ARC Review: Beheld

BeheldBeheld by Alex Flinn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Release date: January 10, 2017

Being a powerful witch, Kendra has survived it all. Since she first beheld James over three hundred years ago, Kendra has tangled with witch hunters and wolves, helped a miller’s daughter spin straw into gold, cowered in London as German bombs fell, and lived through who knows how many shipwrecks. But her powers have limits, and immortality can be lonely. Kendra isn’t ready to stop searching for the warlock she had met centuries ago.

With the help of her magic mirror, Kendra will travel the world to reconnect with her lost love—and, of course, she can’t help but play a hand in a few more stories along the way.

The thing that I like most about Alex Flinn’s Kendra Chronicles series is that there is this magical blend of fairytales into contemporary or historical society. And this book is also like that – be it blending Little Red Riding Hood into the Salem witch trials, Rumplestiltskin in 18th century Germany, East of the Sun, West of the Moon in WWII era or Ugly Duckling in a high school. Flinn nicely slips the elements of the fairytale into that narrative, with Kendra being the link connecting things across the stories or time. In each of the other stories, though, Kendra was rarely the focus. The blurb, however, promised a story that was centered on Kendra but did not exactly deliver on that.

Kendra has been looking for her equal, another witch by the name of James Brandon, for centuries. She met him first in Salem and then kept missing and losing him over and over again. But while the books are about her various adventures and roles in fairytales through time, she barely features in them. Also, the romance was lacking in development – it was more of like an insta-love thing? As for that mirror, and a lot concerning the magic, things were just explained away or brushed off. It didn’t feel like a cohesive story structure, not like Beastly or Mirrored, where the characters were such a huge part of the storyline. In this book, perhaps only the story of Amanda and Chris could merit that. So, overall, I liked it because of the retellings but it could have had a bit more.

Received a free galley from Harper Teen via Edelweiss.

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