Grimenna by N.K. Blazevic
Published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Released March 5, 2018
Obtained through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
It was in the great forest Grimenna that the first spirits were born, created from the beliefs of men and nourished by thoughts both good and evil. As time unfolded men began to shun these spirits, he turned away from their guidance and plundered the forest for his own means without giving thanks. It was then dark creatures rose from the earth, conjured from the depths of nightmares, and began to drive him out. He found refuge across the great river that divided the land and it was there he settled. No one dared cross the river again; only the wicked, the unclean and criminal were thrown back across to be punished.
Paiva Ibbie is a simple farm girl, the daughter of a shepherd in the farthest village in the kingdom. One night she encounters one of the evil spirits of the forest, Varloga, and fears for her life. Fortunately, a group of Wildermen (aka, criminals thrown into the woods), including a young man named Renn, rescue her from him. Despite being rescued, however, her life is completely uprooted. She’s sent off to the city for safety, but things continue to go wrong for her.
Her father is brought before the ruler of the kingdom for harboring the Wildermen, which is a serious crime. He’s branded and thrown into Grimenna, and Paiva becomes determined to save him. She escapes into the woods with the help of Renn and bands up with other Wildmen to chase after her father. Along the way, she discovers the true nature of who she is and where she comes from while attempting to bring the good spirits back into the world.
When I read the synopsis of Grimenna on NetGalley, I was intrigued by the fairy tale plot. I’ve always loved dark fairy tales, and this is certainly that. However, by the time I reached the fifth chapter I was quite bored. I found myself being annoyed by how childish Paiva seemed, and her obsession with the “hot guy” of her town. Even throughout the rest of the story, I felt absolutely nothing for the characters – there was a major disconnect between myself and each character the whole time.
Another aspect of the book that I found challenging is that it tended to have a slow pace when nothing was happening in the story and then sped through the interesting and more exciting parts.
I really enjoyed the illustrations in the book and wish there had been more of them. After I finished reading Grimenna I looked the author up online, and her own sister was the inspiration for Paiva, which I thought was sweet. The author is also an artist, and I believe she did the art herself for the book.
Overall, I fell as though many people would really enjoy this book. However, I was not able to get fully invested in the story.
Although I had my issues with this book, again, I feel that a lot of others may find this story enjoyable. The illustrations were delightful, and it was a very easy read.