Sunday, February 13, 2022

Book Review: "These Hollow Vows" by Lexi Ryan

Title: These Hollow Vows
Author: Lexi Ryan
Series: "These Hollow Vows" #1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Length: 464 pages
Publication Date: July 20, 2021
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait to see where the sequel takes the story!

I'd seen These Hollow Vows floating around online for a while and decided to pick up a copy a few months ago. Originally, I was going to just wait until the sequel comes out (summer 2022). Then one of my good friends read it and was raving about it and then I felt I had to read it sooner rather than later. 

This book, despite being almost 500 pages, was a really quick read for me. The writing style was really easy to follow, the pacing worked for me, and I was able to fall into the story and stay in it for the most part. There were a few parts where I was just stressed from real life but once I allowed myself to let all that fade away I was able to fully immerse myself in this world.

The world was intriguing and not too hard to understand. I also really enjoyed there was a map in this one (as I think is becoming mostly standard in fantasy?). A big part of the story is the emphasis on the importance of stories and tales. We got a lot of world building for the fae lands in the form of these tales which I think was rather interesting as it added an element of us having to question the validity behind them. 

The actual plot itself was interesting, if a bit predictable. I love thief and heist stories, though I did think that thievery would play more of a role in this one. There were plenty of times I guessed the plot twist or big reveal but that isn't a negative at all as I do like the satisfaction I get of guessing right. That being said, there were a few that I didn't see coming. 

My favorite part of this book was definitely our main character. Her motivations, her personality, etc. She's in a difficult situation and I think many criticisms of this book don't take into account she's a human in a fae world at a disadvantage. I enjoyed the side characters and I definitely am interested in how all of the relationships progress in the next book. There are a few that I really want to see get more page time as well. 

I am torn on the romance. There is a love triangle, which is something I really haven't read in a long time. I will say, the romance aspect wasn't as strong to me, likely because it was split trying to make us love two different characters. What was interesting, though, is that who I wanted the main character to end up with from the beginning of the book was completely different by the end. I was so sure going into the book that wouldn't change did. 

That being said, I have very strong feelings about who I want our character to end up with if she has to end up with anyone. I knew from about halfway through the book which of the love interests I liked better and I truly hope it continues that way in the future. I think part of why I rated this less than five stars despite enjoying it immensely is because I didn't really like some of the romance bits with the love interest I don't like. 

And it's not even that I don't like him for the main character. I just flat out don't like him at all. He's an interesting character, but in terms of likability, I spotted some things and got the ick pretty early on. Obviously there is an entire book left to go and things could change in that regard. However, for now, I much prefer the other love interest (and I'm sorry if that's too vague...I just don't want to spoil anything!). 

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this book. It's nothing revolutionary or genre-breaking but it does exactly what it is supposed to do and is the YA fantasy it's supposed to be. The writing is strong, the story is interesting but not overly complicated, the magic system is (so far) intriguing, and the characters were well-developed enough for me to connect with them. I can only imagine what the next book will be like after that ending!

Thanks for reading!

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