Goodreads Link: Midnight Runes (The Bestowed Ones #1)
Author: Celeste Buie
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
WHEN YOUR FUTURE’S AT STAKE, DO YOU FOLLOW YOUR HEAD OR HEART?
Brynn Emerson has always been in control of her life—until a mysterious stranger invades her dreams and her boyfriend, Trevor, suddenly dumps her.
Life gets more complicated when secretive newcomer Landon shows up at school. The playful and handsome Landon is somehow connected to Brynn’s ex-boyfriend.
Determined to find out how they know each other, Brynn draws closer to Landon…only to realize too late that she’s risking more than she thought possible.
Meanwhile, a person of power has his sights on Brynn. Will Trevor and Landon work together to keep her safe? Or will she be pulled against her will into their mysterious world?
Midnight Runes kicks off with a mystery: someone is watching Brynn, and meanwhile, her boyfriend Trevor is acting really weird and blowing her off. It’s not long before Trevor breaks up with her and says that he can’t explain what’s going on in his life. Of course, Brynn suspects that there’s more going on–so she decides to find out the truth.
And then approximately two-thirds of the book is taken up with typical high school drama. Now, this wasn’t entirely bad, because Brynn is a really relatable and funny character with a lot of good insights, and her friend Elyse is a good counterpoint to her. Reading about Brynn’s daily drama in dealing with high school rumors, the nostalgia of senior year, and hanging out with her friends was not really boring, and I liked the chance to get to know her so well. If this was just a contemporary teen story with no paranormal/fantasy elements, I would have enjoyed Brynn slowly getting over her ex-boyfriend and falling for the new guy in school.
But it was a long time waiting to find out about the supernatural/magical elements of the story, and that’s what Midnight Runes promised. In fact, by the end, there are still a lot of mysteries left unresolved. Toward the end, Brynn spends a lot of time getting vague hints and pieces from Trevor, Landon, and everyone else, but I still didn’t feel sure entirely what was going on because no one would talk straight. Obviously there was magic of some sort, but mostly just hints and teases.
The ending was also confusing because I think that Brynn ended up connected to both Trevor and Landon–since they both seemed to be in on the final plan–but it wasn’t clear. So the love triangle that ended up happening wasn’t resolved at all. I think the author wanted to leave things open for future books.
In the end, the story felt like a prequel. Just when things are starting to actually happen, it ended. I wish that there had been more of the supernatural/fantasy elements in parallel with the high school drama, instead of letting the everyday life take center stage for so long. Hopefully the next book in the series will have a more complete plotline and answer more questions.