Review: The Halcyon Bird

The Halcyon Bird
The Halcyon Bird by Kat Beyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mia has settled into her life with the Della Torres — Milan’s premier demon-catching family, accompanying them to exorcisms and even learning some way to be useful in the family trade. Then Bernardo comes into her life, handsome, well-mannered, someone who makes her forget her impossible crush on Emilio, her cousin. But always lurking in the background is the demon who possessed Mia once before, and who has not given up on possessing her again–this time for good.

At the end of The Demon Catchers of Milan, Mia had decided to enter the family business of demon-catching. While she does miss her home, she is settling well into life in Milan and since she has her talisman, she no longer needs to be on house arrest or accompanied by a member of her family. She is now actively hunting down her demon, while also being intrigued by the fact that the demon bothered to cross an ocean to possess her. While delving into her family secrets and preparing herself for life as a demon hunter, she also wants to live the life of a young girl, and having love in spite of the sword hanging over her head. The story, like before, is quite different in it’s style, seeming going nowhere until towards the end, where things make sense. In terms of plot development, there is no reaching to an endgame; the whole story has different revelations that make sense in different ways. I quite liked how Beyer paints a splendid and detailed picture of living in Milan, even though she admits having never actually lived there (in the acknowledgements of the previous book). How the history and politics have been rendered is also quite impressive.

I did feel, though, that it did not fully live up to the potential of the earlier book and had a few plot points reused. The twist at the end was quite interesting and made me like this book a bit more, since it was realistic in how the characters were presented. Characters other than Mia, though, still – not much depth to them, I feel, so that was a disappointment. Overall, a good book – 3.5 stars.

Received ARC from Egmont USA via Netgalley and Edelweiss, which does not affect my review or opinions in any way.

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