I was blessed with good fortune – by the witches, fairies, tree gods and whatever other magical beings Disney and Serena Valentino rallied in my favor – and today received an advanced reader copy (ARC) of the long-awaited sixth book in the Valentino villains series: The Odd Sisters.
Three things (because all things in Valentinoland happen in threes): Yes, it is the best day ever; yes, I read the book in one sitting (thank you, Mardi Gras holiday); and no, I most certainly am not about to spoil it for you.
Usually I like to sleep on my reviews: give those many ponderings that swirl about the Jess brain time to calm down. But there is no calm today – just excitement to share some abbreviated thoughts with you!
The Odd Sisters arrived on my doorstep at approximately 9:30 a.m. (the book, not the characters themselves, thank goodness) and immediately scooped me into its clutches immediately. The tale of three witches is one giant tea party among many, though I am not sure “party” is the right word.
The story transcended my expectations and held my interest right to the very end. It answered many lingering questions and provoked others, stoking my curiosity along the way. My pup sitting beside me witnessed many “ooos” and “ahhhs” as I visited various lands, including Morningstar Kingdom and the Fairylands, over my very own hot cuppa tea this morning.
The format of the Odd Sisters’ story is quite different to its predecessors in only the most positive and inviting way. The reader is roped in to a unique prologue and is later privy to a peculiar list which enhances the reader’s experience and immersion into the story. Just enough of the Odd Sisters and their weird and wonderful ways are exposed – I was originally concerned that the loss of mystery from the sisters’ repertoire would leave me feeling a bit empty.
Most artfully, Valentino delivers a bewitching backstory, carefully balancing the interests and motivations of familiar characters with the protagonists’ plight. Sisters do indeed have secrets, and the secrets uncovered in this book are frightfully satisfying.