A mysterious old mansion. The family who returned to claim it. And the girl who refused to be kicked out of her haven.
I was swept into Sophie's tale immediately. She was a sweet and kind heroine (perhaps a little too perfect). Her part in Dierenpark was believable and unforced. It seemed natural the reasons she was allowed to stay. And then there's Quentin. He was a very interesting character whose progression from cynical to kind seemed fluent. From an analytic standpoint, his character was my favorite, being the most mysterious and complex yet well developed. Oh and Peiter. The story would be much less without him!
The plot was super intriguing. My mind was spinning as the story of the Vandermarks took so many twists and turns. I honestly couldn't guess what would happen in the end, as far as the family history went (the lives of the people in the "current" story--that was a little more predictable). Reading the book was like watching a mystery unfold satisfactorily. As far as writing quality, the author's ability to snag my interest, and flow of the story, I give a definite 5 stars.
There were a few things that bumped this book down to a personal rating of 3.5 stars:
-The dialogue did not seem accurate to the time frame. As I was reading the story, I had to remind myself that this was the 17th century because it just didn't "feel" that era.
-The spiritual plot seemed weak. The salvation message was not very clear (though it did show a person turning to follow God, it was more of a groping towards). Though Sophie was all sweetness and kindness, I would have personally preferred if it was mentioned that the only way one could be sweet and kind is because of Jesus Christ. Instead, there was more of a Pollyanna type emphasis on "everyone has some good in them." It is commendable that she takes council of her pastor, but I'm afraid that kissing and developing an emotional attachment to a man who is still see-sawing on atheism is a little shallow. And one character used the Lord's Name in a way that I would consider vain (he used it in an exclamation of surprise).
There were a few quotes I liked, but I didn't take the time to jot them all down. Here is one though:
“I don’t think God dwells on when we fall down. I’d like to think he is more interested in helping us get back up again.”
*NetGalley provided me a copy to review with my personal opinions*
Buy Until the Dawn for yourself!