Welcome to my stop on the book tour for Unwritten by Alicia J. Novo!
Books whisper to Beatrix Alba. But they aren’t the reason she has never fit in. Bullied at home and school, she keeps a secret—a power of violence and darkness.
When the spell that keeps Beatrix hidden fails, she’s catapulted into the Zweeshen, a realm where all tales live, and her dream of meeting her favorite characters comes true. But wishes are tricky, and behind its wonder and whimsy, the Zweeshen is under attack. A character is burning bookworlds in pursuit of a weapon to rule both stories and storytellers. To succeed, he needs a riddle in Beatrix’s keeping.
Now he’s hunting her down.
Joining forces with William, a cursed conjurer, Beatrix must face an enemy who knows her every weakness in a realm where witches play with time, Egyptian gods roam, and Regency heroines lead covert operations. And with her darkness as the only weapon, she may have to sacrifice everything to save a world that rejects her.
You Can Purchase the Book: Amazon
Alicia has a weak spot for happy endings and transformative journeys. She spent her teenage years in Argentina and Europe, speaks several languages and loves to travel.
An eclectic reader, she grew up on a diet ranging from Lucy M. Montgomery and Jane Austen to Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Raymond Chandler, Hermann Hesse, Jorge Luis Borges, and many classics. She’s never been cured of reading a bit of everything and is as likely to geek out about Mr. Darcy as Dr. Who.
She is a history and astronomy aficionado, who walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, completed her Masters in the Netherlands and worked for Google in Ireland. She decided to become a writer at six but took a full, winding road here. Along the way, she learned if there’s one thing that cuts across cultures, one unifying thread that pulls everyone together, it’s a good story.
A big-city girl, she now lives in the Midwest, where she occasionally picks apples and pretends witches exist.
First and foremost, the cover is enough to draw in any reader as it is simply gorgeous. Despite the idea that you are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, this one is an exception as the cover creates a magical image. The pen’s image on the cover gives an illustration of possibility and potential and the theme carried in the actual novel. Unwritten is the first novel in the Zweeshen Chronicles series. This is, at its core, a book about books, so your imagination essentially begins to run wild at all the possibilities before you even start reading the first page.
Beatrix is a seemingly average teenager that is dealing with the recent death of her grandfather. She does not get along with her father and her mother passed away when she was seven. She feels alone in the world as she does not have any friends at school and the only escape she has is with her books. Magic is in her blood and she has a special relationship with these books as she discovers secrets about who she is. Through a series of events, she is transported to the world of Zweeshen, the land of books. Honestly, I am all for this place being real and for me to taken there immediately, even with any potential obstacles. She is unsure about who to trust and how she supposed to accomplish her tasks. She is determined to figure out the riddle left on her mother’s letter and to find out more about who she is.
Beatrix was a character that I found myself going back and forth on as she was a teenager that acted like a more stereotypical teenager. She is 16-years-old and makes a lot of questionable decisions and has many moments of immaturity. Although I found myself annoyed at her in many places, it was difficult to fully fault a teenager for acting like a teenager. Essentially, imagine a teenager that thinks they know everything while actually knowing almost nothing and you’ll understand part of her character. Beatrix and William, the one tasked with keeping her safe, are love interests in this story. Unfortunately, I did not find myself invested as I feel like it came out of nowhere in a way. As with most novels, it is more apparent that these two would get together, but the way it happens is just not quite there to make me care about the two of them together. I feel that the two of them needed more time to build their friendship and then transition to the romance as it felt a little too sudden. I did like them together, but I just wish there was more build up before it actually happened.
The world-building in this story is immense as every genre of novel imaginable comes together in one setting. There are familiar characters from a variety of stories that all make an appearance to take part in Beatrix’s story. The pacing was very slow for me and I found myself putting it down a few times. The beginning is meant to be a little slower as the reader is introduced to Beatrix and her life. When we get to the Zweeshen, it still took a bit for me to get into it as there was a lot of information to keep track of as the world is not only introduced to the read, but it was introduced to Beatrix. Once the actual quest begins and we follow Beatrix on her journey, I found myself captivated and I ended up reading the rest in a single sitting.
The general premise is Beatrix trying to save the Zweeshen from a threat, so the story follows her on hero’s journey. However, there are additional twists and turns that add additional subplots creating a woven plot. At times it felt like too much was going on at once, so I wish there was a little more time for the reader to keep track of every piece. Everything leads to an ending that I did not predict and I cannot wait for the second in the series to read more. The ending is difficult to describe, even to myself, as I am not 100% I understood everything. It is difficult to tell if it is just how I read everything or if it was an intentional decision by the author. Overall, this is a story with great potential and I am very curious to see where the author will take the series next.
**I give a special thank you to Giselle with Xpresso Book Tours for the opportunity to participate via Netgalley with this excellent and entertaining novel from the author, Alicia Novo. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**
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Enter the Tour-wide Giveaway – Ends April 29th
- A physical copy and a box of branded goodies (bookmarks, keychain, enamel pin, character art, candle, tote) (US Only)
- Ebook with digital goodies (character art, background, map) (INT)
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