Belladonna (Belladonna #1)
Author: Adalyn Grace
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Publishing Date: August 30, 2022
About the Book
New York Times bestselling author Adalyn Grace brings to life a highly romantic, Gothic-infused world of wealth, desire, and betrayal.
Orphaned as a baby, nineteen-year-old Signa has been raised by a string of guardians, each more interested in her wealth than her well-being—and each has met an untimely end. Her remaining relatives are the elusive Hawthornes, an eccentric family living at Thorn Grove, an estate both glittering and gloomy. Its patriarch mourns his late wife through wild parties, while his son grapples for control of the family’s waning reputation and his daughter suffers from a mysterious illness. But when their mother’s restless spirit appears claiming she was poisoned, Signa realizes that the family she depends on could be in grave danger and enlists the help of a surly stable boy to hunt down the killer.
However, Signa’s best chance of uncovering the murderer is an alliance with Death himself, a fascinating, dangerous shadow who has never been far from her side. Though he’s made her life a living hell, Death shows Signa that their growing connection may be more powerful—and more irresistible—than she ever dared imagine.
About the Author
Adalyn Grace is a New York Times bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth, which was named “2020’s biggest YA fantasy” by Entertainment Weekly.
Prior to becoming an author, Adalyn spent four years working in live theatre, acted as the managing editor of a nonprofit newspaper, and studied storytelling as an intern on Nickelodeon Animation’s popular series The Legend of Korra.
Local to San Diego, Adalyn spends her non-writing days by watching too much anime, and by playing video games with her dorky dog.
Though Signa was orphaned at a young age, she is strength personified. Bounced around to varying family members, none of them welcoming or nice, and some downright abusive. She’s had a tough life, made even more so because Death follows her everywhere she goes. She’s wanted nothing in life but to escape him. So when she’s sent to live with her aunt’s family in the wake of her aunt’s death, she wonders if this luxurious mansion, Thorn Grove, will be another disaster in a string of them. But Death hasn’t left her alone; in fact, he has many things to show her. Because the mansion is haunted, and people keep falling sick.
I confess I was a bit worried going into this because it is labeled as book 1. Often, authors leave their readers on a terrible cliffhanger, so imagine my utter delight at Grace giving us a happy enough for now ending!! That alone deserves all the stars.
I always read a lot of reviews before writing my own. One reviewer said they didn’t feel a lot of buildup between Signa and Death, and I see that and agree that it sprang seemingly out of nowhere. But that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book.
Signa is a bit naive, but her life has been anything but easy. She’s had no stability and no proper formal schooling, and I feel she does fairly well considering how much hardship she’s endured. Signa’s only interaction with society is through a book called “A Lady’s Guide to Beauty and Etiquette,” which was left behind. Everything she’s learned about being a lady comes from that book. Her awkwardness is what makes her so endearing.
I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and the storyline; it’s a perfect combination of excellent storytelling that draws the reader in. Part fantasy, mystery, and romance, the reader couldn’t ask for more. I’m looking forward to more out of Sigma in the future. Thank you, Little Brown Books, for sending this along.
“Places that old were likely crawling with the very spirits she was trying to avoid.”
“If there was one constant that Signa could count on, it was that no matter where she was, Death would find her.”
“Foolish as it was to get herself into a bargain with a spirit, if it meant beating Death, Signa would do whatever it took.”
“…but Signa felt no fear. She spent too much time with the night to be afraid.”
“…something about when she was like this-made her brave. Made her confident in a way she otherwise dared not be.”
This is a book you don’t want to miss. Check out the other stops on the blog tour at TBR and Beyond.