Book Review

Havenfall eARC Review

Havenfall (Havenfall, #1)


A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it–at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds–each with their own magic–together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe . . .

Book Details
Title: Havenfall
Duology: Havenfall, #1
By: Sara Holland
Published By: Bloomsbury YA, Bloomsbury YA UK
Publication Date: March 3, 2020
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Kindle
Genre: Fantasy

My Review

I really wanted to love this, and though it was enjoyable, I don’t think I fell in love as I had hoped.

There are some great magic aspects and world-building. The Inn is awesome, the different realms have me wishing I could travel there, and the different species/creatures/people are awesome. It’s nice that there’s bi-sexual representation, and a lovingly married m/m couple that I ship lol, so good queer rep! Oh! And a mystery.

I always love a mystery! But, I distinctly disliked our MC which is a big problem. I actually rolled my eyes while reading, more than once. It’s not because I’m an old lady and can’t understand a teenager, in fact, it was a bit of the opposite, I was a bit shocked at how … incapable Holland made her be, I felt that she wasn’t giving teenagers, this one, in particular, enough credit.

Maddie is having to deal with being the temporary Innkeeper while her Uncle is indisposed, except she’s literally avoiding those responsibilities, and thinking she can handle problems all on her own, tries to solve the mystery without asking for help, even where the inn is concerned.

Also, the love triangle…well, I’m not a fan of the trope half the time, so, there’s that issue from me rather than from the book, but it felt SO AWKWARD.

SO AWKWARD. It was like insta-love but she was also in love with Brekken, so, just a little weird.

Spoilers in white text below:
So she’s attracted to this girl Taya, and that’s cool, they’re cute, but, then she finds out her brother is actually her foster brother and is really Taya’s brother and so they share the same brother, and Idk, it’s not incest, but it felt so forced beforehand and knowing that I was just so over it.

The plot twists were a bit never-ending, and not exactly enhancing the story, and that bummed me out as well. Especially because it took Maddie so long to figure out what other people had told her and what is, of course, obvious to us as the readers. I don’t know.

This was my first Sara Holland novel and though I thought she did a great job with the realms and the premise, it fell flat for me. I was disappointed in this read. Still, awesome magical realms, good rep, and a mystery, so, there’s probably a lot of reasons why you or someone else might adore this!

Thanks to the Publishers and NetGalley for an eARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion. Three cups of coffee from me.

About the Author

Sara  Holland

Sara Holland grew up in small-town Minnesota among hundreds of books. She graduated from Wesleyan University and worked in a tea shop, a dentist’s office, and a state capitol building before heading to New York to work in publishing. These days, she can be found exploring the city’s bookstores or finding new ways to put caffeine in her bloodstream. EVERLESS is her debut novel.

By TheCaffeinatedReader

A Caffeinated Reader and Musician, destined to write lacklustre book reviews with the over-ample amount of free time.

One reply on “Havenfall eARC Review”

I have seen most people loving this one so your review was refreshing! I don’t mind a love triangle so I don’t think that would bother me but if it is something you don’t like I can see how it would grate a bit. It’s always a struggle when you don’t like the main character though 😦

Liked by 1 person

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