I’m a little conflicted in rating this book because I did not realize that it was part of a series when I read it. My initial thoughts/rating were based on it being a standalone, but now that I know it is the first in a trilogy, I’ve had to rethink things a bit.
So, I think I am going to settle on three stars. I had a lot of questions at the end, but to be honest, I don’t think I will continue with the series… However, I read this with my book club, and many of the others said they would continue with it, so take what I say with a grain of salt.
“Take everything she says with a bucket of salt.”
Conveniently timed quote.
I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book, and I loved that it is set in my home province of British Columbia, Canada – it’s not often that I find books set here, so that was pretty cool. George, aka Crashpad, was my favourite character (sadly, he’s not in the book a ton); he loves Doctor Who, Supernatural, and Game of Thrones – what’s not to love?
“People were like that, though. Basically good until they thought they could get away with shit without being caught.”
I also really liked how intense the story is. It focuses on Indigenous families and the hardships they have gone through. Some of it is hard to read, but real people have gone through this. It is important to learn about, and even more important to work toward ensuring that future children and families don’t have to go through it.
“Loyalty is admirable unless it’s misplaced. Then it’s stupid.”
Now sadly, I did not like the magic. This is where it being a trilogy is important. Reading this and believing it to be a standalone, I did not like the magic at all. It wasn’t clear how it worked, and it needed a lot more explaining. However, I expect that will happen in the future books. Had it been a standalone and not had magic in it, I think the book could have had a much bigger impact focusing solely on the struggles faced by Indigenous people in Canada.
The book did not capture me enough for me to want to continue with the series, but again, the other people in my book club said they would read the rest of the books because they were curious about what else would happen.
“Repeat after me: I’m not responsible for the crappy decisions of the grown-ups in my life.”
I also wish that the “reveal” of a certain character’s struggles and involvement in AA was “revealed” earlier. There isn’t really a stable character in this book which I understand has a lot to do with emphasizing the struggles that Indigenous people face, but I think that showing that there is help available and that some adults are actually responsible would have been very helpful for this book. That is completely a personal preference, and I can understand why other’s might prefer it the way it is.
In the end, this book didn’t quite do it for me. I wanted to love it, especially because it is Canadian, but I only kind of liked it… I will say that it focuses on an important topic that Canadians need to learn about.
“At lunch, he sat with George and Sarah, who got into a long convoluted argument about who they thought were the best companions in Doctor Who.”
George is the best.