I received a review copy of this book for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
The idea of dying in pairs immediately intrigued me, and I knew I had to read Avery. The very first line of the synopsis drew me in like a magnet in a powerful way. Not to mention the gorgeous cover. Not to mention I read Charlotte McConaghy's Fury and enjoyed it. She creates intriguing and original concepts for her novels, and I'm looking forward to what she comes up with in the future.
Avery is told from four POVs - Ava, Ambrose, Thorne, and Rosalyn - but don't let that worry you. The characters are easy to follow, and you always know which character you're reading about because their name appears in bold before the paragraphs. Each character has his or her distinctive voice.
Ava and Avery were engaged, and after Avery is killed, Ava was supposed to die as it's always been with their people. Except she doesn't. Her people shun her, calling her a monster, and even her fiance's family turn her away. Failing to kill the Barbarian Queen but instead is captured by Prince Ambrose. Ambrose and Ava end up stranded on an island, and if you think you know how this is going to play out, trust me when I say you're going to be refreshingly surprised. Their story is nothing like I thought it was going to be - it could have been very cliche; however, it was anything but.
Ambrose's brother, Thorne, and Thorne's wife, Rosalyn, are weaved into the story as well. I strongly empathized with Rosalyn, who wishes Thorne would just love her. But emotions are seen as a weakness in Pirenti, and he doesn't know how to express them even if he thought it would be okay to do so.
Ambrose grew on me - he's different than his people. There's something inside of him that's intriguing and waiting to be explored. I wasn't fond of Thorne, and especially not the way he treated his wife, Rosalyn. He was despicable to her. I loved Ava and her strength. She was broken after losing Avery and her home, but she was so brave. She felt she had nothing to lose, and her bravery came from that feeling. I loved Rosalyn, too. She might seem weak, but she just doesn't belong with the people of Pirenti. That was so clear to me.
Overall, Avery was a fascinating read with fresh and original concepts. The pacing was a bit slow for me in the beginning but picked up not long afterward. This is a fantasy romance but is very different than anything I've read before, and I highly recommend you pick this one up.