Title: A Solstice of Fire and Light
Author: Angela R. Watts
Genre: Christian Fantasy, YA Fantasy
Rating: 3/5 stars
FTC Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
Overview: I’m always a fan of Christian fantasy, and nothing’s better than a free book, so when Angela R. Watts sent out a call for reviews for this one, I eagerly signed up. The cover is pretty and intriguing, and I liked the concept of people with Gifts given them by God (or Elohai, in this world). But though it’s a great concept, I had trouble connecting with the story, and overall I was left a little disappointed.
Characters: Dionne and Nnamdi were both good characters, with relatable personalities and a nice balance of flaws and redeeming qualities. But I could never really connect with them as people. I never fully understood their motivations, and I still have so many questions about their backstories. A lot more details in this area would have been nice.
Content: There are a couple of undetailed kisses. Dionne is inappropriately touched a couple of times. It’s unclear if she was abused in the past or not.
There are several fighting scenes, some of which can get a little gory. The main characters take disturbing pleasure in killing their enemies.
A character is destined to be offered as a sacrifice to the gods.
There were two uses of a bad word.
This is fantasy, so there’s magic in the story. Gifts are given by Elohai to His followers, but there are also warlocks who practice black magic.
Writing: As I said earlier, I had a lot of trouble really connecting to the story and feeling invested in it. I wanted so badly to like the characters and care about them, but I was constantly confused as to what was going on and why things were happening. Everything moved so quickly that I could never get a solid grasp on the plot. There were also some big plot twists that I never saw coming; they just seemed plopped into the story. Also, as aforementioned, I wanted a lot more backstory. I was especially confused by Cree and Dionne’s relationship.
Summary: I really wanted to love this book. It had everything I usually enjoy in a Christian fantasy: a cool magic system, a sweet romance, and characters with haunted pasts. But I just couldn’t get into it. It’s a fun adventure that readers aged 14+ might enjoy, but it’s not one I see myself re-reading.