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.
Author: Laura Howard
Length: 177 pages
Source: Review copy provided by the author/for tour
Publication Date: May 15th 2013
When Allison’s long lost father shows up claiming that her mother’s schizophrenia has a supernatural basis, Allison can’t help being skeptical. Eventually drawn in by the possibility of a cure, she listens to Liam’s point of view, and discovers a world she’d never even dreamed of. This is where Howard’s writing shines, with beautiful, evocative imagery.
I really enjoyed the magical world Howard has created in The Forgotten ones. The Irish folklore used is really interesting, and stands out if you’re looking for something that isn’t based on vampires, werewolves or angels. It sort of felt like a younger Nora Roberts novel, though there is less of a focus on the romance.
Allison was a character you couldn’t help but like, strong-willed though a little remote due to her circumstances. She does her best to care for her mother and help her grandparents, even if that means pushing aside some of her own desires. Ethan is one of those desires Allison’s trying to ignore, but he doesn’t make life easy for her. I really liked Ethan, and I really wanted things to work out for him and Allison, so I’d have liked to see a little more of the romance side throughout the story. However, Allison’s changing relationship with her father Liam was wonderful to read.
There were lots of minor characters, which I occasionally struggled to keep track of, but I loved the pronunciation guide at the beginning for the Gaelic names. The story took a little while to truly draw me in, (probably because I don’t usually read contemporary), but once I was sucked in I finished it very quickly. It’s a quick, easy read with a cliffhanger ending that will definitely leave you wanting the rest of the series!
Side note: although technically a New Adult novel, this had a definite YA feel to it, so if you’re nervous about the NA side, don’t be!
Buy it? This is only 77p on kindle right now, which I’d be more than happy to pay!
In a nutshell: Reads like a perfect blend of contemporary and fantasy, a beautiful debut that’s a little bit different.
Laura Howard lives in New Hampshire with her husband and four children. Her obsession with books began at the age of 6 when she got her first library card. Nancy Drew, Sweet Valley High and other girly novels were routinely devoured in single sittings. Books took a backseat to diapers when she had her first child. It wasn’t until the release of a little novel called Twilight, 8 years later, that she rediscovered her love of fiction. Soon after, her own characters began to make themselves known. The Forgotten Ones is her first published novel.