Welcome to my stop on The Forgotten Ones Blog Tour, hosted by AToMR Tours! You can read my review below, as well as enter a giveaway for an e-book of The Forgotten Ones, a $25 Amazon gift card, and a swag bag!
Title: The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1)
Author: Laura Howard
Release date: May 15, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
Allison O’Malley just graduated from college. Her life’s plan is to get a job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She doesn’t have room for friends or even Ethan, who clearly wants more.
When Allison’s long-lost father shows up, he claims he can bring her mother back from the dark place her mind has sent her. He reveals legends of a race of people long forgotten, the Tuatha de Danaan, along with the truth about why he abandoned her mother.
About the Author:
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of six when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, eight years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.
In a word: fascinating Irish folklore, a magical realm, a budding romance, and lots of family secrets.
The Forgotten Ones was a short novel brimming with delightful fae magic that begins in the normal world, the one we’re familiar with, and winds up somewhere else entirely. I loved the family bonds in this story, particularly the one between the main character Allison and her mother Elizabeth, who is fighting a losing battle with schizophrenia (at least that’s what we’re told). She looks longingly out the window as if looking for something she’s lost, and we can feel Allison’s pain as she tries to bring her mother back to reality. Luckily, Allison has a great support system to help her: her grandparents and her cousin Nicole, who just happens to live next door. Allison dreams of the day her mother will be happy again, but she fears it’s her fate to care for Elizabeth for the rest of her life, and so she denies herself the company of her friends.
But a boy named Ethan might just change her mind. Allison’s known Ethan for a long time. They even shared a kiss years ago, and Allison has been in love with him secretly ever since. But how does Ethan feel about her? And how can she possibly think about herself when she’s got Elizabeth to look after? When a stranger named Liam comes to the house looking for Elizabeth, Allison discovers that her mother has been keeping secrets about her past. Like it or not, Allison’s life is now intertwined with Liam’s, and she’s going to have to be brave in order to help the people she loves.
Howard delves into the wonderful world of Irish folklore and fairies. Some of these elements I recognized from other books, and some of it was new to me. I loved the way the story starts in our normal, everyday world, and gradually transitions into a different one. Allison is completely focused on her mother’s problems, so it takes a while for her to become aware of the strange things that seem to be happening around her: dreams about people she’s never met, a flock of noisy crows that keeps hanging around the yard, and worst of all, the voices in her head that only she can hear. All these things point to the reasons behind her mother’s “schizophrenia,” and Allison is determined to figure out what’s going on.
The romantic elements are very subtle, which I thought was a good choice for the author to make. They don’t overpower the real story here, and I thought the relationship between Allison and Ethan enhanced the dramatic parts of the story. There is some teenage jealousy and angst, but I didn’t think it was too much. Ethan is clearly into Allison, but she’s hesitant to start a relationship when she feels she needs to focus on her mother.
Things did get confusing for me about mid-way through the book, when we’re suddenly introduced to a bunch of new characters from Liam’s world, characters with Gaelic names that were frankly unpronounceable. I understand why the author decided to do this, but every time I saw a name like “Aoife” or “Blaithin” or “Niamh”—none of which sound the way they look, by the way—I immediately stopped reading the story and focused on the name instead. Not even the pronunciation guide at the end of the book was helpful. But I’m sure Howard was going for authenticity by including traditional Irish names, and for that you have to give her credit.
The story ends on an emotional note with a cliffhanger of sorts, promising more drama, romance and magic to come. For readers who love fairy lore and stories with strong family ties, you will really enjoy The Forgotten Ones.
Many thanks to the author for supplying a review copy.
And now for the giveaway…Here’s what’s up for grabs:
(10) eBook copies of The Forgotten Ones – mobi format – International
(1) $25 Amazon Gift Card – open to countries able to accept Amazon Gift Cards
(2) Swag Pack: includes key chain, bookmark, and postcard
Simply click on the Rafflecopter button to enter now!
If you’d like to follow along on the other tour stops, please click the tour button below:
Big thanks to AToMR Tours for hosting!