The Antidote by Shelley Sackier
Genre/s: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publication Date: 5th February 2019
Published by Harper Collins
My thoughts after finishing this book weren't at all coherent and my confusion was and still is at an extreme.
This book follows Fee, a girl with rather extraordinary talents in a world where possessing any form of magic is abhorrent. However the Crown Prince Xavi, who just so happens to be Fee's best friend is sick, and she may be the only one to help him. Dark pasts collide with the high stakes and deception of the present, and Fee is left to uncover the secrets of saving the kingdom.
'In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.'
I hyped this book up in my head and no part of it fit with what I was looking for. I guess every so often what you're looking for in a story won't always meet your expectations. The beginning was jarring. It begins with a couple of flashbacks and we are thrown into something that isn't explained very well but I think the author did this as a way of gripping the reader and hoping they read on to find out the gaps in the details. Books that do this aren't my favourite, I find it disappoints me early on and it makes it almost impossible to then connect with the story or characters. Don't get me wrong it can be done really well and when it is it can make for an incredible way of story telling, however this didn't feel to be up to that level. What's sad though is that with some manoeuvring around and more heavy editing this could've been amazing.
The plot seems exciting and as though it's going to be fast paced at the beginning. So much so that I was wondering whether I would ever figure out what was happening but after the few flashback scenes the pacing slows down considerably, almost to an extreme. I found it to be boring and most descriptions and explanations of any kind to be overly written and long winded. The writing is wonderful if you look at each line individually but if you're looking for a fast paced plot and interesting characters to go with it, I don't think this is the book for you.
“Sometimes the answers are right in front of us, child. For that is the best place to hide secrets.”
I feel as though I've been in a really odd dream after finishing this and I've never had quite the experience like it. I breezed through it well enough but even though I kept reading I don't really know for what reason. I've seen this is being marketed as being perfect for fans of Laini Taylor and Sara Holland and because I love their work I thought I'd love this and sadly that wasn't the case. I think the fact that the writing is quite flowery is why it's being compared to their books but other than that I couldn't really tell you any other similarity, so keep that in mind. It may just be a personal preference thing and some of you may love those authors solely for their style of writing and may enjoy this for the same reason. However even though the writing was flowery, the long winded descriptions didn't add much to the story, for there was little in terms of world building and background information surrounding the magic system and overall history of the world in which this is set. Only adding to the trouble I had connecting to the story.
I think if you enjoy a slow moving read and you love reading about all the smaller details of a story, and don't really look for the large twists in the books you pick up you may really enjoy this. But sadly this isn't my kind of style. As a whole it isn't a bad book I just think its catered to a very specific audience and if what I've mentioned sounds like something you'd like then I would definitely recommend giving it a try. I hate not having many positive arguments for this book but I honestly found most of it pretty average and that may be because I've read a lot of young adult fantasy. It's possible that if you're new to the genre you may appreciate it more, but I wouldn't recommend it for those of us who've read a lot of fantasy. If any of you choose to pick this up, I really hope you enjoy it more than I did.
Rating = 28%
Thank you to the team at Harper Collins (Harper360ya) for sending me an advance reader copy to review!
(All quotes are taken from an arc and are subject to change upon publication.)
Triggers and Content Warnings: Disease, Epidemic, Grief, Loss, Death, Murder, Captivity, Self-Harm and brief conversations that include fat phobic and racist comments and themes of war.
Thanks for reading!