Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Title: The Forgotten Ones
Author: Laura Howard
Pages: 197
Genre: YA, fantasy
Series? Yes, #1 in the Danaan Trilogy
Publisher: Indie Inked (August 17, 2013)
Rating: 3/6 – I liked it

Synopsis from NetGalley: 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.

My Initial Thoughts/Rambling: The cover… Oh my wow isn’t it just stunning?? Seriously it probably earned a star just for that. I just wish I could say that the insides were as flawless as the outsides! Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, I guess. Possible Spoilers Ahead.

Disclaimer: I received a free ebook copy of The Forgotten Ones from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

And the concept and plot? I know I usually start by talking about the characters, but for the sake of not repeating myself, I needed to start with the concept/plot section.

Concept: Fantastic! Howard returns to the roots of Irish lore, using the traditional Danaan and Tír na nÓg terms, which is like a breath of fresh air from the generalized use of Fae and Faerie. And as much as I love the books about Seelie and Non-Seelie courts, there are a lot of them, but not a lot about the Danaan. So, extra brownie points for the concept.

Plot: The plot was great, in theory, but in execution – not so much. There was very little exposition, so I didn’t get a chance to get to know the characters or setting before they were thrown into chaos. No time for emotional attachment = very little caring about what happens later in the book. The entire book was pretty short (132 pages on my digital version), so a lot of the events felt pretty rushed. I just wish I could have had time to ease into the story, and I think it would have turned out a lot better.

What did I think about the characters? As with the plot, the characters were outlined very well, but they weren’t colored in. The main character, Allison, was the most developed, but even then she felt pretty thin and substance-less. Her love interest, Ethan, is the standard pretty/bad boy found in YA lit, but right at the end of the book it seemed like he would be more, so I’m still holding out for Ethan!

The rest of the characters were all introduced too quickly, with very hard to pronounce/remember/keep straight Irish names. It kept with the authenticity, but please trickle in it and not kill me with ten new characters on one page!

What about the writing style? Other than the too-quick plot, I did enjoy Howard’s writing style. It wasn’t too descriptive, but just enough that whatever she didn’t provide I had enough of an outline to fill in the rest. 

Anything else you’d like to add? I wanted to badly to give this a glowing review, but with how quickly the book progressed I just couldn’t get that invested in it. Still, it left off on a cliffhanger, and I liked the book enough that I want to read the sequel!

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