The Darkest Bloom – Review, 5*

The Darkest Bloom (Shadowscent #1) – by P. M. Freestone

So these days I have my “work-read” book, my “chores” (audio)book, and my “bedside” book. Sorry Amber & Dusk I’ve been going straight to sleep lately which is why you’re sitting there unfinished.

And normally that works, even books I love I can wait until the next day to open them up again as I commute in, or on my lunch break. Not so, Shadowscent. This book I read when I got home yesterday, for two hours instead of going to bed, thought about it all day at work when I wasn’t reading it and then as soon as I could – finished it.

The world building was amazing, the writing descriptive, I feel like I could recognise which part of the Empire I was in if you dropped me there. I loved the full commitment to the language, mostly scent-based cursing but it was so consistently done.

Rakel & Ash were brilliant, I loved the way they worked together, gradually trusting one another. I LOVED the fact that P. M. Freestone saw the opportunity to use the “Withhold Important Information” trope and DIDN’T. Because one character remembered the other would be devastated. It’s like they actually had spent a couple of months getting to know one another, fancy that. Their romance was inevitable because with stories such as these, it just is. But it wasn’t forced, they had a genuine connection and it also wasn’t overly pontificated on. It crept up on them as much as on us and I think it was well done.

Their ties to other characters were genuine, the reason for their quest keenly felt. Everything was done well and I was totally surprised at finding out the culprit. And that was well done too, it wasn’t a twist for twist’s sake, our bad guy has genuine motivation that feels real and valid.

Bonus: bisexual protagonist and gay/lesbian/bi side characters – with total acceptance.

Ugh, this book, so good.

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