Hardcover,352 pagesExpected publication: November 11th 2014 by EgmontUSASource: Edelweiss
Might I remind all of you before I begin this review that I absolutely loved the first novel in this series? The Demon Catchers of Milan is an outlier where YA paranormal romance/otherwise is concerned. The first in the series focused more on the familial relationships and the gradual development of Mia’s identity than the snap, dash and crackle, quick to form and quicker to dissolve romantic relationships common to other novels in the same genre.
I could barely curb my excitement when I saw The Halcyon Bird up to read on Edelweiss because hey, I didn’t even know she was working on a second book. So I requested it, got accepted and then tried to restrain myself from reading it because the release date was so far away from when I requested it. Still, I couldn’t wait and read the entire thing. Then I sort of left the narrative percolating in my mind before I wrote a review for it but then other things happened and I just didn’t write a review because as time went on, I felt strangely reluctant to give a certain word to my feelings at the conclusion of this novel.
That word is: disappointment. The Halcyon Bird is not a bad book, by any means, but because I had loved the first one so much, my expectations were considerable and unfortunately, not met. There are several reasons for this. While Mia continues to be interesting and I love her relationship with her family members, the whole extended bunch, I found the pace to be inconsistent – sometimes it was way too slow and other times it was way too fast. There is progress where Mia’s demon catcher training is concerned but precious little is found out about the demon who hounds her and makes it impossible for her to go out in public.
The romance is also confused; Beyer gives contradictory signs and I am not sure where to go with it. Is Mia going to have a chance with Emilio or is it impossible and if it is, can we please not talk about it? And okay, fine, then comes Bernardo and oy vey, things way too rapidly, the feelings get too intense and then culmination is too predictable for me to take any real enjoyment out of it. There was hardly any build up and honestly, I wasn’t convinced about the depth of Mia’s feelings to go where Beyer wanted me to.
I will still read the conclusion to what I think is a trilogy but unfortunately, the second installment in the series seems to have been bitten by the sophomore bug.
NB: The synopsis compares this to Laren Kate and Cassandra Clare books and let me just say that is doing the series a disservice. While Kate and Clare books have their own fandom, I do think people expecting something similar may be disappointed.