Foto do autor

Olivia Atwater

Autor(a) de Half a Soul

12 Works 1,190 Membros 55 Reviews 4 Favorited


Obras de Olivia Atwater


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
20th century
Christabel McKinley



A proletariat vs. aristocracy retelling of Cinderella. Plus, a faerie who tries to be helpful and is chaotic instead.
caaleros | outras 9 resenhas | May 17, 2024 |
This was a lovely read!
The Victorian Gothic atmosphere was spot on, and I really enjoyed the story and characters.
I wish the chemistry with the love interest (no spoilers) was built up even more but overall it was a good book, with deeper themes than I expected at I first, including themes around childhood, trauma, and metaphors about human exploitation of nature and others.
The several "true" fairytales interspersed in the book really added to the world building. I get that this book is set up in a wider universe created by Olivia Atwater but I never felt like I was missing out on something or not understanding something.

I want to thank Victory editing and NetGalley for giving me a copy of the book in exchange for a fair review.
… (mais)
OpheliaAutumn | outras 4 resenhas | May 1, 2024 |
3.5 Solid Stars!

A successful first read with Atwater, and I'm definitely intrigued!

I will say the blurb doesn’t tell you everything about what’s going on, and I’m reluctant to reveal more. Just know that Winnie isn’t all that she seems to be, and though she’s hired to be a governess, past sentiment compels her to promise more than she expects to, and she soon finds herself caught in the middle of a curse plaguing Witchwood Manor.

This was densely eerie and atmospheric, steeped in all sorts of faerie lore, filled to the brim with unsaid truths, dark subterfuge, and dangerous bargaining. As Winnie races against time to rescue her charge, she plays a perilous back and forth with the enigmatic butler Mr Quincy. However, she is honor bound and stubbornly ventures into the fray despite the mortal risks.

This for sure capitalized on its Victorian setting with lots of prim and proper rules and societal class division, all intertwined with various faerie tales and complicated protocol. If you are well versed in such, then you know the fae are very tricksy, always after their own interests and advantages and ready to bind one into an unbreakable promise.

Overall, I liked Winnie. She’s a strong heroine contrasting smartly with the alluringly mysterious Mr. Quincy who in turn, makes an interesting tortured tragic hero. I enjoyed seeing their antagonism turn to grudging respect to more, but beware a bratty child and a very chaste, but layered, romance (which I quite enjoyed). Admittedly, I have a love/hate relationship when it comes to the fae because while a fascinating folk, they come with a bazillion rules of engagement, their cunning and cruelty knowing no bounds. Atwater’s rendition is no different and again, I was intrigued nevertheless.

This neatly concludes the first act of this story arc but leaves the reader wanting more as the challenges ahead have only just begun for Winnie, Quincy, and their allies. Luckily for me the next installment comes out later this year, and I look forward to what's in store for these characters! If you want a historic, gothic faerie infused tale, then this should deliver on all points!

Thank you to the author and Starwatch Press via NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review
… (mais)
A_Reader_Obsessed | outras 4 resenhas | Apr 21, 2024 |
{First of 3 (+2 novellas) Regency Faery Tales; fantasy, Regency, parallel world, sorcery}(2020)

As a child, Dora's soul was claimed by Lord Hollowvale but her cousin Vanessa saved her before he could take all of it by plunging her embroidery scissors into his leg, since faery beings cannot abide the touch of iron.
Lord Hollowvale jerked back from the scissors. Fear briefly clouded his face as he glanced down at them—a strange circumstance, since the scissors were only a little bigger than Vanessa's little fist, and their eyes were decorated with cheerful little roses. Vanessa drew Dora slowly around the faerie and back towards the manor, keeping her scissors squarely between herself and the marquess.
"As you wish, niece of Georgina Ettings," the elf spat finally. "I have full half of my payment. May you make good use of the other!"
Since then, Dora (Theodora Ettings) has always worn the scissors around her neck as protection against him returning to steal the other half of her soul but she has been unable to feel any deep emotions and knows that she doesn't react like normal people. Her aunt (Dora is an orphan) seems constantly exasperated by Dora's lack of emotion and her inappropriate responses; essentially, Dora has no filter and says what she's thinking out loud.

Now in danger of becoming spinsters at the grand old ages of 20 and 19, the cousins travel to London for the Season - where the Lord Sorcier, Elias Wilder, is also to be found as well as his friend Albert Lowe, a physician who happens to be the third son of Lord and Lady Carroway. Vanessa feels that the Lord Sorcier might be able to help Dora with her magical problem. And Dora might discover that she can feel emotions, even with only half a soul.

Though they are members of the nobility both Wilder and Lowe engage in charitable work, specifically trying to cure a magical plague affecting the labour classes in London. Atwater shows us a lower tier of society from those we usually see in Regency novels - though I don't know enough to attest to the accuracy or lack thereof of the workhouses and so on that she describes, myself. The medical angle was interesting and unusual and I did like the way all the loose ends were neatly tied up. I'm getting used to seeing discrepancies in small details of the manners of the period and the country in novels written now but set then (hardly a new gripe for me) but this is a parallel England where magic is used for the benefit of the nation - so it's easy to turn a blind eye in this instance.

I liked this gentle story though I did feel a bit like Dora; muffled in cotton and a little distant from emotions. I wondered, as I read, if the author wanted us to feel that Dora is on the spectrum (to coin a phrase) though that angle wasn't expanded on. It was nice to see things working out well for her in the end - because who doesn't like a Faery Tale to end happily ever after?

(January 2024)
3.5-4 stars
… (mais)
humouress | outras 31 resenhas | Mar 2, 2024 |



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