Title: The Library of Light and Shadow
Author: M. J. Rose
Genre: romance, fantasy, some paranormal aspects
Is this part of a series? Yes, I believe this is book 3.
Published: There is some confusion here. Different sites have it listed as coming out 7-18, some say it is over a year old. As I received this from Netgalley, I am going with their date of 7-18-2017.
Five years ago Delphine learned a hard lesson. Her gift, being able to paint a person’s deepest secrets, betrays her twice. Once, revealing something a client cannot handle being known; and once showing the demise of her own lover. Desperate to stop that future, she leaves her life in Paris for New York. There, she attempts to make a life for herself, drawing secrets for patrons at parties.
When tragedy strikes once again due to her gift, Delphine is thrown into a tail spin. Refusing to put on the blindfold she uses to paint secrets, she tries again and again to paint “normally”; becoming more and more frustrated, she drinks more and eats less. Finally, her family must intervene and bring her home. There Sebastion, her twin and acting manager, tries to force the subject of her taking commissions. When one comes that is too high to pass up, and not even for a person but a house, he finally gets Delphine to agree.
Through her stay here, she begins to heal slightly and learn to trust her gift again- so long as the subject isn’t a person. She meets Gaspard the grounds keeper, and one that may finally understand her gift and her fears. More people come to the house party, including Mathieu, the man from her past. It is time to come to terms with everything she is, everything she thought she knew, and decide where her path leads now…
I did not realize this was a series when I requested it from Netgalley. That may color my feelings in this book, I am not sure. I had fallen in love with the cover, and the premise captured my imagination. It had all the makings of an epic piece. Unfortunately, I found that much of it fell flat. It was hard to connect with many of the characters, and I almost feel like some were added just to name drop. The writing style was all over the place- sometimes rushed, nearly harried, and sometimes moving with sloth-like slowness. This made it harder for me to fall into the story. I would have liked more development of side characters- or less side characters if we cannot give them real purpose.
Now, there were some aspects that did work for me. I found Delphine to be a well-developed, interesting character. I liked the use of her Book of Hours as a glimpse into her past with Mathieu. I can even understand her blind love of her twin, Sebastion. There were also references to the other books of the series, both of which sound spectacular. Even though I did not care for the writing style of this book, I will probably be looking into the other two simply because I am so intrigued by the ideas behind them. Maybe I am being too harsh with my review, many on Goodreads have given it five stars, but it just wasn’t perfect for me. I give it a very shaky 3 stars.
As far as the Adult content scale goes, I have to give it a seven. There were some fairly explicit descriptions when it came to sex, and to her art in some cases. It isn’t horrible, but it is something to think about for teen readers.
Again, a big thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for the ARC. I appreciate it.
The book is out! Have you read it?
Link to book: