Evading the Dark by E. M. Rinaldi
I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I've known the author for around 5 years now, and when she told me that her book was about witches I knew I had to read it.
Evading the Dark is the story of Casey Cross, a sophomore at an academy for magical people. There are three races that attend the academy- the Witches, the Shifters, and the Fae. Casey Cross is different- unlike those around her, she has no magical powers. Coming from the legacy of powerful witches, this makes Casey an outcast in a world of powerful people.
Things I liked:
I thoroughly loved Casey. She was witty, sarcastic, and powerful. She's hilarious! I found myself chuckling throughout the entire book. The Luthos Academy, the training, all of it reminded me a bit of Vampire Academy (which is a good thing!). This book is fairly short, but by the time it ended I was fully invested in the story. One incredibly strong point of this book was her friendships with Cedric and Falon. Falon never seemed like a sidekick, and I would absolutely love to read a story about her life before the academy. The way Cedric and Casey dance around each other throughout the book was delightful to read, and I appreciate the slow burn of their (still budding!) romance. I also appreciated the small bit of history that we were able to glean from the book, and I'm interested to learn more about the world.
Things I struggled with:
The book had a rocky start for me. It seemed like it was going to be cliche, but the more I read the better the book got. The writing was a tad amateurish and some of the phrasing was awkward at times. That being said, I enjoyed this novel. The villains were fairly flat characters, but I feel that's mostly because the book was so short. I would love to hear more of the history of the academies, the Dean's past, and even Eli's relationship with Casey's mother. I'm a little skeptical of prophecies, but not enough to turn me off to the book.
All things said, this was an enjoyable book. I'm rating it 3.5 stars because of the few things I struggled with, but I definitely recommend this book to fans of Vampire Academy and The Engelsfors Trilogy. I will absolutely pick up the sequel. I want to see more of these characters!