Modern Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

Relentless by Karen Lynch

RelentlessSara Grey is a healer with a lot of secrets. She has been trying to learn more about her father’s death since she found his bloody corpse. Her life is turned upside down when she meets a warrior by the name of Nikolas. A vampire she meets the same night obsessively hunts her down with the help of some very powerful friends. Karen Lynch’s Relentless constructs the tale of an independent and stupidly stubborn girl who needs to learn to accept help from others.

At the start you are in a more fantastical setting involving trolls and boggies, muddy creatures who live in bogs (hence the name). This is where we are introduced to Sara’s power of healing. After she heals a dying boggie, the scene shifts to her mundane village. She gets into a fist fight with a boy from school which unleashed a different power from this monster inside of her. Soon we learn that this monster is part of her genetic make-up. This was simultaneously a brief and over-arcing theme of accepting the darker portions of ourselves.

Relentless is similar to Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as I do Clare’s books. It had so much potential – and a little too much to convey within its fast-paced timeline.

Though I love an independent spirit, Sara refuses to accept help from anyone until she is in major danger. And even then she is still trying to do things on her own. She is stubborn to a fault. It’s as if Lynch went with the stereotype of a teen believing she can take care of herself when it is obvious she can’t. It is an annoying trait. For one claiming to know so much about vampires, she completely ignores the danger they pose to her once they start hunting her. None of the other characters had depth.

This e-book was sloppily told, but I guess I got what I paid for ($0.99). Parts of Sara’s life did not mesh well together for the way it was told. There were sections of chapters that had shifts so sudden that I was momentarily unsure if this was the same novel I had read the day before. This wasn’t helped by the telling rather than showing in her writing. One example: she reveals a secret to one character in most of its detail and then says it again in its entirety to the next character that walks in the room.

Despite its action and fast pace, this novel fell short mainly due to having too much to convey in not enough pages. If you wanted a well-told YA fantasy, look elsewhere.

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult

2 Out of 5 Stars

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