The Forgotten Ones (The Danaan Trilogy #1) by Laura Howard
Release Date: April 28th 2013
Genre: NA or YA Paranormal/Supernatural/Fantasy
Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.
What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.
If this book was a person, I would so give it a hug. As a book that falls under the New Adult genre since it's main characters are in their very early 20s, this book hits it out of the ball park. First of all, it's a book that has fantasy, something that is still not too common in the New Adult genre that is governed by realistic fiction. What does this book focus on you might ask? I'm here to tell you that it's about Faeries. Another thing that sets The Forgotten Ones apart is that even though the female heroine of this book has a love interest, her life does not revolve around him. I know. It surprised me as well and in such a good way. People in their early 20s struggle with so much more than romance; like finding out who they are, family drama, adjusting to adulthood, money troubles etc.
The thing I liked the most about this novel is the writing. This book is just really easy to get into and though it's subjects are not light, it felt like a light read. There is just this immediate comfort that you get while reading this book because though it has fantasy in it, the fantasy doesn't overwhelm the story, which is something that often happens with books that have a contemporary/realistic setting (which this one does) that later transitions into fantasy (which in this book is the fae world).
The characterization in this novel is really great. I thought Allison was a really great female lead. She felt like a real person. As a girl who has had to take care of her schizophrenic mother her whole life, she is extremely mature and dedicated to not only her family, but to her job and studies as well. Yes, this does present a problem in her life in the sense that she does forget to focus on her personal life (friends, romance) but that's what's great about her. We get to see her struggle with that and learning to balance that out, which rings so very true to what a lot of people her age (early 20s) are struggling with. Her love interest, Ethan, was great. He was a very good guy, so very sweet and understanding of Allison and her troubles, but even though he was sweet, it didn't make him a pushover or a too-good-to-be-true type of guy. He had a charisma to him and a spark to his personality; he too felt like a real person like Allison did.
The fantasy elements in this book were great. My first exposure to faeries. Believe it or not, I had not read a book about them before. I liked the world-building for them. The world seemed so magical, full of mystique and danger. The fae people have quite an interesting hierarchy in this novel. They are beautiful and dangerous and powerful and complex. That queen and king and their kids were something else. My only struggle with the fae mythology in this book were the names. I mean, you do get used to it eventually, and props to the author for creativity because there were some names there that were quite unique, but they are a bit of a challenge in the beginning.
Overall, this book is a really great read and the romance is so sweet that I can see why this book is also classified as a young adult novel because the romance in this book is more focused on the characters emotions and the female lead trying to come to grips that she is in love, amongst so much drama with her ailing mother, her connection to the complex fae world, and her trying to figure out just how to manage her life.
Oh, and there are two major cliffhangers in this book. Plot wise and romantically. At the end of this book, I wanted to know more and BAM it ended. So, YES, a sequel is needed - asap.
My rating: 4/5