Author: Olga Godim
Genre: Medieval, Magical, YA
Rating: 4 stars
Blurb: (via Goodreads)
To prove her Adept potential, seventeen-year-old mage Eriale embarks on her first magical quest. She expects a glittering foreign escapade but ends up in Grumesh, the land rife with poverty and violence, where local courier Kealan becomes her only friend and ally. Together, they survive an explosion, a treacherous incarceration, and a daring escape. Sparks of interest ignite between them, but before Eriale can explore her attraction to Kealan, she discovers blood magic running amok in the city. Her priorities must change. As an aspiring Adept, she is duty-bound to find and eliminate the blood mage of Grumesh, or the blood magic will taint the entire land. No matter the cost—her life or her heart—she can’t let the vile mage win
I do a lot of reading books from authors in exchange for an honest review. This is one of those cases. Most of these books I read are on one side of the fence or the other. I either love them, or I believe they still need a lot of work. I am not really sure how to describe how I felt about Almost Adept, but I am going to try.
Starting the story off, we have an extremely strong female lead, Eriale. We also find out she is an extremely strong magician who will become stronger once she loses her virginity. What I really enjoyed in this novel was how consistent Eri remained throughout the story. She was strong willed, and stubborn, yes, but she also had vulnerabilities. What made her such an amazing main character is that she didn’t let her insecurities and doubts get in the way of what needed to be done. There was very little room for whining, and even when things got tough, she didn’t lose her cool. This is something we don’t see very often in novels, especially with a female POV… and a teenager at that.
I also felt that the way she reacts to the situations she is put through was extremely believable and realistic considering what her personality is shown to be at the beginning of the book. While some situations felt a little far-fetched, I tried to keep in mind that it was a fantasy novel and the attitudes of the characters in the book may not reflect today’s societies attitudes, or even mine in certain situations.
My biggest problem with the book was the lack of good supporting characters. Yes, we see Kealan, who is probably the only decent supporting character, but the others that we see (the father, the mother, the landlord of the boarding house, etc.…) I felt were very flat. We see them in few scenes and they fail to play a huge role in Eri’s life/ adventure/ mission. This story was more about Eriale than anyone else, Kealan included. I would have liked to see more of the King and Queen (Eriale’s sister and brother-in-law). They play an important part, but we never actually see them. I would have liked to maybe see flashbacks or visions of them, maybe even them in the flesh, to get a better sense of them and what role they play in Eri’s life. I was also not very fond of how things turned out with Kealan and Eri… I understood it, but I didn’t like it.
All in all, this story was more of an adventure than anything else. While it had romance, it was not about romance. The story was about Eri venturing off to prove herself, and she accomplishes that to the T, but I felt like very little else was important in the story. If you took out all the supporting characters and just had the story be about Eri and the antagonist, I feel that very little would have changed (with the exception of Eri needing to lose her virginity).
To sum it up, the story was pretty good. Strong female lead, great action, a believable plot, an interesting fantastical world, and a fun adventure. It was a great easy read, and definitely worth a try if you are okay with a little slack in the romance department. I hope this book has a sequel, because I would love too see this world Olga has created expand and grow into its potential.