Thursday, August 29, 2013

[Review: Relic by Renee Collins]

Author: Renee Collins
Series: Relic #1
Pages: 400
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Date Published: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Format Read: eARC provided by the publisher for honest review


After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Relic is a thrilling adventure set in a wholly unique world, and a spell-binding story of love, trust, and the power of good.

My Thoughts:

What can I say?  I thoroughly adore this book!  Is it odd to adore a book with so much death and magic and craziness going on?  Well, if it is, I don't care, I still adore this book!  Relic is the perfect book that shows when the right person puts weird elements together and mixes them up in a blender, it can turn into something magical.  And yes, for your information that was a pun and it was totally intended.  (the magical part, not the blender part)  Collins has created something that is completely unique, pulling inspiration from so many different things and making it all work together.  

All in all Relic is a western.  It's got horses and guns and hunky cowboys and rich Spanish ranchers and Indians.  It's got bars and small towns and sheriffs.  It has dance hall girls and people fighting for justice and every other thing that makes a really good western.  It has the feeling of a John Wayne movie.  It's a story that makes you want to climb up on the back of your own trusty steed and jump into it's well rounded, seemingly historically accurate pages. 

But on the flip side there is this whole other thing going on.  Magic and weird creatures lurk in the darkest corners of the open lands.  People don't dig up gold and silver, they dig up the old bones of mythical creatures and use the magic that has been horded by the familiar beings of myth.  Collins also plays with the animals that we know, tweaking them, molding them into the living ancestors of the dead things, long gone and buried in the ground.

I guess what I'm saying is that Collins' world building is fantastic and even though none of the relic magic is real, she still makes it all believable.  I think that this is brought on by the mixture of a story that is easy to relate to and characters that have you rooting for them the whole time.  She doesn't go easy on any of the cast that she has assembled in the pages.  No one is safe from being drug through hell, but it makes the story that more interesting.

Maggie, Adelaide, Landon and Alvar only scratch the surface of the awesome characters that bring this story to life.  They might be the main characters, but it's some of the smaller roles that really propel the smaller story lines.  Basically there are no throw away characters to be found.  And even when you think you've found one, they jump up and laugh in your face while doing something extraordinary.   

Maggie is one hell of a protagonist.  She was so strong and sad and brave.  Things happen to her that should never happen to someone so young and yet she pulls herself back up and keeps fighting even when most people would give up.  She had spunk and really knew what she stood for, even when the people around her doubted her motives.  Her convictions and strengths made her someone to look up to and someone that you wanted to win.

As corny as it sounds Relic wasn't just a book, but an experience.  Honestly it was an experience that I didn't think I'd be getting, but I'm so glad that I did.  In my opinion you can never go wrong with a good old fashioned good vs. evil story.  And who am I kidding, that's what this book was.  I can't wait to return to the world of Relic, can I get the sequel now?         

5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this now!


Fly to the Sky said...

I've been dying to read this book and I've heard so many good things about it!!! It sounds fantastic!!! Good world building is so key in a book especially one that sounds as crazy as this!!
And Maggie sounds like a great protagonist! The qualities you named like being brave and having spunk are so important!!
This book sounds fantastic and now I need to read it even more!!
Great review! Glad you had such an awesome experience!!

Giselle said...

This is a western? Sweet! I don't think Ive ever read one so I'm all about trying new things and all haha. It sounds really good too I had heard next to nothing about this one so so far so good! I love how unique it sounds, too, with awesome world building to boot - which is so often overlooked lately!! And Maggie sounds like my kind of gal! So happy you loved it! :)

Megan R said...

Wow, I'm actually all over this idea of a fantasy-esque western. I hadn't heard of this one before, but now I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for it!

Shane Morgan said...

Great review. I'm so going to read this one soon :)

Nicole said...

This was a great review! I'm glad you liked it! I think Adelaide was my favorite and I'm glad she got her revenge in the end. Well done all around, Collins. And yes, I hope we get a sequel!!

Eileen said...

This is the first I'm hearing of this book, but I'm glad you loved it! The world-building sounds fantastic for such an interesting and different premise. I also love compelling characters, so I may have to read this one just for the characters who sound so witty and brave and unique.

Fantastic review, Christianna! <#3

Emily Anne said...

This sounds like an awesome read!!! And a western? Wow... And, for the record, a book with magic, danger, deaths, and other craziness is good for the soul :D Especially hunky cowboys and all that western fun! Also, Maggie sounds like a great protagonist. Thanks for the review :D

Renee Collins said...

Wow, thank you so much for the great review! You totally made my day!!