Vivatera Wasn't My Cup of Tea, but Fun to Experience (Review: Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas)

4:06 PM

Here we go. 


Naomi Bucklingdown has no idea of the importance of her survival; her only clue is a mark on her neck – An interweaving star. In a fast moment Naomi’s life changes forever when she discovers a young woman with the same unusual mark on her neck, but before she can reach her she is kidnapped; spirited away by a mysterious stranger, Reynolds Fairborne. Reynolds alone knows the secret of Naomi’s identity. Only he knows the danger she would face if she were ever discovered, for the Kingdom of Parbraven is poisoned by magic and the only hope for survival lies in a secret only Naomi has. This is where her journey of discovery begins and her true identity is about to be revealed. 

Vivatera by Candace J. Thomas | Rating: ★★★☆☆

I was sent an eARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not change my view in any shape or form.

There were a lot of things I really appreciated about Vivatera, but there were also a lot of things that I just wasn't altogether keen on about the novel. It was just one of those novels that I can rate pretty in favor but that I wasn't super into? We all have those moments in literature. It happens. It's one of those things about being a reader that is just... complicated.

I can't decide if it was merely my mood, and in turn it wasn't the right time for me and this book. I was coming down off of the high of some books that truly blew me away, after all. Or if it was just that the execution of Vivatera that just wasn't my cup of tea?

Before we get too deep into this review, I want to make it clear that I didn't hate this book or even dislike it, it just wasn't a standout for me (and my personal preference as a reader) and that's okay. I kind of straddled the line about it when it came down to my thoughts on it and it really just is what it is. Vivatera wasn't my favourite but it also wasn't my least favourite. This doesn't reflect Candace J. Thomas' ability as a writer.

I had issues with the beginning of Vivatera which ultimately stuck with me throughout the book, even in the moments that it improved. It started off quite slow and didn't really live up to the synopsis. I'm not sure what I expected from it but it wasn't really what I ended up receiving in the end. Which was disappointing and definitely lent itself into what my rating process would be.

Vivatera is the first book in a series and we all know that the first book is crucial to both the writer and the reader. Ultimately it was shaky in terms of hooking me into the books that are to come and there's no going around that fact.

I enjoyed it well enough but I can't say that I'm all that intrigued on a sequel. I don't know, I have a lot of mixed feelings on it, but there's still that chance that either I'll (a) reread it in the future to see if it really wasn't my time for Vivatera or (b) just dive into the sequel on a whim.

Ending my review on a positive note, there were still some elements to Vivatera that are important to note. Again, I didn't hate this book! There were a lot of things I really did enjoy or appreciate. I liked the premise and the characters, and the way that certain characters were portrayed. I thought the way that magic and reality were combined and really liked Naomi as a character.

In-fact, she is exactly the sort of main character that I often will connect with. There was something to her that just had the it-factor and I really think Thomas is onto something when it comes to her as a character. She is, ultimately, what kept me reading in the weaker points of Vivatera.

Another thing I liked about it was Thomas' prose. I just really found myself easing into the way that Thomas tells a story and think that this is something that will truly be showcased in any sequels in the future. While there were some tropes within her plotlines that I wasn't terribly keen on, she did make the reading experience all the more pleasant.

Ultimately, my feelings on Vivatera are a mixed bag and I think I'd have to return to it in the future to give it a fuller rating. I do think that it's worth the read and will gather up a pretty solidly loyal group of fans. And, of course, I don't regret reading it.

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