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Review: Imbued

Imbued cover.I was privileged to receive an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Imbued, despite its sometimes dark content, is a lovely story. But don’t get me wrong: the dark content is not a drawback by any means. It’s hard for me to describe how I felt while reading this book (for the second time; I beta read it as well) but imagine, if you will, that satisfying sensation you get from inhaling fresh air full of the scent of spring and new blossoms while a thunderstorm broils on the horizon. It was kind of like that.

The prose is beautiful, and right from the start I was captivated by how well Helyna created imagery of the world. The book is full of flowers and flower references, and the gardens are described so well I didn’t have any trouble visualizing the scenery. There’s also a diverse cast of characters and each one speaks with a unique voice. The romance, the very slowest burn type, is handled with care so as not to be thick or overbearing on the story. It’s all just so very well done.

Imbued touches on darker themes, like human captivity, abuse, PTSD, oppression, trauma, and others, but despite that, it felt like a light read rather than a heavy one because the treatment of these topics was done so well. I was eager to pick up the book each day to read, and reluctant to stop. For me, this was a book that I felt like I was devouring, and if I could have read it in one sitting I absolutely would have.

Gray is certainly my favorite character out of the bunch. I enjoyed his quiet complexity, his patience, and his determination. This doesn’t mean the other characters are forgettable; far from it. I’m definitely eager to find out what happens to all of them in Imbued’s sequel, Untwined.

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