Review: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

The Forgotten Ones - Laura   Howard

SERIES: The Danaan Trilogy, #1

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

Though I did read the sample of this book first and was interested in continuing it, the story overall ended up being mostly underwhelming. The plot, the characters, and the dialogue were all on the  meh side. Then there is the ending if you can call it that. Besides being unresolved, it just didn’t make sense to me based on what happened and what was said earlier in the book.

So we have the heroine, Allison, an introvert who is focused on doing whatever it takes to take care of her mother, who is mentally ill for reasons that will be revealed in the story. Allison prefers to avoid social interaction (though her cousin is always coercing her to go out) and constantly rebuffs Ethan who she has secretly liked for as long as she can remember. I actually liked Ethan and I was getting very frustrated with Allison for constantly pushing him away. I didn’t see any good reason why she can’t have a boyfriend and also take care of her mother. They did have one kiss in the book and it was sweet and made me like Ethan even more. Eventually, her long lost father, Liam, shows up. Later, her mother and Ethan both disappear. Liam and Allison then go on a mission to Tír na n’Óg to find them with the help of a rapidly introduced group of fae, who appear to be sympathetic to Allison and Liam’s plight.  

I found most of the characters and their reactions/interactions to be bland. The dialogue often had me going “huh?” One example is when Liam, who is Allison’s father, suddenly shows up after 22 years and discovers that Allison is his daughter. There is barely any reaction from him.  Likewise, when Allison discovers what Liam actually is, she doesn’t seem to suffer from much disbelief and it doesn’t take much convincing for her to accept that Liam is of the fae world but once a human who lived in the late 1800s. The dialogue followed suit as well, it often seemed to lack emotion.  Besides Ethan, I also liked Aodhan, who seemed a little more interesting than the other fae. Like Liam, he was once human but has lived among the fae so long he is now more fae. He seemed to have a few more layers to his character to make him more interesting but they are yet to be peeled away.

The plot itself felt lacking. It just seemed like there could have been so much more happening. Even the climactic moment when Allison was confronting Aoife and Breanh seemed to be over fast and fell flat as a climax. There was more talking then there was action. And I question how Aodhan got out of the trap that was set for him by Breanh.  He just shows up suddenly after all the action (non-action) of Allison’s confrontation with Aoife. There were also some events that were glossed over like the reunion of Liam and Allison’s mother.  They haven’t seen each other in 22 years and the entire reunion happened completely off screen.

The fae names had Celtic/Gaelic spelling that I, for the most part, didn’t know how to pronounce. There was actually a pronunciation guide at the end of the story, which I did appreciate since I don’t often see that in books with difficult names/words and it drives me nuts not knowing how to pronounce them. On the other hand, because it was at the end of the book, I went through the whole book pronouncing most of the names incorrectly. It would have been nice to see that at the beginning.

The cover art is very pretty and has an ethereal feel to it. The book is labeled as YA even though the characters are in their early twenties, which is usually more representative of an NA book these days. But honestly, the characters and their interactions come off as feeling younger than their age in the book so it does have more of a YA feel. 

So I did finish the book and though it was not a struggle, it was not really compelling me either. I could have put it down and not missed it. There were some instances where I felt there were logic blips or continuity issues. The ending was unresolved and made no sense to me since something that happened earlier in the book seemed to contradict what is said at the end. Though I can see how some people might really like this book, I just needed…more. More characterization, more plot, more action and reaction, more emotion, and more resolution. 

Heat Level: Sweet
Word Count: approx. 47,000
Print Length: 197 pgs
Kindle Locations: 2140 (story text ends at 98%)
Source:  Review Request from Author