My own unapologetic opinions on books and writing.
by S.G. Redling
'Ourselves' is a reference to a people who live among ordinary people, which seems to be a recurring concept recently. These call themselves the Nahan.
It's a cute little poetic fantasy with a touch of Irish which is advertised as "dark and sensual" for an adult readership, but reads more like a YA novel (perhaps because the main characters are young), apart from occasional swearing and sexual situations.
Stell feels there is something wrong with her and runs away to the forest where being different won't matter. Tomas seems awkward. There is a little too much 'telling' in the first chapter and the issues concerning high school and college and being the awkward weird kids had me wondering what I was doing here.
There is a strong focus on religious fanaticism, which seemed to me to be too 'real world' to really feel like I was reading a fantasy novel. This and some, what I would call modern Internet punctuation, "You. Left. Me. In. A. Gay. Bar." to show emphasis on each word when a character is trying to make a point, made me wonder how old the author was.
I actually found the profanity unnecessary and felt like I was just reading a book about horny teenagers until I got about 16% in and said to myself, "Oh great, vampires."
I felt I had to rate this one low because it isn't what it says on the tin. The writing is literate, but the voice is middle grade and the plot would suit that level as well if the swearing and sex was removed. I can't say that it held my attention well, but for adults who read a lot of YA, it might be a really good read. It just wasn't what I expected from the description and I don't read a lot of YA because I just don't identify with teenage issues. Two stars from me, but a lot of my friends might like it much better.