In a Garden burning Gold by: Rory Power

I have to be honest, this book was, for me, an absolute disappointment.

I read Wilder Girls and fell in love with Rory Power’s writing. When I saw this book, and its premise, I was pumped. And then I started reading it.

It is boring in the beginning. And I mean eye-crossingly boring. There was a moment where the main character Rhea was describing her dress and I dropped my iPad because I just didn’t care.

The beginning is full of an unnecessary amount of detail. We get names, places, info dumps. So much and somehow so little at the same times.

When it came to Wilder Girls , she made us care about the characters and their relationships. In this? I just didn’t care. There was a lot of telling that the characters cared about each other but not enough showing to nail it down.

When it comes to the characters themselves, there’s a disconnect between what we’re told versus how they act. We’re told Rhea is over one hundred years old but she sounds and acts like a teenager. Which makes no sense considering she’s the one child that is constantly leaving their family estate. She’s got more real world life experience but acts like a kid.

To me, a lot of the characters were flat. And when it comes to the world building, there’s a lot. At the beginning you get hit with names of things and places that don’t have any real definition, you’re sort of left on your own to figure it out until the rest of the story kicks in.

I’ve said it before, I will always say it. You should not have to slog through a book in order to get to the “good part”. The book should be the good part. That wasn’t the case here, the pacing was awful.

It’s a political book and there’s an interesting world and magic if you can get through it but I hated it. I want a book to grab me and she’s already shown she has that skill in her previous books. I don’t know what happened here.

It’s very Greek inspired, the beginning lists characters like it would in a play. I was so excited for this and it was a huge let down. It’s empty of anything that would have made it great. Flat characters with no emotional depth.

There are things that they find out that should shake them, that should be shown having a huge emotional impact and there’s nothing. We don’t see it on the page. This book is just flat.

I give it one (1) star.

Adult fiction can be a hard switch from YA. Maybe her next book will be better.

I received this NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to them and the publisher.


Author. Reader. Reviewer. Interested in Sci-fi, Fantasy, and everything in between. Ya, and Adult. Looking for representaion where it matters! BIPOC, LGBTQ+, disabled, everything! We all deserve stories!

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