The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual Rating 2.5


Hmm…this book is pretty hard to review as well. The first half was painfully boring, but the second half really picked up and got me interested. Either way, this definitely was a complicated story.

The Fifth Petal is a blend of fantasy, mystery, and history. Twenty-five years ago, three women – all descended from Salem witches – were murdered. There were only two survivors: a fourth woman, Rose Whelan, and a daughter of one of the victims, Callie Cahill. The girl was only five-year-old. Then, another murder takes place, and the prime suspect is Rose, bringing Callie back to Salem and throwing her back into the midst of another mystery.

The writing style was okay – there were some good scenes, and some boring scenes, but for this book I really think that the writing and plot were very much interrelated. I’ve read a few books without plot but with amazing writing, but for this one, the writing had to be supplemented by the plot. In the first half of the book, where the book was slow, I felt as though the writing was flat and boring; it wasn’t until the story picked up did I start to appreciate a few memorable lines.

The plot for this was full of twists and turns – I tried telling my friend about it, and it made both our heads spin. With that being said, I did really enjoy how it was done, but when I got to the reveal, I was a little confused because it felt as though the story had previously been going in an entirely different direction. I had guessed half of it, but – and I’m not sure if this was the author’s intention – the other half of the reveal was sudden and a little confusing because it just seemed so out of the blue. Basically – I had no idea that that character was even important in the story.

The characters for this were okay, for the most part. After reading it, I definitely still feel a disconnect with most of the characters. (Spoilers here) I really enjoyed Paul and Callie’s relationship in the beginning, and I liked them as friends; then they got together and said “I love you” and I still thought that was cute. And then he proposed a few pages later and I went:

Other than that, I also felt a little disconnected with most of the characters – I think the only one I understood was Callie.

But this may have been because of this: I’ve never read The Lace Reader, and although I don’t think I had any problem with this book, I do wonder if I would have enjoyed it more with a little more context about who the characters were.

I’m still debating on whether or not I should try to read the first one to see if I can gain a little more background, but for the time being I really don’t have the motivation to do so.


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