Book Reviews, YA book reviews

Havenfall by Sara Holland – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Three Stars

RELEASE DATE:  3 March 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 304

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Australia

RRP:  AU$16.99




A safe haven between four realms. The girl sworn to protect it — at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds — each with their own magic — together. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic first-hand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens–a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie–no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…




Thank you so much to Bloomsbury Publishing Australia for providing me with a copy of Havenfall in exchange for an honest review!


Maddie is returning to The Inn at Havenfall, a place that connects several different worlds, full of interesting creatures and unique magic.  Maddie hopes to inherit the inn from her uncle one day and wants to learn as much as she can.  But a chance encounter with a new worker makes this year’s stay more interesting than usual.

I’m finding this one a little hard to review.  You know when you can’t quite put your finger on why you don’t love a book?  When it’s not bad, but there was just no wow factor there for you and you’re not sure why?  There was a lot I really liked about Havenfall – the creatures and magic from the ancient worlds have a lot of potential for a great series, but the book read too much like a prequel to me.  I felt like it was just setting the scene for the next book.   Notwithstanding the explanation at the front of the book about the different worlds, I was still confused about a lot of things for at least half of the story.  I don’t know if it was just me not connecting to the story at the time, but I felt like I was taking on a huge information dump for a few too many pages.  Once the story got going, a lot happened in the last portion of the book.  Unfortunately a lot of the things that happened were predictable things.  There were two major reveals that should have been shocking, but we’d had so many clues dangled in front of us that I’d guessed them both beforehand.

I did enjoy the story, it was a nice light fantasy read, but the complexity of the world and characters just promised a bit more than it gave.  I felt like I needed more clarification, more ‘whys’ than we got.  The reveal of the ‘villain’ was great, but I’m still a little lost on the reasoning behind it.  I understand this is the start of a new series, so often that element of introducing characters, worlds etc plays a big part, but I almost felt like we got half a book.  I’ll definitely be checking out the sequel though, because I can see the potential there!  I’m hoping we’ll get more of a glimpse in to the other worlds and more information about their magic!




Photo from my Instagram account

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