- The Graces by Laure Eve
Rating: * * * (3/5)
Series: #1 The Graces
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Publication Date: September 2016
Everyone said the Graces were witches.
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.
They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.
All I had to do was show them that person was me.
Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?
This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.
I gave ‘The Graces’ a neutral rating because I am in two minds about it: I thought the second half was much stronger than the first half.
I thought that in the first half of the novel the pace needed to pick up, and I found myself skim-reading certain sections to develop a faster pace. The first part was not as exciting or magical as the blurb made it seem, and indeed it was not as exciting as many other books that I have read this year. Additionally, none of the characters really stood out for me – not even the alluring, glamorous Graces. (Also – the name Thalia Grace kept making me think of Percy Jackson!) I didn’t particularly like nor feel particularly attached to any of the characters in the novel, which made the reading experience less enjoyable than I was expecting.
However, despite this, there was something in the first half that made me want to keep reading. The writing style had a really mysterious and creepy quality to it, and this did make me want to read on and find out what would ultimately happen.
I much preferred the second half of the novel to the first. Part Two was much more exciting and much darker, and it was where the book really came into its own. There were lots of twists and revelations. I did see part of the main twist coming, but certainly not the whole of it, and it did still shock me. I thought that the twist was very clever and skilful. It did explain some of the aspects of Part One that I was not sure about, too. It certainly made the novel very memorable.
Overall, I didn’t love ‘The Graces’ but I did think it was cleverly written and the ending has made me intrigued to find out what will happen next. It was thrilling in a quiet, slowly mysterious way (until the very end when it really picked up), rather than a fast-paced, constantly exciting way.