The Deck of Omens by Christine Lynn Herman
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication date: 24 April 2020
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page count: 416 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is review is spoiler-free for The Deck of Omens, but will contain some spoilers for The Devouring Gray.
Welcome to my stop on the Deck of Omens blog tour! I absolutely devoured (heh heh) Herman’s debut novel The Devouring Gray last year and have been desperately waiting for the sequel. The Deck of Omens is an addicting and thrilling read that introduces strange new aspects to the world of Four Paths, all while giving a satisfying conclusion to the story and characters.
The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.
Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.
May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.
Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.
With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.
But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…
The issue with having a sequel to a book like The Devouring Gray is ‘where do you go from here?’. Herman does a great job of expanding the world of Four Paths, the mysterious Gray, and the magic that the founding families have been drawing on for decades, while also giving this sequel it’s own strong story. My favourite aspect of The Devouring Gray was the deliciously creepy atmosphere she creates in Four Paths, and she doubles down on that in The Deck of Omens. I really loved the imagery of the corruption seeping into the town, the way it impacts the townsfolk, and the mysteries that are uncovered as a result. My only wish for this book was that she investigated this further — the focus is so strongly on the characters, which is great, but I wish we had seen a little more of the creepy and cool corruption!
The characters are the main drivers of the book, and they’re all recovering from the trials they suffered at the end of The Devouring Gray. Betrayals and revelations have left our five teens reeling, and they’re trying to pick up the pieces. In the first book, I felt that the girls outshone the boys and although I still adored May and Harper, I was surprised that Isaac emerged as my favourite character in The Deck of Omens. Is he still an absolute disaster? Yes. But he gets so many new layers to his story and becomes more than just a kid with anger issues. I loved the teasing out of his family’s story, his relationship with his brother Gabriel, and the way his friendships with the other Founders evolve. He becomes the most complex and wonderful character in the book — something I didn’t expect at all!
If you liked The Devouring Gray, I really think you’ll love The Deck of Omens. It deals with the emotional aftermath of the first book very well, but also becomes it’s own unique story and is a satisfying conclusion to this great duology. I am sad to say goodbye to the town of Four Paths, but I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.
Want to pick up a copy of The Deck of Omens for yourself? You can find it at the following sites (affiliate links):
Have you read The Deck of Omens yet? What did you think? Is it in your TBR? Let me know! And don’t forget to check out the other blogs on this tour!