Author: Franny Billingsley
Published: April 12th 2012
Briony has a secret. It is a secret that killed her stepmother, ruined her sister’s mind, and will end her life, if anyone were to know. She has powers. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and a great mane of tawny hair. He is as natural as the sun, and he treats her as if she is extraordinary. And everything starts to change . . . Chime is a haunting, brilliantly written novel that will stay with you–its magic, its romance, its world like none other.
Kristen from the Book Monsters sent me this book in our swap (along with Fangirl) and I found myself quickly getting swept up in the story. Chime is very layered and interesting. I would actually compare it to The Scarlet Letter (yes that classic that most of us were forced to read in middle/high school). Briony is a wonderful character, strong and focused in her goals. She has a few desires and more than a few secrets. She’s dark and mysterious and little by little we’re shown her world and what’s going on. Things are done a certain way with roles being fulfilled. Until Eldric comes along and shakes everything loose. He’s everything she’s not. Goodness and light with a streak of wonder and adventure. He challenges her and I think they make a great pair. They balance each other well. The characters in this book are some that I’ve never seen before. Their interactions are amazing and electrifying. No one is who they really seem to be, and each character, even the most minor grows and changes as the story goes on.
I really enjoyed the mythos and superstitions of this world. The magic aspect and magic v. religion/faith. It takes a really interesting turn especially in the last few chapters. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t but there are quite a few shockers that left me reeling.
There is one thing that kept me from rating this book higher. Briony’s narrative took me a very long time to get into. She’s very flighty and changes the subject and goes off on mental soliloquies and tangents that have absolutely nothing to do with what’s currently happening in the novel. It’s a little too jumpy and sporadic, but given time and patience it’s enjoyable.
Overall strong characters, beautiful imagery, but a flighty narrator creates flow issues. Would recommend to someone looking for a different take on witches with a bit of a historical twist. Thanks so much Kristen.