Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson

servants of the stormKindle Edition, 384 pages
Expected publication: August 5th 2014

Hmmm. I feel bad, because Servants of the Storm should be a book that I love. It has a beautiful cover, the synopsis promises some creepy mystery, and the main character is biracial, which is something you don’t see in a lot of YA.

And when I first started to read this book, I was really into it. The first two chapters were great and really helped set the scene for this creepy tale. Billie Dove, aka Dovey, and Carly are at home alone when hurricane Josephine rages through their small town. During this encounter, Carly is swept away and dies. Dovey is obviously heartbroken. She not only lost her best friend, but she lost her in a horrible way.

After a few episodes she experiences, Dovey is forced to take some anti-psychotic pills to help her calm down. It’s been a year since Carly died and Dovey hasn’t been the same since. She’s loopy and tired due to the pills, and her once bright outlook on life comes to a screeching halt. Her popularity, her friends and her grades all fall as she’s now known as the crazy one. All that changes when she sees Carly at their favourite coffee shop. Carly, who died a year ago. Carly, who shouldn’t be alive at all.

Dovey decides that in order to find out the truth, she needs to stop taking her pills. Her pills keep her loopy and she needs to be as focused as possible in order to solve this mystery. This helps make Dovey an unreliable narrator, as the reader constantly asks themselves, “Is this all true? Or is she just having another episode?”

All of this sounds great, which is why I’m disappointed that I didn’t like it as much as I should have. Despite some really well done scenes, I found the story to be lacking. And even though I liked that Dovey was unreliable, that didn’t stop me from finding her insufferable and TSTL.

Also, the writing style, after chapter 2, never really worked for me. I feel like if you use first person present tense then there has to be action scenes after action scenes. The story has to be fast-paced, in order for this writing style to work. Since this is a mystery and it’s more about solving clues and whatnot, it really took me out of the story. I think first person present tense is fine to use, but only when done well and I don’t think that happened here.

As for my problems with Dovey, I like that she has a mission and wants to find and save her friend. All of this is admirable, but she doesn’t think and despite the many warnings of those who lurk behind the shadows, she continuously places herself in dangerous situations. I get why she wants to save Carly, but killing yourself in the process isn’t going to help matters. She also doesn’t care about anyone, but herself and her mission.

Her one track mind limited her interaction with others, but on the other hand it did help with the romance portion of the book. Romance in YA is usually hit or miss and it’s even worse when it involves a love triangle, because I hate those. But even though this has a “love triangle,” and I use that term really loosely, it doesn’t become the focus of the novel due to Dovey’s one track mind. Both guys were there to support Dovey and her goals instead of being the goal for Dovey.

That, I loved. I’ve read a lot of YA and one of my biggest pet peeves, along with love triangles, is when the MC forgets what she’s suppose to do because she becomes involved with a guy. The novel then ends up being 5% story 90% romance and the remaining 5% to wrap everything up at the end. Here, the mission was to find Carly and even though Dovey thought about the guys and how she felt about them, she never lost sight of her goal.

I loved that.

Overall: There are some great things about Servants of the Storm, but the writing style and Dovey being TSTL didn’t really work for me. I am alone in this thinking though, so if you’re looking for a Southern Creepy Mystery, then you might want to check out this book. Unfortunately, it just didn’t do anything for me.


Servants of the Storm was provided by edelweiss.

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