Series: Night and Nothing #1
Published by Harper Voyager on March 10, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romantic
Sexual Content: Kissing
Reviewed by: Kate
Combining the sorcery of The Night Circus with the malefic suspense of A Secret History, Thorn Jack is a spectacular, modern retelling of the ancient Scottish ballad, Tam Lin--a beguiling fusion of love, fantasy, and myth that echoes the imaginative artistry of the works of Neil Gaiman, Cassandra Clare, and Melissa Marr.
In the wake of her older sister's suicide, Finn Sullivan and her father move to a quaint town in upstate New York. Populated with socialites, hippies, and dramatic artists, every corner of this new place holds bright possibilities--and dark enigmas, including the devastatingly attractive Jack Fata, scion of one of the town's most powerful families.
As she begins to settle in, Finn discovers that beneath its pretty, placid surface, the town and its denizens--especially the Fata family--wield an irresistible charm and dangerous power, a tempting and terrifying blend of good and evil, magic and mystery, that holds dangerous consequences for an innocent and curious girl like Finn.
To free herself and save her beloved Jack, Finn must confront the fearsome Fata family . . . a battle that will lead to shocking secrets about her sister's death.
THORN JACK was a bit of a surprise. The cover drew me in more than the description on this one. Especially the hardcover version! But in the end, I was surprised how much I enjoyed THORN JACK. With a heroine who felt a little overly curious at times, to the point of putting herself in danger, it seemed like there wouldn't be many redeeming qualities. Luckily, there is a lot to enjoy about THORN JACK.
THORN JACK has a bit of that TWILIGHT feel to it. Set in a sleepy town, a girl with a single dad, and an intriguing but dangerous man, who happens to be way older than he appears. Aside from those similarities, which arguably are found in many paranormal young adult romance type books these days, though, Harbour does an admirable job of staking her own claim, with a creative mythology, a dark and sinister bad guy and a heroine whose best assets are at times her friends.
Finn tended toward getting on my nerves, but the rest of THORN JACK made up for it. The mysterious Fatas, the tie-in with Finn's sister's suicide, and Finn's friendships were all aspects of the book that kept me reading. Harbour has a wonderful writing style which makes THORN JACK feel so effortless to read. The time blew by while I was reading, as the story kept my eyes glued to the page, not wanting to put the book down until I had the answers. The pacing was excellent, though the switched point of views was less so.
All in all, THORN JACK is a dark, modern, fairy tale. Feeling almost plausible, Harbour's writing sweeps the reader away into a fascinating world of magic, mischief, and malevolence. I know that I am curious to see where she takes this story next in THE BRIAR QUEEN, out now.Series Titles:
- Thorn Jack
- The Briar Queen
- The Nettle King
- For another retelling of the Tam Lin tale, try A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES by Sarah J. Maas.