Title: Twice Upon A Time – Hope Irving
Genre: New Adult Fantasy + Romance
Format: Kindle E-book
Rating: 3.5/4 Stars
*Arc Exchanged for an Honest Review*
Synopsis: For Goodreads Synopsis Click Here
Once Upon A Time there was once an 8th Century Irish Calligrapher, a monk and wandering soul who longed to be reunited with his soul mate Dierdre; a witch with whom he wrote a coveted book. There story is that of forbidden love; the souls of the two star-crossed lovers travel from body to body until they find each other. Twice upon a time is the quest in which Morgan must unearth Deirdre’s new body and trigger her memory.
Present… After a bad break up from her boyfriend, Rose’s mum ships her off to Provincetown, Massachusetts to stay with her distant American Relatives for the Summer. A long way from her home in France, Rose meets Virgil. A man who she can’t resist and the temptation is growing…
Twice Upon A Time is the first Novel in The Black Angel Book Series and Hope Irving’s Debut Novel.
Firstly the novel’s premise really intrigued me, this was the first New Adult Novel I have read which also featured a fantasy element. The concept of Calligraphy playing such a huge role within the novel is also original as usually art loving protagonists are interested in simply painting therefore this is a rarity to find and sets the novel apart from other novels within the same genre.
My rating for Twice Upon A Time is between 3.5/4 stars this is because I found the novel to be overly descriptive and the chapter titles did not indicate which protagonist it was focused on therefore at times I found myself confused. Like many other new adult novels the popular element of alternating narration between the two main protagonists is evident within Twice Upon A Time, in this case it is Rose and Virgil. Despite not being clear on who the chapter would be narrated by I thoroughly enjoyed the alternated narration as it allowed us to witness two different elements to the story. Rose’s Narration is questioning, she is tied down by her emotions and she has no recollection on her past life as Deidre, whereas Virgil knows everything and he is set on a journey to reveal the truth to Rose and help her remember.
One aspect of the novel which leans it more towards a 4 star rating is the undercurrent of serious themes woven within the novel, Hope Irving is not afraid to touch upon serious content from Self Harm to Death. Which adds to the realistic nature of the novel despite its fantasy themes within it.
Hope Irving has created characters which aren’t perfect, their lives aren’t shown to be perfect which makes them easy to identify with. Rose is emotionally stunted she does not want to ever experience love again after a bad break up experience. Virgil is also flawed, he too keeps pushing Rose away despite knowing his desires until it is too late. Both of the characters create a tension which is evident to the reader; this tension and sexual chemistry between the two builds as the novel progresses which ultimately ends with us questioning will they or won’t they? These posing questions are what makes a novel better for me, I love the unpredictability of it. How I can’t guess what will happen next or how it will end.
Overall Twice Upon A Time was a pleasant surprise, at times I found myself struggling through the overly descriptive nature but this was pulled back by my need to know what happened between Virgil and Rose, or Rose and Bruce. There is so much tension built up between the characters that it is too hard to put down and not continue to read. Of course what I found to be overly descriptive may appeal to other readers who really like authors to set each scene so they can picture it perfectly in their heads.
Ultimately Twice Upon A Time is a journey for the second chance of the fairytale, it features elements ranging from Romance to Fantasy. The flashbacks to the 8th Century are also a unique addition to the novel, adding to the background information/story of our two protagonists and allowing us to see their first fairy tale and once upon a time…