All That We See or Seem
Author: Kristina Mahr
DISCLAIMER: I have since been contracted to voice the narration for this book (and I am SO EXCITED!) This in no way affects my impartial review process. After reading the audition script, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book.
“I quickly realize that my flight won’t matter. I can hear the screeches through my hands, more arriving to join the first, discordant and jarring until suddenly it occurs to my ears that the horrific sounds are parts of a whole. They overlap and blend in harmony with one another, intertwining into a beautiful, haunting song. It calms my heartbeat, even though I am still running, even though I can still hear the very human wails beneath its sharp melody.”
– Kristina Mahr, All That We See or Seem
This is the kind of dark fantasy that I crave. If you have any similar recommendations for me to review, GIMME- I mean, uh, please drop me a message on the Contact page. PLEASE.
Anyway, Lady Reeve Lennox is the niece of the king of Acarsaid. She spends her days wandering the palace grounds carelessly with her four guards trailing her around. At night, however, she dreams of a dark kingdom filled with man-eating birds and secrets. She has wandered this same kingdom every night of her life, invisible, until the night of her 18th birthday. Suddenly, she’s visible and everything she thought she knew about her dreamworld unravels in the light of the moon.
Okay, so where to start?
I’m obsessed with Kristina Mahr’s beautiful prose. Seriously, I could read it all day. Also, I literally screamed when I reached the end of the book. You can ask my mom, I was visiting her and she ran into the living room with a skillet (she was cleaning the kitchen). I guess I’m glad I wasn’t on the subway or something, because THAT would have been awkward. Also, I love the premise and originality of this book. The imagery is vivid and descriptive. While I obviously wouldn’t want to live in the nightmare world, I’m so glad I got to experience it. Ms. Mahr is a brilliant storyteller whose debut won me over.
She does, however, stay a bit to true to the realism of the story. Reeve is naive, and her naivete can occasionally be annoying. It is also annoying in its realism, because she never leaves the palace grounds. Reeve dreams of adventure, but she never seems to do anything to live her dream. Instead, adventure finds her, which is fine, but I wish she would take her own life into her hands a little more. She’s perfectly flawed, but I want more character growth from her. Hopefully we’ll see more of that in the sequel.
For now, I highly recommend adding this book to your TBR pile. You won’t want to put it down.
Do you agree? Want to change my mind? Comment below! Maybe there’s something I missed the first time around.