Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater
Publication Date: June 28th, 2022
Hardcover. 288 pages.
About Half a Soul:
"It's difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you're a young lady with only half a soul.
Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment - a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season - but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.
If Dora's reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul."
Half a Soul follows Theodora Ettings, who has only half of her soul due to an unfortunate meeting with a Fae man in her youth, meaning that she now experiences life without a full range of strong emotions. When her cousin Vanessa decides to travel to London with the apparent intention of finding a husband, Dora accompanies her and is introduced to London society as well, which results in meeting a variety of new characters, including a rather grumpy sorcerer who may be key in helping Dora recover her full soul.
What I liked: This was such a cute and fun comfort read. I don't really read a lot of books like this, so this was an incredibly welcome fresh breath of air and I'm excited to read more of Olivia Atwater's books. I loved the idea of Dora having half a soul and seeing how that affects her life on a regularly basis. Dora is a fantastic and utterly compelling character to follow and I loved seeing the world through her eyes and experiences. She's really not all that different from you or I, and I liked seeing her adapt to new situations and really thrive in new environments in her own unique ways. There a nice mix of the main plot and some side stories that meld together really well to give Dora her own story and to keep this story moving at a steady, flowing pace.
What I disliked: The main issues that arose for me in Half a Soul had to do with the magic and some of the plot. There was a certain lack of information given around the magic used in this story which left me feeling uncertain about how any of it worked or what it's role was within the society as a whole. Since Dora herself doesn't really use magic, I understand why it wasn't focused on more, but since magic was such a large component of this book in other ways and it played a rather important role in the end, I do wish there had been just a bit more expanded upon regarding it. In regards to the plot, I enjoyed the first half of this book much more than the latter half and felt as though some of the main focus of the story was lost a little bit once we reached the halfway point. Still, this was a really fun book that doesn't give me too much to complain about!
Overall, it's 3.75 stars from me for Half a Soul!
*I received a copy of Half a Soul courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*