Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.
Book: A Forgery of Roses
Author: Jessica S. Olson
Book Series: Standalone
Recommended For…: young adult readers, fantasy, retelling, romance, mystery, thriller
Publication Date: March 29, 2022
Genre: YA Fantasy
Age Relevance: 14+ (death, gore, romance, violence, animal injury)
Explanation of Above: The book has a theme of death and does feature some gore and violence. There is also some slight romance. There is some small mention of animal injury as well, but it is quickly fixed.
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Synopsis: She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.
But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.
Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.
Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.
Review: This book has an interesting premise and Magic system. I think the most promising thing about this book is the promise of the book and how well it could become. The book had well done atmosphere and the world building was ok. The book also has fairly good character development. The book is also a slight retelling of The Picture of Dorian Grey.
However this book is just downright confusing as hell. The book immediately jumps into the story and doesn’t really explain anything about what’s going on. The book does require you to read the synopsis in order to know the basics of what is happening. The pacing is very slow and the characters are not very well developed at all. And a lot of stuff just happened but without any lead up to it. There’s also something that is entirely missing from the book and I think that missing detail are the details. The book gives great atmosphere it’s very Gothic and gory and twisty, but without any details there is no impact for the reader in this book.
Verdict: It’s ok, but it wasn’t for me.
A FORGERY OF ROSES by Jessica S. Olson
On sale: March 29, 2022
Teen & Young Adult; Fantasy; Romance
$19.99 / $24.99 CAN
ABOUT THE BOOK:
From the author of Sing Me Forgotten comes a lush new fantasy novel with an art-based magic system, romance, and murder…
Myra has a gift many would kidnap, blackmail, and worse to control: she’s a portrait artist whose paintings alter people’s bodies. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone. But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son.
Once she arrives at the legendary stone mansion, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. A killer stalks these halls–one disturbingly obsessed with portrait magic. Desperate to get out of the manor as quickly as possible, Myra turns to the governor’s older son for help completing the painting before the secret she spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica S. Olson claims New Hampshire as her home but has somehow found herself in Texas, where she spends most of her time singing praises to the inventor of the air conditioner. When she’s not hiding from the heat, she’s corralling her four wild—but adorable—children, dreaming up stories about kissing and murder and magic, and eating peanut butter by the spoonful straight from the jar. She earned a bachelor’s in English with minors in editing and French, which essentially means she spent all of her university time reading and eating French pastries. She is the author of Sing Me Forgotten (2021) and A Forgery of Roses (2022).
Author website: https://www.jessicasolson.com/