ARC Review: We Set the Dark on Fire

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We Set the Dark on Fire

By: Tehlor Kay Mejia

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

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Release Date: February 26, 2019

Genre: Fantasy

Page Count: 384

Synopsis: At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

This post will be spoiler free

I received an ARC of this book from Harper Collins Canada in exchange for an honest review. I had very little preconceptions going into this book, I had read the synopsis but other than that I hadn’t heard anything about this book. I did enjoy it, but I definitely felt like something was missing in the narrative. I really liked the LGBTQ+ representation in the story, I think it is rare in YA (getting more common though) to have a main character that is in a same sex relationship.

The story line itself is pretty simplistic, and follows the same mold as many other YA fantasies before it like the Glittering Court, Grace and Fury, etc. I did enjoy the world building and the introduction of a unique mythology for that world. It added a nice extra dimension to the story. The characters were equally as well written, however they too lacked originality. There is intrigue and some interesting twists that I enjoyed, and there was definitely a nice foundation there for a series ( if that is where the author wants to take this). Overall I really felt like I had read the story before, and so I didn’t really get sucked into the story. Now this could be because I read A LOT of fantasy novels, so maybe I am just more attuned to these types of stories and therefore tend to see the same ones crop up. Perhaps if you don’t read this genre that much this book will seem very unique and new.

I would suggest this book for its representation and world building, but would warn that the story is a tad superficial and will probably trigger feeling of deja vu. However, my rating is still 3.5, and I will admit that I enjoyed the story, it just wasn’t a favourite of mine.

I will not be doing a spoiler section for this review, mostly because the book doesn’t come out for a couple months and I don’t want to spoil anything before it is actually released. I also want to let you all know that I will be doing my week count down to Christmas again this year, starting this Wednesday so come on by and check out the holiday posts I will be creating for all of you!


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