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What Danielle Did Next

A YA and NA book review blog

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J.R.R. Tolkien
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Concealed (Concealed Series)

Concealed - Sang Kromah There is a lot to take in when reading this book. The best way to describe it is an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a mystery...Just when I thought I was finally getting a handle on the plot, I was led down another path. This was frustrating at times but the richness of the story and the vast depth made up for feeling like Alice falling towards Wonderland.Let's start with what I liked. Kromah definitely eschewed the cookie cutter worlds and characters we usually see in a YA book and crafted a story filled with fascinating multi-ethnic characters that challenged perceptions and educated its readers to defy the norm and look beyond it. For a book with so many secondary characters, I applaud her for never settling for the cut-out 2D excuses seen so often in other books that are simply there to allow the protaganist to get from A to B. Even the quintessential high school bitch has depth.The mythical Djinn and other mystical characters from legends around the world played an intricate part of the story and was fascinating to discover the origins of some of Disney's greatest hits.Our heroine Bijou was likeable although at times it was frustrating that a girl who was apparently so beautiful and ethereal to those around her could be so lacking in self awareness and at times was a contradiction. The characters Sebastian and Amina were instant favourites and I looked forward to their appearances. Gigi, Bijou's grandmother was strangely likeable for all her faults, her mysterious past was one of the plot points I was most eager to have revealed. There is romance but for once the inevitable love triangle didn't grip me. I'm Team Sebastian all the way, Niko was no competition.The story overall was very layered, intricate and intelligent, constantly challenging the reader to keep on their toes and was definitely one of the most original novels I have ever read.What I didn't like: Sometimes it was overwhelming trying to keep track of all the plot points and at times it seemed that the book was going somethere only for it to be abandoned and hopefully but not always picked up at a later stage. It felt like the author wanted to cram everything in when I feel if a little more care was taken in editing the story could have been clearer while still keeping the intrigue and suspense I loved about it. The change in voice was not always clear and sometimes it took a few sentences to realise which character was speaking. This may have been a formatting issue given this was a Galley that had somee grammatical errors and typos but it did make the story difficult to grasp at times. Towards the end there were so many new characters introduced that again it felt like the story was losing its shape and felt a little sloppy.Overall despite my chagrin at certain aspects I have to applaud a very talented author for creating a fresh, unique and stirring story that was unlike anything I have come across in the genre and I look forward to seeing where Bijou's story leads. I'll just have a double espresso beforehand!Rating: ★★★1/2Crossposted at What Danielle Did Next