*Note: I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*
The aptly titled Twisted Fate is Jessi Elliott’s debut novel, though you wouldn’t know it from the way she writes. This girl has a true talent, and her book is nothing short of a new adult dream.
Aurora Marshall is a fourth year college student, hoping to finish her business major on a high note. But when she’s mistaken for another girl and gets kidnapped in her place, her whole life flips upside down. In the span of 24 hours, she discovers a hidden race living among humans called the Fae, and she finds herself unwittingly in the clutches of Tristan Westbrook, their leader. But as Aurora learns more about Tristan, she realizes there’s more to him than meets the eye, if only she’ll allow herself to see it. In a constant struggle between normalcy and fantasy, Aurora’s final year of college is nothing like she imagined.
If you’re an avid reader of Fiction’s Mistress, it will come as no surprise that I’m a fantasy/sci-fi girl through and through. But surprisingly, while I enjoyed the fantasy aspect of this novel, it wasn’t what captured my attention. It wasn’t even what captured my heart. Elliott’s talent lies elsewhere, in her ability to convey raw human emotion.
Though the novel can be described as fantasy, or at the very least, new adult with fantasy elements, it is the story’s human touch that makes it resonate with the audience. Elliott doesn’t get lost in the glamour and details of the Fae, something that many fantasies are prone to do. She grounds Aurora firmly in the human world with her heart-breakingly sweet connection to her younger brother, Adam. A relationship that will not only make you smile, but that will bring tears to your eyes on multiple occasions. Elliott writes as someone who has experienced true heartbreak, and not the kind we’re used to reading about in new adult novels.
In fact, the best aspects of this book are the secondary characters, and this is something I applaud Elliott for. It’s easy to get caught up with your protagonists, particularly when their relationship is blossoming, and forget to fully-form others. But characters such as Skylar and Max are so intriguing and likable (even when they’re unlikable), that you can’t help but want to read more. In fact, I’m hoping for a couple spin-offs here. Especially for Skylar, who is, without question, one of my favourite characters in Twisted Fate.
The romance between Aurora and Tristan definitely qualifies as steamy, but if I had any advice for the author, it would be to let the relationship bloom a little differently. The build-up is there, don’t get me wrong, but it goes from 0-100 quite quickly, and I would have liked to see more of a natural progression. It would have added to their chemistry and felt a little more realistic. That being said, the relationship itself was written well in the sense that it diverts from many YA/NA tropes. Tristan respects Aurora’s boundaries, and though he breaks that confidence once in the beginning, he obliges her request to stop, without hesitation. It’s extremely refreshing to read a new adult novel without a problematic male lead.
Twisted Fate is an incredibly easy read, and it’s very difficult to stop once you’ve started. The author gives enough details about the Fae world to keep readers hooked, but not so much that it feels like a glossary, something I deeply appreciated. I only wish that we had seen a little less of the romance between Tristan and Aurora, and a little more of the amazing secondary characters, but undoubtedly this will come in the sequel. Overall, this is a supremely enjoyable read, and a truly fantastic first novel. It’s something that any Young Adult or New Adult reader will fall in love with. I happily rate this book 4.5/5 stars.
I’d like to thank Jessi for an ARC of Twisted Fate, and offer her a massive congratulations on this, her release day! You can now order Twisted Fate via Amazon, Kobo, Indigo and more. You can check out her site for more info and stay up-to-date with news on Twisted Gift, coming Fall 2018.
Twisted Fate Is Available Now.