The last sage let a human die. Autumn Rose is now sage and protector at her school, which doesn’t make her popular. When another sage turns up, she is dragged back into a world she would much rather leave behind.
I was a little confused when I started Autumn Rose as I was expecting a follow on from The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire. Instead, this runs concurrently with the previous story, introducing new characters whose timelines slowly start to merge. Abigail’s writing is becoming a lot more consistent, but overall I felt it lost some of the appeal of Violet’s story. Maybe she made Fallon a bit too nice and respectable in response to Kaspar.
I liked Edmund as a sort of father figure to Autumn. I think he puts her age into perspective sometimes. If she acts like a spoilt child at times, well it probably because she is. She’s only supposed to be 15 at the start of the book. There’s less sex this time round but it still touches on teen sex, and decisions to take the extra step.
Autumn’s depression wasn’t entirely convincing. I don’t think you should need to be explicitly told that a character is depressed to be aware of it. It didn’t come across in her narrative and if Fallon hadn’t had that conversation about suicidal thoughts, I don’t think I would have thought of her as suffering depression. Yes, she’s been bullied at school, but the way it was introduced was that she had no one. Yet, later on we find she has plenty of people behind her and she had also stuck up for another, younger, girl and become firm friends. She seemed to be coping with life pretty well considering her unusual circumstances.
It needed a bit more world-building for my liking. The multiple dimensions weren’t all that clear. They had shared history and culture, so are people meant to exist in all or one? Autumn’s news covered Violet’s kidnaping but she’s in another dimension. I couldn’t get my head around it and was unsure of the purpose of making Autumn’s world nearly the same as the vampire’s dimension (which I also think is ours). Why did she have to go to a school? When really the author’s fondness for manor houses comes through eventually.
I was really looking forward to read more about the heroines. Because it’s running concurrently rather than a true sequel, it only gets picked up again near the end. I’m not sure if I’d continue with this series. I would probably want to see the next instalment pick up with both Violet and Autumn, rather than investing and getting to know yet another main character. We’ll see…
Autumn Rose is published by Harper Voyager and will be available in paperback and ebook formats from 30th January 2014. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.