Helm Abomination (Haven Awakening #2)
by Gryffyn Phoenix
Publication Date: June 15th 2016
Publisher: Avalerion Books, Inc.
Find This Book: Helm Abomination
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
As you may know, I was given a copy of Haven Awakening a week or so ago. You can read the review here if you’re interested: http://love-at-first-write.blogspot.com/2016/06/haven-awakening-by-gryffyn-phoenix.html This was so I could read and review an ARC of book two which just came out! I was super pumped after Haven Awakening and jumped right into Helm Abomination, and while this book left me with many questions I’m hoping they’ll all be resolved in future books!
I really loved the chill, stylized writing of the author. Verity felt like a girlie girl naïve, totally sheltered 16-year-old girl. I thought some of the gay remarks were weird and off-putting, but she’s an ignorant teen who hasn’t interacted with anyone but her 2 siblings so I guess it’s understandable, but this knocked the book down a star for me. I respected how sweet Verity is with all of the ‘monsters’ they come across throughout the novel. Cass and trained Haven to kill everything and Helm adapted to do the same. Verity on the other hand recognizes that killing doesn’t need to be the answer. These creatures are hurting and are quite amiable when cared for. Helm becoming a sanctuary for these misunderstood animals was like a page out of Hagrid’s book and I adored how great it turned out. Mythological creatures as pets? YES PLEASE.
Reading about Helm after spending all of book one in Haven was awesome. I’d so rather live in Helm and I felt like I got to learn about and understand more of the guys living at Helm than I did of the people back in Haven. My favorite character in Helm is probably Book, their researcher, because he’s a shy introvert in the dramatized extreme. Watching him come out of his shell for Verity was so cute because they are both sweetie pies. While Verity does get a bit clichéd when she goes into the “I’m so average” spiel, I appreciate how non-typical she is in other regards. She actually talks to her parents, she actually cracks open some books and does school work. When she gets thrust into this world she doesn’t suddenly become super badass and awesome. She learns and trains really hard to create and improve upon her skills. She doesn’t need a makeover to get the cute guy. Cute guy already likes her and she wears the makeup to bring confidence to herself. No eyebrows were knit in the making of this book. The most important part- she eats like a normal human with the healthy food and junk food mixed in giving her a normal human figure. Who knew I would crave all of this normalcy out of a fantasy book? It was so revitalizing to not be constantly thinking “ok… that will never happen in real life”. Everything sort of fit in with the fantasy and created universe of the book.
This book was just as easy to pick up and enjoy as book 1, though it left me aware of just how much Verity and I didn’t know/understand. I feel like the origin story of Helm and Haven has so many conflicting variations that I’m still not really sure why they were formed or why they suddenly became enemies aside from just the appearance of Cass, but that really doesn’t tell me much. This vagueness by the end of book 2 is also a reason I can't give the book all 5 stars. How does a newbie like Cass suddenly turn up and create upheaval within Haven all that time ago? Why would the citizens of Haven allow her to turn them into this? Heck I still don't know what Cass is or what her powers consist of. I need details in the next book. Also, where does Cass gets all of this anger and hatred from? The girl needs to take a chill pill, I’m still not sure where this conflict came from/what it’s based on. This clearly all started before Verity got the magical eyes. Additionally, we have some sort of prophecy that implies Verity kills Haydn, her boy toy, but it’s not really clear where this prophecy came from, what it’s exact words are, or how Haydn, Kaydn, and Cass are connected. They have a huge reveal that Verity can’t kill Cass without Cass bringing Kaydn with her and that if Kaydn dies so will Haydn. I get that there was totally no time in the moment to explain this all to Verity… but I still at some point need an explanation to this. Lastly, what the heck is up with Verity’s family? What are her parents? Are they even related? What happened to her siblings? Where the heck did Grandma just poof off to? What is their ancestry? How does Verity’s body changes affect her life/the future of the plot??? You better be writing Gryffyn, because I NEED ANOTHER BOOK. I NEED ANSWERS.
PS please put in more domovi scenes because the lil purple creatures are so cute and their relationship with Verity really evolved this book and I’m hoping for hugs and maybe a conversation one day. Verity will certainly need her domovi now more than ever after that killer ending. *wink wink* Haha. Puns.