Cover Image: Havenfall


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Member Reviews

A magical world and monsters what more could you ask for in a book. Havenfall had so many twists in turns that I could not put the book down near the end. Some parts were a bit slower and just had a lot of details in it, but you can't fault it too much. Holland also gave one of the best plot twists that I have read in awhile, I literally gasped so loud my grandma had to come check on me. 

Maddie is also a very inspirational character for those who are put in a scary situation very quickly. With the help of the other people who are living in Havenfall she was able to conquer all of her fears and do what was best for the community. Also she took her heartbreak and yes she wallowed in it, but then she came back better than ever and was ready to fight.
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Intriguing story! A great author with moving storytelling skills. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a book to take with you for a quick escape from the work life.
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I didn't read the whole thing, only an excerpt, but it's one I think I'll pick up again someday. I loved the description of Haven, of the mountains, and Mirror Lake sounds very pretty. I like the narrator's voice and Taya is a character I would love to learn more about
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Havenfall Review

First thought I had whenever I read that Marcus was a portal keeper, my mind went immediately to Magnus Bane and I was hooked. I was also not expecting monsters to be part of this book. I try to go into books blind so the anticipation is greater a boy I was not expecting any of that. Maddie seems like she is going to be one of those characters that i root for long after Ive finished the book. 

Havenfall sounds like such a magical place to stay, even if you do have to drink a certain wine that makes you forget everything that happened. The writing just makes you want to go through the pages and be there with Maddie. Definitely a very good book for everyone to read, I never wanted to put the book down.

Holland makes such a great plot twist that I honestly didn’t see it coming. Really can’t wait for book two.
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Havenfall is an Inn, hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado, that is a sanctuary connecting ancient worlds together. For generations the Inn has protected all who seek refuge. For Maddie Morrow, summers at the Inn are an escape from reality, where her mothers sits on death row accused of murdering her brother. But this summer everything the Inn stands for is shattered when people end up dead. Her friend is missing, her uncle is gravely ill, there’s a deadly monster on the loose and Maddie finds herself in charge. She’ll do anything to find the truth, but no one can be trusted and no one is safe…

It’s a good thing this book is only 320 pages because if it was any longer it would have been one hell of a slog.

While there is a uniqueness to it Sara Holland gives you a lot of info dumping. Nothing is done in small doses, everything comes at once. I had no idea what to focus on or if there was anything particular I was supposed to be paying attention to. I feel like I know a lot but at the same time I know nothing. Holland made the choice to have the book in first person POV so the majority of it is inner monologue and description and it just makes the book feel so heavy even though it’s so short.

Character wise, meh. I can tell you a few names but I couldn’t go further than that. None of the characters have much depth to them and aren’t memorable in the slightest. I found it difficult to connect with any of them or feel any form of sympathy even though they all seemed to have the “tragic past” trope. I found Maddie to be quite boring and a very basic character. She also doesn’t strike me as the smartest of tools which is never a good thing for an MC.

I’ve seen a few people say this book feels more like a novella or a prequel, to which I say, for what purpose? If you’re going to do a prequel to introduce a new world before the series gets going then maybe do it with a different set of characters. I feel like the attempt at world building took precedence over the characters and to me, that shouldn’t happen. I can tolerate an iffy world if the characters are good, because I’ll keep reading for the characters, but if the characters are poor then there’s nothing for me to connect to and get invested in.

Ultimately, I just don’t really care which is incredibly disappointing. Everless was everything I didn’t know I wanted and I thought Sara Holland could become one of my favourite authors but this really makes me second guess that. Nothing excites me here. Give me a week and I won’t remember anything. The plot and story were nothing special and the ‘twists’ were incredibly predictable, I’d called most of it within the first 10% of the book. The dialogue was odd and unnatural. I feel like if Sara thought she could write the whole book as an inner monologue she would have. Just no. It really didn’t deliver.

I received a digital copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest feedback
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Havenfall - Sarah Holland

What a wild ride this was! This was an emotional roller coaster from start to finish, there were moments where I debated DNFing, the narration was weirdly paced in some places, which you'll know if you follow me on Twitter.

It literally went from ooooh to meh to OH GOOD GOD. I'm so glad I stuck with it because when the action got started and the conspiracy starts unraveling, this get super good - so power on through!

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...

I loved the premise and the world building was really engaging - our narrator is a regular modern day teenager, so as you're learning more about what's going on, it is being explained to you in an engaging and accessible way which isn't something I find that often when reading fantasy books.

Other things I liked about this:

we have a bisexual main character who actually acknowledges her sexuality and is attracted to both a girl and a guy during the story without it being a main plot point.
There is a lesbian character too and the two of them flirt and I am here for it.
Our narrator's uncle is a gay man married to another gay man.
This book is super gay without being gay and I am HERE. FOR. IT.
Also the entire book is full of fascinating characters.

