Author: Katherine Catmull
Source/Format: First to Read (publisher), EARC
More Details: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher/Publication Date: Dutton Books for Young Readers, January 19, 2016
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Synopsis from Goodreads...
And sometimes the Strange came to visit Clare, and dreams walked through her waking life...
After years of living in America, Clare Macleod and her father are returning to Ireland, where they’ll inhabit the house Clare was born in—a house built into a green hillside with a tree for a wall. For Clare, the house is not only full of memories of her mother, but also of a mysterious boy with raven-dark hair and dreamlike nights filled with stars and magic. Clare soon discovers that the boy is as real as the fairy-making magic, and that they’re both in great danger from an ancient foe.
Fast-paced adventure and spellbinding prose combine to weave a tale of love, loyalty, and the strength we carry within ourselves...
The things I did enjoy were the concept. This was a fairy book; there was no mistaking it since the themes were present throughout the entire book. I have read a handful of books with similar themes, and I did like Catmull’s take on it. The house was especially interesting for many reasons, mainly because it was magical in a natural sort of way. It also contained elements that connected directly to the fairies. So I did like the setting.
Another aspect that I liked were the fairies. They were interesting, and it was the conclusion to that aspect of the story that kept me reading.
Here are some of the things that fell into the gray area for me, between good and bad, just sort of alright. From the start, it was made clear that Clare was special, she could see things no one else could, spoke of magical creatures and sort of believed in them despite being ridiculed for it. Her life seemed typical for this kind of book, and of course, things do take a turn for the worst once her father moves their family back to Ireland—to the house where she was born. In this way The Radiant Road was a little predictable. I could see things happening but Clare still plodded into them anyway despite being warned of the consequences. As often was the case, Clare wasn’t the one paying the majority of the price for her mistakes, but she did suffer some consequences.
Despite that, I found Clare and Finn’s friendships to be nice. And the plot still held some twists. The ending was okay and it wrapped up the story. The majority of the book was spent building up to this end and, I don't know, I was a little disappointed, but despite that it was an okay ending. So the characters and the story were pretty good.
Overall, The Radiant Road was a book that I found to be okay. It was fun for the most part with some faults. And if I was ever in the mood, I might consider picking up another book by Catmull.
This copy of the book was provided by Penguin First to Read (publisher) for this review, thank you!