Nadaness In Motion is the book blog owned by Nada Adel Sobhi and it is where honest book reviews meet author interviews, guest posts, and personal writing ranging from poetry to short stories alongside the Takhayyal/Imagine writing prompt challenge. ---
“You cannot kill a breeze, a wind, a fragrance; you cannot kill a dream or an ambition.” - Michel Onfray
Twice Upon a Time by Hope Irving is the first
instalment in the Black Angel Book series. It is the story of the witch
Deidre, who, being in love with the calligrapher monk Morgann, casts a spell to
reunite their souls in the future. However, while Morgann's hosts remember
everything, Deidre's do not.
We later learn that the tale of
Deidre and Morgann is believed to be legend, especially amongst calligraphers.
The opening chapter though
informative is narrated in a casual manner, not from a once-upon-a-time monk;
it wasn't light either. Afterwards, the narration shifts between Rose and the
man carrying Morgann's time-travelling soul.
I liked how Hope Irving kept the
second narrator's identity a mystery (obviously I'm doing the same).
The idea that Morgann's current form
may or may not appeal to Rose or Deidre is interesting and leaves room for
"Somehow my soul
remembers it all, hers doesn't.
But how will she remember who she was, who we were?
Will seeing me be enough?
Will I need to trigger her memory?
Will she accept me as I am now?"
Twice Upon a Time sets the backdrop for the upcoming
books in the series. There is a lot of action, although not much with regards
to bringing Deidre's and Morgann's souls back together.
Rose is an ordinary girl, whose heart
has been badly broken in previous relationship. Here, she comes to spend the
summer with her American side of the family. She deeply seeks to get her mind
off the previous relationship and the man who broke her, G.
Rose is also a cutter and I particularly
liked how Irving maintained this trait throughout the novel, even when Rose was
happy, giving a realistic side to a paranormal story.
cast the spell that enabled our souls to eventually be reunited. She couldn't
bear for us to be apart, and neither could I."
I did not enjoy the too much drinking
part of the novel; I felt it was overdone. But that's just me.
Having been in the search for
Deirdre's soul for-ever, Morgann or his host seems unable to comprehend that he
may have found her, putting him off balance, and making him think irrationally.
I liked that. Although, I felt sometimes he was way too irrational (but that's
the norm in relationships now, especially when you make assumptions).
Getting viewpoints of the two
protagonists allows the reader to guess at events and see beyond what is going on.
There were parts when I was biting my nails with worry and others when I was
telling off the characters or just going on "No. No. Nooooo!" (So you
can probably say it's a bit of an interactive novel.)
"She had faith in
me, so I have no choice but to have faith in me, too."
Twice Upon a Time is filled with active, fun,
interesting and recurring characters, giving the novel a realistic side. The group
barely sleeps; however, they do give Rose a breather, allowing her to get her
mind off G. often.
Falling under the romance and new
adult genres, the novel includes more than just kissing. In addition, Rose's
desires are awakened all of sudden and need to be satiated.
"There is no way
to find a logical way to deal with this when logic isn't involved."
There isn't major character
development for the two protagonists, however, this is expected considering the
tale will continue in other parts and hasn't seen major progress in this book. Although
Rose does develop a bit, at least she figures out what she wants and that she
can't wait for her crush to grow up or take a decision, Morgann's host seems to
require several hard slaps on the face to wake him up.
Although there aren't many profound
images in the novel, Twice Upon a Time has many beautiful quotes. I also
liked the idea of calligraphy and how it connects the characters together,
including Rose and her new crush. The following bit will you give you an idea
on what I mean.
"To make it work,
I have to focus like I do in calligraphy with the ductus; its' the same
mechanism: one step at a time in a specific order. I have to remember to
breathe. To ensure the fairytale ends well, I will stand by her side until she
trusts me and she's ready for me. At last."
I liked that the ending to Twice
Upon a Time was different from what I expected.
Overall rating: 4 stars
Note: I received a free copy of Twice Upon a Time from
author Hope Irving in exchange for an honest review. I look forward to reading
the next part(s) in the series, which I've been told are likely to be published
Also, check out these extracts/excerpts from the novel, here and here.