I'm so excited for book two and seeing where the story is going next.

In the object of fairness, here's what I didn't like I did mention at the start that I did debate DNFing this in the first half and that was down to the narration. There were times when Maddie's story telling was just a little repetitive and  I'm like Maddie, jeeez, get on with it and stop dwelling on stuff that isn't relevant right now. Other than that, this was great fun and I'm looking forward to reading Sara Holland's other books!
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An amazing start to what I’m certain will be an incredible novel. I’m drawn in and invested in the characters and bewitched by the world building presented.
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Ohh I love the cover so much! When I read the excerpt, I knew I was going to love it! Hopefully, I can read the full book as soon as possible!
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When I first started to read, Havenfall I wasn't sure whether I would like it. It felt so different to Everless and Evermore. Whereas before I felt that I had eased into the series, this was a struggle. Perhaps because there was so much world building to do and the terminology was hard to get my head around.

But once I go over that little pickle, Havenfall was a joy to read. My heart went out to Maddie as she has to make some difficult decisions to keep the inn running smoothly.  Because this is a story that throws event after event at you. You don't really have to wonder about who all the characters are and how they are coping. You just have to keep up with all the events happening. 

And Maddie, while she is a strong and determined person is young. and she is still dealing with the death of her brother ten years ago.  This impact her decision making and influence what decisions she make. But she learns from her errors. And it is this which shows how strong a leader she can be. 

There are a couple of points that I guessed slightly earlier in the story. But some of the reveals are pretty huge. And when I got to the ending I was slightly disappointed. However there is another book in the series to come and I cannot wait to see what Maddie will do. 

Also there are a few secondary characters who I loved. However there was so many amazing character, that they all could not have the page time that they deserved. I really hope that we get to see more of them in book two!

If you are after a fun light fantasy read. Even with all the murder, then this is definitely the book for you. Havenfall is that surprising twisty turns book that you didn't quite realise you needed.
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I picked up Havenfall because I’d read both Everless and Evermore from Sara Holland and was excited to what she would come up with next. From reading both, I think Holland is extemely good at thinking up a unique premise and building that into a book. For the Everless duology it was blood is literally time and money, for this book it’s that a small inn in Colarado is the place where realms meet.

The ideas of different realms is not new, but the Havenfall inn being a place for yearly meetings between realms, and the reason for a lot of human fairytales and monsters was intriguing. I loved that we got to know the process and all about the delegates too – as it gave a lot of depth to this process. 

The delegates also gave a really good way of world building for the other realms. For the most part, this book is taking place only in Havenfall which is the area around the inn which is in Haven which is Earth. We don’t actually visit anywhere except earth, but it feels like we know so much about the other two realms of Fiordenkill and Bryn that we had been there. The world building is immersive. 

The delegates also bring across their different cultures, we see Maddie try to help them negotiate between each other, and how they have different characteristics. We also get to see how each of them has a different type of magic, which was extremely interesting for me. I love magic systems and this one was interesting mainly because of the different people. 

The conflict in the book is very murder mystery like in places… so this made it ever so slightly predictable. You can kind of guess the bad guys and the good guys from the start of the book, which both makes it annoying when Maddie does the wrong thing, but it does work to create a lot of tension. 

The secrets inside the halls of Havenfall are good. You want to find out all the little hints which lead you down the path to find out the truth. These secrets actually created some twists and turns out of the predictability which was helpful to the overall story. 

Maddie is our main character and point of view. She’s in love with Havenfall and has a tragic backstory which makes her run back this summer. Throughout the book we see her mature and grow into a more confident innkeeper as she has to take over for her uncle whilst he’s out cold. Without her uncle by her side (and limited training as no one expected her to start so young!) you can clearly see her struggle and make poor decisions at times. But she does grow on you as a reader, as well as into her role. 

Overall the book was enjoyable and a fast read! I’m excited to see what Maddie and co get up to next. 

Positives of Havenfall
World Building
Magic system
Negatives of Havenfall
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I really enjoyed this book, I liked the setting and the world buiding. I thought it was really well thought out. I felt like we were in a kingdom with lots of different realms. The setting of Havenfall i really enjoyed and it was a classic ya book with names of other kingdoms being soridan and foirden. I liked our main character Maddie, she was strong and determined just like any other ya main character in a fantasy story but it wasnt a bad thing. she ends up having to be the innkeeper of Havenfall after her uncle becomes ill. We did get put writing into the story at the beginning with maddie already on the journey up to Havenfall without her dad knowing. I loved the mystery aspect of the book and how it intrigued the reader to try and work out who opened the door. I suspected who it was around the halfway mark it was great to carry on to see if my suspect was guilty! which they were! I liked the romance in the book even though it wasnt the main focus and wasnt throughout the whole book only at the beginning and end. 

