I’m not sure what’s going on with WordPress but this post has published twice all on its own so if it wants to be out in the world so bad, then fine, I will sit down and write this review.
I have had a fair amount of trouble getting into V.E. Schwab’s other novels. I wanted to like the Darker Shade series, I also tried the Villains duology, but each time I lost interest about halfway through the first books. Schwab is one of those authors whose work I desperately WANT to like, so I got Addie LaRue off my library holds list to give it a go.
Addie is a young woman from the rural French countryside in the early 18th century. She is headstrong and a dreamer, and as she sees her best friend get married and consumed by motherhood, she avoids it as long as she can. When servitude finally falls on her shoulders she runs into the woods and prays to any god that will listen, and even though the local “witch” warned her not to pray to gods that answer after dark, she doesn’t realize the sun has gone down and summons darkness itself. She strikes a bargain which allows her to be immortal and experience as much life as she cares to enjoy, but the genie wish/curse part or the bargain is that “freedom” comes with never connecting with people, including being instantly forgotten if anyone loses sight of her.
The story bops between her navigating her first 50-100 years and present day. In the present day she has stumbled upon someone who remembers her even after they part, and the mystery is why that has happened. I enjoyed seeing how Addie learned to work within the confines of her wish/curse. It forced her to become a master puzzler with excellent timing. She learns she can’t make things but she can steal things that already exist. She can’t take a picture or write her own name, but other people can draw, paint, or write about her indirectly. Even after 300 years she’s always finding something new that fascinates her, and every time the god (she calls him Luc) comes to ask her to surrender her soul, she tells him no, that there is more life to live.
The only part of the book that I felt kind of “eh” about was the ending. Waiting to see how Addie will handle the Henry situation creates most of the tension in the story. I held my breath every time they were together because I didn’t want Luc to discover them and ruin everything. How this situation resolves is a bit anticlimactic, but not so much that I regretted sticking with the book to the very end.
Finally! I found a V.E. Schwab book I was invested in enough to finish. You should go give it a try too. Don’t rush, but don’t forget.
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