Review: Half by Eli Lang01:04
Authors: Eli Lang
Genre/Themes: MM fantasy romance
Release Date: 13 Feb 2017
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My rating: 3 Stars
Living between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.
I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.
But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.
Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.
Before I start this review I feel the need to add a trigger warning which this story doesn't have but for me there needs be one. TW for serious disease/disablity, which is potentially terminal.
This is a debut novel and I was drawn to the premise of an urban fantasy with faeries and the while I enjoyed a lot of things in the story ultimately it was an OK read for me.
I loved the writing style, it's very lyrical, poetic and reminds me a bit of Alexis Hall's writing which I absolutely love.
Eli Lang tells a tender love story, subdued and quiet and in a way I missed there being a stronger conflict at the center of it. The mood was melancholic and self-reflective throughout the story and while I liked it and also felt it was too much at times.
Both main characters, Luke and Kin are interesting and well developed. The focus falls on Luke and his struggles to come to terms with his fate which leads to a lot introspection, thoughts on life and death, im(mortality), the meaning of love. I very much enjoyed how the author explored the complexity of human relations, the difficulty of building and maintaining meaningful connections with the people around.
The romance between Luke and Kin was something I really liked in the story. There was an easy, natural flow to it with the inevitable setbacks and both characters making mistakes and trying to overcome them. We see two people coming together and learning to be together and making compromises and ultimately respecting the decisions the other persons makes.
A major plot in the story was Luke's relationship with his sister and I felt it overshadowed the main plot at times. There was a lot of going back and forth in both relationships (Luke and Kin; Luke and his sister) and some repetition which I found annoying. This affected the flow of the story as a whole making go all too slow at times, nothing much happening.
I was the drawn to the (urban) fantasy setting and found it interesting but in the end it felt underdeveloped. I was left wanting to learn more about the world of the different faeries.
The ending is a bit unconventional when it comes to romance though it was fitting and came as not surprise. It's a sort of HFN ending, not too optimistic but focused on the now and enjoying the good things while they last without thinking much of the future.
Despite the issues I had with this story, still I found it to be a very tender, imaginative romance beautifully told. It was not quite the right book for me but I loved the author's writing style and I want to read more of her books in the future.