The Beholder by Anna Bright

*Spoiler free*

Thank you Edelweiss for the e-ARC!

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come. But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all. From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

This one intrigued me. It sounded like it could be about a girl finding her self and have a good, solid found family as well! Plus, it seemed like I was going to get an adventure on the sea with an awesome ship who played into the story more than normal!

I just… didn’t love this one. It was completely different than what I was expecting. It was one of those books that blends fantasy with some things from our world and those books always throw me off balance. I don’t like figuring out if I’m reading a historical fiction or a straight up fantasy novel. This one wasn’t as bad as others I read and I was able to get into the flow of the world fairly easily. And it was pretty interesting! Though, I did enjoy Potomac more than any other setting and the characters depart their fairly quickly.

I was also expecting a tough, strong, and fierce main character. Selah was on the softer side. And there is nothing wrong with that! I love reading about softer characters and I think they can add so much to a story. And this was paired with a world and a story that wasn’t hugely adventurous. There were no monsters or sword fights or running from enemies. These two things together just made me wish for a little more. I think my feeling of being let down is due in part of my expecting it was going to be a little more face paced.

This book felt like a set up book. I’m never a huge fan of those, but this was the first book and I’m a less of a fan for those. It was setting up for the squeal which I think is going to be monsters and sword fights and murder plots (but who knows haha). I just wish this book could’ve have a little more spunk to it, just to tide me over until things explode in the next one.

I also didn’t enjoy how the romance played out. It was completely different than what I was thinking and I think a great opportunity was passed over. There was a really awesome guy. He was respectful, kind, and gentle. I would have loved him in any other circumstance, it just didn’t fit here. I don’t understand a lot of the connections Selah made. I don’t understand how she connected so deeply with some people and not so deeply with others. Plot, I guess haha.

I would have liked to spend more time on the Beholder. Very little time is spent there actually and I’m a little disappointed. I thought the ship would play a bigger part in the story than it did. It’s basically just a method of transportation and nothing even really happens on it.

There were also so many characters introduced so fast, so many times. I found it kinda hard to keep track. I had a hard time picturing everybody and knowing what their personalities were. I did get comfortable with them over time, but I had a hard time picturing them throughout the book.

The very end is where it started to get good. It felt like the whole book was leading up to the end. There was some things I wish could’ve been fleshed out more, instead we got multiple rides through fields and trips to the lake. I did get interested towards the end, where things start to get going and Selah really starts to grow into herself. The fantasy elements are so close to kicking in, but the book ends. I would have liked the fantasy elements to be explored a little bit more in this book, though I do think they are going to be fleshed out a lot in the next.

I just didn’t get what I was expecting out this book. And a combination of a lot of things made me sort of meh on the whole thing. The writing was pretty good and it flowed nicely. I’m not sure if I will read the second book, but I might want to know what happens bad enough to give it a try haha.

The Beholder comes out June 4th, 2019! You can add it on Goodreads and pre-order a copy in the meantime!

Thank you for reading!

2 thoughts on “The Beholder by Anna Bright

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