Star Rating: 4/5
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Paranormal
Buy the book: Amazon
"There were demons to kill, but first I needed a cup of coffee."
Faith Rivens is a fellow author of Instagram, and I once told her that her opening lines are like Buffy but fueled by coffee. I love a good opening line like this! Talk about relatable! The part about the coffee, not the demon-killing...though maybe that's relatable for you. I don't know your life, nor do I judge. You do you! Anyway, I read Eleonore whilst flying to and then back from New York for BookExpo and BookCon. If you read my review for The Manningtree Account, you know I am not what one might call a happy flyer, so any book I read needs to be sufficiently diverting. I can confidently say that Eleonore was up to the task.
So what are we dealing with here? A super kick-ass lady. Demons and a really cool mythology behind them. And a beautiful setting: Montreal, which interestingly, I heard mentioned several times this past week as a beautiful place, and Google has now confirmed this to be true for me. This is a really good combination to start with for me. As this is a novella, the action happens pretty quickly, which I don't mind in the least.
I recently had a mini-discussion with Chandra of @WhereTheReaderGrows on Instagram about short stories. In short, I find them a little hard to get into because they're...well, short. There's not really enough time to get invested in characters or stories. Novellas, however, man! Sometimes I like them better than full length novels. This one seemed to capture the basic elements of good storytelling really well - characters, action, motivation - and unfurled them at a good pace, all while being really enjoyable at the same time. I have to say I wasn't a huge fan of the love interest - he seemed very well meaning but a little blah to me - but I loved Rosalie, Eleonore's best friend. She has a line that is just so, so telling about her character:
"Can I make you tea? I'll make you tea."
I adore that! Bam! We learn so much about her in one little line. Everyone needs a Rosalie in their life. And the wit in this book is so fantastic! It's really dry, the sort of snark that might pass you by if you're not paying attention, and I do love me a bit of good snark. :) Here's another good one:
"You need to eat if you're going to kick some ass today."
This is basically my mantra for life! Oh, and I counted at least two geeky references (Doctor Who and Sherlock). My inner fangirl is pleased at this. :D
Now for the things I didn't like so much. There was a phrase/literary device thing that I think was used four times, and its repetitiveness bothered me. I feel like it would have worked in a longer book, but since this can be read in about two hours, I don't think it worked. Also, there was a bit of French sprinkled into the dialogue. These are the words/phrases I know in French (pardon my horrendous misspellings and feel free to laugh at me): merci, see-vous-pley, parles vous Engles, and then a litany of food-words (croissant, baguette, fruit de mer, etc.) If I was ever stranded amongst all French speakers, I could get food and that's about it. Therefore, I had trouble understanding what a few of the phrases were meant to mean and I'm usually pretty good at picking up context clues, so that was a little annoying to me. And finally, I didn't feel like the main character grew a whole lot by the end. Like, maybe she did a little bit, but talk about baby steps.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the experience of reading it because there were some really great emotional highs and fantastic characters. Thanks for reading!