Sunday, December 17, 2023

#BookReview: Garden of the Cursed (Garden of the Cursed #1) by Katy Rose Pool

Synopsis: In this thrilling YA fantasy/mystery duology from award-winning author Katy Pool, cursebreaker Marlow Briggs reluctantly pretends to be in love with one of the most powerful nobles in Caraza City to gain entry into an illustrious—and deadly—society that holds clues to her mother's disappearance. Perfect for fans of Veronica MarsThese Violent Delights, and Chain of Iron.

Since fleeing the gilded halls of Evergarden for the muck-filled canals of the Marshes, Marlow Briggs has made a name for herself as the best godsdamn cursebreaker in Caraza City. But no matter how many cases she solves, she is still haunted by the mystery of her mother’s disappearance.

When Adrius Falcrest, Marlow's old friend and scion of one of Caraza's most affluent spell-making families, asks her to help break a life-threatening curse, Marlow wants nothing to do with the boy who spurned her a year ago. But a new lead in her mother’s case makes Marlow realize that the only way to get the answers she desperately seeks is to help Adrius and return to Evergarden society—even if it means suffering through a fake love affair with him to avoid drawing suspicion from the conniving Five Families. 

As the investigation draws Marlow into a web of deadly secrets and powerful enemies, a shocking truth emerges: Adrius’s curse and her mother’s disappearance may just be clues to an even larger mystery, one that could unravel the very foundations of Caraza and magic itself.


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: 
This one failed on all accounts to be amazing. The characters were very one sided and cookie cutter. The world building was a mess, and the book was just hard to read and understand. I wanted to love this one but it really didn't work out at all.


“Mystery, fantasy, romance―this book has it all, and every page is more compulsively readable than the last. Gasp-inducing, heart-rending, and beautifully crafted, Garden of the Cursed is nothing short of genius.” ―Jennifer Lynn Barnes, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Inheritance Games series

A delicious read full of swoony romance (fake-dating trope!), dangerous gangsters, wondrous magic, and an elaborate mystery that will keep the pages flying." ―Tricia Levenseller, New York Times–bestselling author of Blade of Secrets

One of the most original fantasy novels I've read in years." ―C. L. Herman, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the All of Us Villains duology 

"A fresh, fascinating magic system, an intricate blend of fantasy meets mystery, and a riveting fake dating romance―
I devoured this in a single day." ―Amanda Foody, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the All of Us Villains duology

"High-stakes action and bureaucratic intrigue abound, but it’s Marlow and Adrius’s charged relationship that keep tensions elevated. Sumptuous worldbuilding and fully realized, intersectionally diverse characters further enhance this enticing tale." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The story blends creative worldbuilding elements with beloved tropes. Delightfully intriguing." ―

"Recommended for any library." ―

"An exciting start to a duology that will leave readers eager for the next installment." ―

Praise for the Age of Darkness trilogy

A Morris Award Finalist for There Will Come a Darkness

* "A successful ending to a brilliant trilogy about human hope and connection . . . set in a diverse world that celebrates and affirms all kinds of love." ―
Kirkus Reviewsstarred review for Into the Dying Light

* "Mind-blowing twists, budding love, and terrible betrayals feature in of power, agency, and identity." ―
Kirkus Reviewsstarred review for As the Shadow Rises 

"Solidifies Katy Rose Pool as one of the best fantasy writers of the 21st century." ―
Popsugar on As the Shadow Rises

* "Masterful." ―
BCCB, starred review for There Will Come a Darkness

"You get the feeling Katy Rose Pool’s plot is always seven steps ahead of you. You’ll want to catch up as quickly as possible." ―
Refinery 29 on There Will Come a Darkness

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

Katy Rose Pool, author of the Age of Darkness trilogy, was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA before graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in history. Currently, she resides in Oakland, CA, where she can be found dreaming up spells and prophecies, rooting for the Golden State Warriors, and reading books that set her on fire.  --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

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