Friday, August 17, 2018

Book Review: Bayou Born by Hailey Edwards

Author: Hailey Edwards
Series: Foundling #1
Audience: +18
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Piatkus
Release Date: October 17th 2017
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Her beginning may be our end...

Deep in the humid swamps of the Mississippi bayou, a mysterious, half-wild child is dragged just in time from the murky waters. She has no memories, no family and is covered in strange markings, the meaning of which no one is able to decipher. Adopted by the policeman who rescued her, Luce Boudrou follows him into the force, determined to prove herself in the eyes of those who are still suspicious.

However, there's more of a battle ahead than Luce could possibly imagine. She may be an orphan without a past, but no one - including Luce herself - could ever be prepared for the truth of her dark, powerful destiny...

Brand new urban fantasy series by Hailey Edwards, bestselling author of the Gemini and Black Dog series. Perfect for fans of Jennifer Estep, Darynda Jones and Ilona Andrews.
*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Piatkus in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of my review in any way.

If I'm being honest, I've been equally excited and scared to read this book. Excited, because I love Hailey Edwards's books and writing style; scared for the exact same reason. But I finally sat down and read it and let me tell you, I had a ton of fun.

Bayou Born is the story if Luce Boudrou, a young woman who has no memories of her life before being found in the swamp. She followed in her adoptive father's footsteps and became a cop and is currently investigating what seems to be a regular missing persons case. I've always been a fan of the marriage between urban fantasy and procedural drama, so I was sure I was going to enjoy this book, I just wasn't emotionally prepared for where this story would go.

Luce is a mystery. She has no memories of the first 11 years of her life, there seems to be something completely off about the anniversary of the day she was found, and there's something about the way she talks about herself that makes me think she's two people at once. I loved her for that. On the one hand she's the loving daughter of a cop, and a devoted cop herself, on the other hand she has moments when she seems... sort of on edge. I don't want to say evil, because that's not the vibe I was getting, but almost there. She's trying to solve the mystery of who she really is, where she comes from, and this new case might just provide the answers she's looking for. I loved the relationship she had with her dad. Their interactions were so cute and heartwarming and I loved every scene with them.

There was also a sense of fragility about Luce. For as much as a bad ass that she is, she's also very fragile and very human, which is kind of ironic once you find out more about who she is and why she ended up in that swamp as a child. I hated the way people treated her, from some of her fellow officers to so-called journalists to people who made an oath to protect other people, and I wanted to punch a few characters. Thankfully there were enough people that loved her enough to do the punching for me, which made me very happy.

I will admit that for a while there I was confused about some characters, namely Cole and his friends. We meet Cole and his friends early on in the book, and they are a mystery that confused me for a while. And then something very unexpected happened and my jaw hit the floor and stayed there for the rest of the book. THAT I did not expect! I'm curious to learn about everyone's stories and I'm curious to see how Luce will try to make sense of things in the upcoming novels.

The writing style was familiar but also new. In a way, this book seemed completely different than what I've read so far by Edwards, yet in a way I also recognized the writing style. The author combined humor and drama very, very well, and I loved every second of reading it. The pace also fits the mystery and drama of the story, and while the book is pretty fast paced, there are also slower moments that heightened some of the inner struggle that Luce has to go through. The ending surprised me more than anything, because I seriously don't know where this story is going. I have no theories that seem even remotely possible, so I literally don't know what to expect, which is the greatest feeling ever.

All in all, I really enjoyed this start of the Foundling series and I am very, very excited to read the rest of the series.

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