I have just finished (edit- this review was written in August) the awesome book that is Once Every Never by Lesley Livingston. This book had it all- action, romance, history, war, time travel, geeks... everything. And all those elements together worked to make the kind of story that always keeps you guessing and that you'll love.
Clare (Clarinet Reid- I feel so bad for her having that name) is smart but not as smart as all the geniuses in her life. She's spunky and funny, plus a great friend. I had a lot of fun reading from her perspective. Clare talked like a real teenage girl which I loved. Books usually have smarter, vocabulary-wise characters. I like that Clare got distracted and her arguments with Al were awesome.
The characters were the best kind- quirky, nice, and you know they're going to go somewhere. They're like "the gang" of lovable characters. They support each other and have strong friendships. The romance is good too! It's an easy kind of romance, no need for it to be epic but more natural. That is so refreshing.
Clare can do this weird thing that she calls "shimmering" which basically means she goes to the past. Time travel. I really liked that part. I've never been too much into time travel but this book was different. It was like reading a historical book that had ties to the future. I loved reading about the Iceni and I thought everything was really well done.
There was magic too! Blood magic! And Druids! I would have liked more explanation of the. consequences of magic but I suspect that will be discussed in future books. The magic felt like a natural addition to the story.
The plot was so twisty and whimsical. There was so much action and something was always going on. I never wanted to stop reading and when the inevitable happened and I finished the last few pages, I was satisfied with the story. I know this is going to be a trilogy or something but this book could easily have been enjoyed as a standalone.
All in all, if you're looking for your next fun read with adventure, fighting and huge stakes, definitely check out Once Every Never. It's a very unique story that's not quite like anything else. 4 stars,