Review: The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman

[Goodreads]: Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.

May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it. Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.

With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all. But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…

⭐⭐⭐ *minor spoilers for The Devouring Gray ahead*

I started The Deck of Omens with relatively high expectations, or at least I thought that I would love it as much as The Devouring Gray. But I had trouble picking the book back up and reading it for long periods of time.

The story picks up right after the last book. Harper has turned the Hawthorne tree to stone, the town now knows Justin has no powers and relationships between all the founder children and their families are tense.

The plot is a bit messy and I feel that they resolved the issue too quickly, too easily and some of the “big reveals” were so predictable and boring… I didn’t really like the plot, it was one of the aspects I didn’t like about this book.

May and Isaac have a bigger role in this story; Harper and Violet have more secondary roles this time, and Justin doesn’t get a POV chapter at all.

I have to admit I didn’t like May at all. Her admiration bordering on worship of her mother, and her constant need for her mother’s approval and validation made May a very boring character to read. I just couldn’t really approve of most of her choices either. In the end, she had her redemption moment, but I wish May hadn’t been a main character in this book.

Isaac on the other hand, I liked even more. He’s facing his family and his traumatic experiences as well as dealing with the change in is relationship with Justin and the Hawthornes, he’s becoming more independent and learning to share… I just wanted to hug this boy so much!

I really liked the way it ended for the characters and the town, it was a satisfying ending but overall, I just didn’t like this book very much. It was disappointing to see the story I liked so much in The Devouring Gray end in this way.

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