Okay, um mind blown. I hadn't heard much of anything about this book and the lack of references made it really hard to start with a positive attitude. I at first wanted to just skip over the series in turn for some other books that have recently caught my attention, just put this series aside and let it's contents remain hidden from me. These were my thoughts the first 10 pages of the novel. And then Mrs. Goodman had to go and completely blow my mind. Repeatedly.
I became engrossed in the book, with events happening left and right, secrets arising or being revealed, and a fight of not just what is right or wrong, but of good and evil. I. Loved. It.
Avaline was a pretty good, developed character, and I actually kind of liked the fact that the book was set around 1910 because it added to the air of mystery and wonder of the story.
Alrighty, spoilers from here on out. Mainly for me to remember by the time I can get Ravencliffe.
I love Raven. Heart-eyes, swooning, the whole nine-yards. He's so mysterious and misunderstood and perfect (that sounds super cliche) that it's hard not to love him. I also love Daisy who seems the most sympathetic to the faeries and who is the all-around perfect friend for Avaline and Helen. I honestly don't mind Helen, I think she's a good character along with Miss Sharp, Mr. Bellows and Miss Sharp's aunts. I don't like Dame Beckwith much- she's too judgmental and is stuck in the old ways. I kind of wished Agnes would've had more 'screen time' as with Cam (who seemed like the spunky, stereotypical cowgirl), and Miss Corey. Sarah's fall to the tenebrae was a bit surprising though I kind of suspected it because of how convinced Avaline was of the spy being Miss Frost (I'm super excited to she how she develops in the next book! With Sir Malmsbury back she's already looking healthier, and is being more sympathetic to the faeries she used to persecute and torture). Lousia will be interesting though I suspect she'll just be more of a side character than anything else. Nathan! OH my WORD! I am deeply invested in his character. The son of Judicus van Drood! Half shadow already! I sincerely hope that Avaline can save him. He's just so great! And even though Nathan may possibly have more feelings for Avaline, I think him and Helen may actually be a good match (now that Helen will have to be more modest with her spending and pride after the loss of her father).
OKAY. Avaline used a Darkling's feather (probably from the one that loved her mother) to banish the tenebrae temporarily from the school, saving the inhabitants and becoming a hero because of her chime child abilities. But the Dame still thinks the Darklings are somehow to blame (which is completely infuriating), and the only book that could prove the Darkling's innocence and break their curse is now probably forever lost! Having been with the Hawthorn librarian who most likely drowned on the Titanic since he wasn't seen on any survivor lists. Gah! Why!
Oh. And one more last crazy twist that was introduced on like the last page of the book. I suspected that Avaline's father might be a Darkling.
BUT SHE IS ONE?! I didn't expect that! She's going to have wings! And be with Raven! And save her species! And show the Order that the Darklings and some faeries are/can be good! YES!