Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Diverse and relatable - Little Black Bird ARC Review

Little Black Bird 
by Anna Kirchner
My rating: 5 hearts
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publication date: June 20, 2020
Publisher: Gurt Dog Press


Magic is dying out, but it will not disappear without a fight.

Wiktoria is a seventeen year old with a secret: she has psychic powers. Her uncontrollable telekinesis hurts her and others, setting fires and throwing objects in the air, no matter how hard she tries to hold it back. All she wants to have is a peaceful, average life, but it’s difficult when you’ve been cursed to destroy the magical world.

Her carefully maintained facade of normality starts to unravel when she’s hunted down by local sorcerers and their Guardian, and accused of unleashing banished demons back into the human realm. When a murder shakes up the magical community, everyone agrees that the only way to save the world is to kill Wiktoria.

Her only ally is a boy who can read her mind, shares her dreams and makes her question her sexuality. Together, they face mythical creatures and uncover ancient legends, and they soon realize that there is no such thing as simply good or evil. Whether they break the curse or allow it to fulfil its destiny, the magical world will be forever changed.

Little Black Bird is a tale of trust, friendship and family, and what it means to discover one’s true path.

I honestly don't know where to start about this book. I beta-read it a while ago, and I loved it back then, it was a solid four stars, but now, after reading the ARC, well, it's definitely five stars. Honestly, this book... there aren't words good enough to describe how I feel about this book, other than it made me feel everything. 

The characters were the highlight of this story. I mean, the mythology is so interesting, the plot is very well-paced, and there are so many great things about this book, but the characters are just special. Wiki is so easy to relate to and impossible not to like, and Artur... you guys, Artur is just the sweetest guy on the planet. I want to be best friends with him. But seriously, these characters are so incredibly well-written and they truly pop off the page, they feel so real. 

The plot is very well-paced. Not too fast, not too slow. What really impresses me about it is how the author manages to balance between plot and world-building almost perfectly. And the world-building is amazing. It's clear that the author is very interested in the Slavic mythology that the book is based on, and it makes it hard for the reader not to be sucked into the world and mythology. It's also incredibly well-written. Vivid and imaginative, it makes the city and the magic come alive. It makes it easy to get lost in the book. 

I also have to mention something about all the diversity in this book. For one, it was very refreshing to read about a character who is questioning her sexuality. I'm all for books about proud gays and lesbians, but I also need the questioning characters. And Wiki's and Artur's struggles are so very relatable. There's also mental health representation in the form of eating disorders and anxiety, and it's incredibly well-written and relatable. This is exactly the kind of diversity I want - need - to see more of in YA literature. 

Honestly, I could go on forever about how amazing this book is, but I'm going to stop myself here. Little Black Bird has everything I want in a YA Fantasy; characters that you can't help but love, lots of magic, and diversity. It takes some popular tropes and turns them into something fresh and new, and uses a fairly unknown mythology to build an irresistible world. I can't wait to dive deeper into it!

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I receive some books from authors, publishers and third party sites (such as Netgalley). This does in no way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed on this blog are unbiased and my own. I do not get compensated in any way or form.