Krista McKeeth is a writer, book reviewer and blogger from Utah. You can find her online at CubicleBlindness.
Mesmerizing and addictive, Wildalone is a thrilling blend of the modern and the fantastic. Krassi Zourkova creates an atmospheric world filled with rich characters as compelling as those of Diana Gabaldon, Deborah Harkness, and Stephenie Meyer.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published January 6th 2015 by William Morrow
ISBN 0062328026 (ISBN13: 9780062328021)
Right before she decides which college to attend, Thea finds out a family secret that is connected to Princeton and becomes determined to go there for her studies. She can explore more about who she wants to become, learn new things about the world, and discover the deepest, darkest secrets of her own family. At her first piano concert, which gets immediate national attention, she sees a mysterious man who leaves a flower. Her thoughts quickly turn to meeting him again.
I went into the story thinking it would mostly focus on Thea’s search for answers like an amateur detective, but it soon turns into a complicated combination of a love triangle, mythology, and sex. There is a huge focus on the mythology surrounding Dionysus, and the sex is not graphic, but more about Thea’s continuing thought processes and the beginnings of her first intense adult relationships.
The writing has an equal mix of romance and mythological information. The mythology and lore, mostly from Bulgaria and Greece, has been well-researched and I enjoyed the way it sets the tone and pushes the story’s emotions beyond a traditional love triangle story. The narration gives a feeling of dream-like poetry and there is a mist-like feeling of not quite being able to see beyond what is happening in front of you. You can see enough to understand what direction you’re being taken in, but you are drip-fed information to build up anticipation for the next time the major characters meet.
As the story progressed, I started to find the characters very frustrating–especially Thea. I enjoyed the side characters and their impact on the story so much more. Yet when it came to the main focus of the story–Thea and Rhys–I found their encounters to be very hot and cold, indecisive, and at times infuriating.
As a reader, I felt emotionally drained after their encounters and found it hard to really come to terms with Thea’s thoughts and actions.
The book has been broken into two sections and by the end of the first I was already exhausted by the whirlwind of emotions. I was happy with the pacing and the climax of the second half of the story as it answered so many questions, but still left me a little breathless and wondering whether this story will continue on in another book.
Every once in a while I have a love/hate relationship with a book. I loved the plot, storyline, and writing style, yet I felt like I needed something more from the characters. I do hope that there is a continuation in another book that will help me understand these characters further. Overall, I enjoyed Wildalone and would recommend it; it was a rollercoaster of a read and I don’t think I will ever come across a more sensual scene of piano playing again in my lifetime. Who knew that playing the piano could be foreplay?