Title/Author: The Hidden Twin by Adi Rule
Publisher/Date published: St. Martin's Press, March 22nd 2016
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley, thanks!
Goodreads summary: For eighteen years, Redwing has lived in hiding in a city of hissing pipes and curving temples perched on the side of Mol, the great volcano. Her father hoped she would grow up to be a real human girl and not a wicked creature out of mythology, so he secretly spared her life as an infant.
But when two priests track her down and attack, she calls forth fire to protect herself, and her secret is out. Redwing soon catches the attention of a cult with a thousand year-old grudge, a group of underground rebels, and the son of the Empress. And when Redwing’s sister goes missing, she uncovers a greater plot to awaken Mol and bring his lava down upon them all.
Now, Redwing must draw a line between myth and history and prove herself more than a monster if she is to save both her sister and her home.
So before starting this I'd seen people LOVE it and also people who REALLY didn't like, so I was curious where I'd fall on this spectrum. And I'll have to say that I fall somewhere right in de middle.
There's not a lot explained about the world that The Hidden Twin is set in and things start happening before I really had a grip on the people and the places we were seeing. And I felt a bit like I was floundering about, not really seeming to catch myself and really get a sense of what was going on, which detracted from my enjoyment of the story a bit. But Adi Rule set the scene eventually and I was able to get into it then.
I'm thinking there's a LOT of backstory actually there for this world, but the sad thing is for me, that we're not really getting shown a lot of it. I mean, there's all this mythology and also the faith of the people that gets mentioned, but not fully explained and because of this, I just barely got a glimpse of the interesting things that Adi Rule's come up with and it could have just been so much more! I mean, the redwings and the Others are SO interesting, but I'm not really sure who or what they are and I've definitely read the whole thing. I found myself checking multiple times that yes, this really is a standalone and yes, it's also really just 242 pages. It felt more like the summary of a story than the whole story.
But that's not to say that it wasn't entertaining, I mean, the main character, who is nameless (seriously, WHAT IS UP with her family??), is feisty and while not interacting with people all that much before the events in The Hidden Twin get going, she manages to come up with all the snappy comebacks and I liked it. The only thing is, that it was a bit hard to believe that she could be so natural with all these people when mostly she's only been interacting with her father and sister, so it seemed a bit improbable. But she was funny, so I went with it.
I really liked the idea of redwings and the hints of the mythology and even the tiny romance part of it. But what kept bugging me was that it was just too much of a plot for the amount of pages, so it just lacked depth for me. It could have been so much more if there'd just been more room for the story to unfold and to really understand what was going on. I mean, the big finale takes less than 10 pages. I mean, what?
I still think that this story and the idea behind it has a lot of potential, I just wish it had been fleshed out a bit more, because now parts of it just fell flat.
My rating: 2,5 stars