I gave this book 4 stars. I really enjoyed it and cant wait for the sequel.
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I liked the concept of this one but found it lacking in execution. It feel more like a prequel novel than the first in a series, much of the book was merely giving background and then the real action didn't start till towards the end. I didn't find Maddie particularly captivating as a protagonist either. Still I thought it was a creative take on a portal fantasy and I'll probably read the sequel when it comes out.
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I was provided a sample extract of this novel.

First of all, I love the cover! It's intriguing and filled with intrigue designs to look at!

The first few chapters that I had access to were enough to have me hooked on the book.  It was informative and provided a great set up for the story.  I look forward to reading the entire book!
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This book was unimpressive to be honest. I had high hopes for it but the plot seemed to develop very quickly. While it definitely had strong points, there seemed to be something missing to take it over the “meh” edge and make it a memorable YA story.
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First of all: I LOVE the cover of this book. It's beautiful. 

Second of all, and most importantly, I really enjoyed the extract I was lucky enough to be given access to by NetGalley! The writing hooked me immediately, and I intend to finish the novel now that it's published and give a more in-depth review. Excited!
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I only read the available extract, but was suitably impressed with Sara Holland’s new series. Can’t wait to read the whole book.
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Firstly I love the cover of this book, it is just stunning and soothing all at once and a beautiful cover that this contains a beautiful world within. I could definitely picture havenfall and its magical properties and that is because of Sara Holland's beautiful writing. It is so descriptive and often really profound, like in this case, 'It occurs to me, Calmly and distantly, that I've thought about things the wrong way. The difference between monsters and people; it's not a divide between Solarians and humans or anything like that, it's what we do'. I liked that it walks that balance between magical and real, I found it easy to picture and definitively believed everything that Maddie was going through. 

I love a book with a strong female lead and we have that here with Maddie who aspires to be the Havenfall Inkeeper, responsible for overseeing peace delegations between worlds,  when her uncle retires. I like that she has these strong desires and knows what she wants. She is ultimately flawed though and this is where a lot of the plot points come from. Maddie tries to do what she can to solve problems but she really can't always. There is an element of romance in this book and a hint of a f/f/ relationship but it is not the main plot of this one. I would have liked more to have been made of that particular relationship but this is maybe something which will be explored in the next book in the series. 

This was definitely light fantasy with a lot of action, some violence but it poses a lot of questions and a lot of dilemmas for our character which I am sure will be picked up in book 2. I liked that there wasn't tons of new information to take in but I don't think that a little more detail would have hurt the pacing at all. Maddie was a good main character but I would definitely like to see a few more memorable characters in book 2 because for me, the setting in the Colorado mountains was what stuck out for me. I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes in book 2.
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I love elements of the book: the idea of Havenfall, the Inn with secret Doorways to other worlds, the peace summit and different cultures, the Mirror Lake. The storyline is great, even when a bit foreseeable, but I like the message conveyed. I would love to explore more of this world, of Havenfall itself. 

I didn't like Maddie so much. I loved that she was one without magic, that she solved all of it only by strength of character and morals. What I didn't like was that she let her emotions overtake her, how often she wanted to give up (understandable, but the emphasis on it was to heavy, it always felt hopeless.) I didn't like her descision to solve every problem alone, to take all up on herself and not get help from the people around her who were clearly trustworthy (Greylin, Willow). I wanted her to ask more questions, to be not so easily fooled or trusting when clearly someone was the only source of news and shaped the truths alone. 
I would have wanted her to think more with her head then her heart, even though she had some fierce moments that I loved. 
I strongly dislike, that only with Brekken back, Maddie seems able to piece everything together. Not only because she has more facts, but she has an emotional stability with Brekken that she didn't allow herself before. That she couldn't do it on her own, because she let herself be reigned by emotions - fear, stress,  betrayal, hopelessness. 

I liked Taya and the Heiress a lot, great women to accompany the main character. I found the characters of Marcus, Greylin and the Silver Prince really interesting, wished sometimes that there were more interactions, the book was quite heavy on Maddies internal voice. 
Sometimes I felt like the writing style slowed things down, you could count on a whole report of Maddies feelings and ability before something major happened. 

But I do think that Maddie was a good, strong choice to tell this story, show how overwhelming sudden responsibility can be and how left alon young adults sometimes feel. I had some minor problems with the book, but overall really enjoyed it and am excited to read more.
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A thrilling first few chapters that set the tone of the world and main character. I found myself incredibly intrigued to what happened to the main characters brother and desperate to read more of the magical Havenfall and the other worlds
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I tried with this book I really did and I just couldn't get in to it. 

I think it's because I have read a very similar book to this with a theme which is very much the same and so kept comparing it to that book and so just couldn't get in to it 

I may revisit this book at a later date but for now this book is on my DNF list
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