Advance Reader Copy, 374 pages
September 29th 2015
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Madly was a title that Jen H from Lost in a Great Book and Cristine from Padsfoot’s Library picked out for me, when I asked Twitter to vote on which book I should read and review. (The other book if you guys are curious was A Step Towards Falling by Cammie McGovern). Anyways what made me curious when it came to Madly was the fact that Amy Alward is also the author of The Oathbreaker’s Shadow (Amy McCulloch was her maiden name), a book which I thoroughly enjoyed. Additionally the premise sounded like it would be a delightful read.
Madly follows Samantha Kemi who comes from a long-line of alchemists although her family has lost their prestige when it comes to potion making, it’s clear that Samantha definitely has her family gift. What I found odd was that even though she’s extremely gifted at creating potions, she is still considered an “ordinary” as she can’t perform actual magic. Though if you ask me, her potion making abilities should definitely put her in the “talented “category. This is particularly true near the conclusion of the novel when Sam rushes to attempt to save the Princess.
Princess Evelyn is the other narrator in Madly and while her chapters aren’t as plentiful as Sam’s it was fascinating to read them as it demonstrates her descent into madness as a result of being poisoned by a love potion. Speaking of love, I’ll admit that my least favourite element of the book remained the romance. To be honest I preferred the family dynamics and friendships in addition to the adventure aspect of Madly over the romance which to me felt out of place and not that believable.
In the conclusion I stayed pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Madly truly remained a quick read and made for an excellent palate cleanser from the books that I ordinarily read. In Madly Amy Alward has created a world where magic and science collide leading to a few intriguing results. For instance social media is in full blown usage, however people also teleport to get to places. Additionally the largest producer of potions is a corporation known for synthetic ingredients in their potions which are created using science of course. It is evident that a great deal of thought was put into the magic details on top of creating a world where modern science and technology is used in tandem with magic. As Madly is the first book in a new series, I remain curious as to where authour will go next in the world that she has created. Perhaps we will witness the princess develop and learn more about her powers? As long as there’s adventure I’ll probably check it out.
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.