by Elise Kova, Lynn Larsh
Series: Wish Quartet #1
Published on January 29, 2018 by Silver Wing Press
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Urban Fantasy
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.
Josephina Espinosa makes her living as a hacker-for-hire in the Lone Star Republic, a remnant of the fractured U.S.A. That is, until the day she and her best friend are gunned down in a government raid.
With her dying breath, Jo uses magical lore passed down from her grandmother to summon a wish-granter. Her wish? To save her friend’s life. Except wishes have costs, and for Jo, the price is the erasure of her entire mortal existence.
Now, as the most recent addition to the mysterious Society of Wishes, Jo must form a new “life” alongside the seven other members, one of which being her savior himself. Living as an occupant of the Society’s lavish mansion should be quite the perk, but while it is furnished with everything its inhabitants could possibly need, it lacks one thing—freedom.
Her otherworldly identity crisis takes a backseat, however, when Jo learns that the friend she sacrificed everything for is headed down the same path to ruin. Jumping in head-first, Jo uses her newfound magical abilities to protect him, only to realize that the ripples of her actions have far-reaching consequences. When the Society’s aloof leader Snow decides to give her a taste of his own ancient magic, Jo discovers that there are threads woven into the tapestry of her new reality that reach far beyond the wishes she is now required to grant. Ones that, if tugged on, could mean the unraveling of the world itself.
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I have to say. . . I have mixed feelings about Society of Wishes. Which is really unfortunate because I have pretty high expectations with Kova’s previous work (both the Air Awakens and the Loom Saga books). It’s hard to follow those and I realize this book is co-authored as well so two brains at work creating the story but it just. . .
Well, it fell a bit flat.
Let’s start with the good. As usual, the world-building elements were great for a first book. I love the idea of a secret society that grants wishes and keeps the world on track. I expected there to be a certain depth to the details though not too much and I got it. Enough to entice me to keep reading further because this is only the first of the series. There’s more to come and what I was reading was promising.
But all the world-building can’t save a story with a flatlining plot.
Here’s where I have a problem.
I thought I was reading a fantasy. Well, a mix of fantasy and urban fantasy. Totally on board with this. Instead, I got a washed out romance-thing that took the entire book to set-up and ultimately went nowhere. We’re introduced to Jo, hacker extraordinaire, who gets into a sticky situation with her partner in crime leading to one wish and a life-changing decision. In that moment she meets the elusive Snow and we have our romantic (sub)plot. I love a good romance, don’t get me wrong, but where Society of Wishes failed was that it never fulfilled the romance nor any story, really.
The romance consisted of a couple fleeting moments of attraction between Jo and Snow, a fling with another guy, and one moment where the secretive Snow reveals a softer side to himself that no one’s seen before.
And that’s it.
The rest of the story is quite literally just Jo hacking things and getting to know her new forever housemates. There’s no real story, nor is there any build-up to something in a sequel. I don’t think I’d be as upset if I felt like this was the start of an exciting new series (get the ball rolling in book 1 and really hit home in future books) but I don’t even know where this story is going. The pace was all over the place, more slow than quick and not enough to keep me interested for any long period of time.
Will I read the sequel? Probably. All of Kova’s other work has been fantastic. I can’t speak to Larsh’s but Society of Wishes was definitely not a terrible book, but it really wasn’t on the level I had expected it to be nor does it compare with books I’d consider higher up on my to-rec list. We shall see how the sequel pans out.
[Edit: I was told that the book went through revisions and was re-released since I read the original ARC version, so this review reflects that original version rather than the new one. I haven’t decided whether I want to read the new one yet before the sequel or not bother but I’ll update this review if I do read the new one.]