The Antidote by Shelley Sackier

The Antidote by Shelley SackierThe Antidote by Shelley Sackier
Published by HarperTeen
Published on 5 February 2019
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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RRP: $17.99

Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret.

Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom.

Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous.

If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

You know what? This is bullshit.

I don’t owe anyone anything.

I’ve just struggled through a different book that I could tell from the opening pages wasn’t up to the standards I require in my fiction. I wasted six weeks on that book. I finished it. I was not impressed.

This time, instead of forcing myself to finish a book whose writing style I despise, I’m quitting it at 23%, which is quite long enough to be reading something you’d rather not.


I don’t owe anyone anything – not authors, nor readers, nor even the generous publishers who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I don’t like reviewing books I don’t finish, and I don’t like not finishing books I get for review.

You see why I was torn and feel like I have to force myself to read this book.

FORCE myself to READ, my most favouritest thing in the whole world.

I’ll just supply a few reasons for why I’m quitting this book:

  • I hate the writing style. The author is being deliberately vague in the hopes it provides mystery to encourage me to carry on. Instead, it comes off as poor writing and inconsistent. Like, why is Fee still there when all the other children were evacuated? Is it because she needs to be trained? If so, why is it a secret? This is not answered in the first 20% and you know what? I need answers to very small questions like this, otherwise it just seems like pointless conflict.
  • There’s a distinct lack of worldbuilding.
  • The first seven chapters were each a false start that didn’t provide anything to the plot or characters. In fact, I prefer to pretend the book started at Chapter Eight.
  • As of writing (pre-publication), there is a distinct lack of 5 star reviews on Goodreads. Yes, this is an ARC, and not everyone has access to it before publication. But there is so little enthusiasm from the people who HAVE read it that I’m not charmed or intrigued enough to finish it.

About Nemo

A lover of kittens and all things sparkly, Nemo has a degree in English Literature and specialises in reviewing contemporary, paranormal, mystery/thriller, historical, sci-fi and fantasy Young Adult fiction. She is especially drawn to novels about princesses, strong female friendships, magical powers, and assassins.

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