerous cult
✔️ Cute supernatural pet
“Safety, companionship, and adventure with the possibility of blood, murder, and death, all the while investigating love.”
Monica Sanz inadvertently (or not so much?) described her novel in the above sentence. Seventh Born emanates a sinister vibe, coated in mist, smoke, and scars, smelling of burning flesh and sulfur, touching forbidden aspects of magic. It's the story of a seventhborn, a pariah constantly bullied because of her birth order and things out of her control; about a girl who wishes nothing but to became an investigator and find her family, and is brought one step closer to her goal when her moody and brooding professor asks her help in order to solve some mysterious deaths. Their research will bring them to dangerous paths that will uncover secrets that may shake their beliefs to the core, but they cannot stop, or else more bodies will pile up. And Sera might be one of them.
“There would always be monsters to find.”
And oh my, this novel was full of monsters of all kinds. Most of them were human, embracing cruelty over compassion, power over gentleness, prejudice over justice. And you simply wanted to wear a cape, shed your glasses and defend Sera and all those unfortunate souls like her. But enough with the somber tone, let's focus on other aspects of the story. Namely, Barrington.
The boorish professor clad in black is definitely made of book boyfriend material. That is if you like your book boyfriends shady, mysterious and dangerous but also big softies when it comes to all the things that matter. I loved how he respected Sera, gave her space and time and treated her like a partner (most of the times). There was swooning involved, which arised out of simple gestures and light touches.
Setting Barrington aside, the writing flow was fluid, and the combination of crime, suspense and magic made it difficult to put it down. Mind, though, that there are aspects of the lore that will left you confused, and questions about the world outside the Academy that will not be answered, cue minor frustration. In my case, though, these deficiencies, albeit important, did not deter me from savoring all the things that were done right. Seventh Born is a delicious lil' candy waiting to be relished, and I had a great time doing so!
*ARC generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
Note: The quotes used in this review are from an uncorrected text and subject to changes.