Angelite by Rebecca Henry

Angelite by Rebecca Henry
Ambrosia Hill #5
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Genre: Young Adult (14 – 18 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, LGBTQ, Romance, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

When love is broken and fate uncertain only truth can be found in angelite.

Zinnia’ s fifteen birthday is marked by her move to Ambrosia Hill with her mother Lily. After surviving a wicked Halloween with Ursula Geist and banishing the dark witch to the depth of Lake Cauldron, Lily decides Zinnia needs the protection and guidance of the aunts as she continues her journey as a green witch.

Zinnia’ s dream of moving back to Ambrosia Hill becomes a reality as she is reunited with Billie and is welcomed by the charmed volleyball team as their lucky number thirteen. Zinnia has everything she’ s ever wanted including a coven of witches to practice her green magic with. The Aunts as always, have tricks up their sleeves and prepare to host a surprise kale-pulling gala at Fern House to call forth Lily’ s true love.

Things seem perfect in the Fern House living on top of the tallest hill in a sleepy town until Zinnia meets the new girl, Scarlet at the kale-pulling gala. Scarlet is a ward living with the catholic nuns at Ambrosia Hill Episcopal Convent. Her uncanny beauty and charismatic charm soon win the attention of the charm volleyball team and most importantly, Billie. Zinnia is overcome with a fit of searing jealousy as Scarlet’ s presence emerges a darker side of Zinnia. Strange and unsettling happenings are reported in the town. Cows dry up overnight and a mysterious serpent is seen lurking in Ambrosia Hill, hiding within the tall grass, ready to strike. Zinnia fears she has been cursed when her fate line breaks in two on the palm of her right hand and Zinnia is forced to rely on her inner strength when magic fails her. But who can save Zinnia when she soon discovers that the monster in Ambrosia Hill this time is her?

Moving is an adventure.

I know I’ve mentioned the wonderful world building in all of my previous reviews of these books, but the author once again surprised me with new details. As someone who grew up in a few small towns, I smiled and nodded along as Billie introduced Zinnia to some interesting secrets about the community that Zinnia thought she already knew so well. It happens in real life sometimes, too, so of course it could also happen in fiction! Locals don’t always think to share everything right away with newcomers, especially when it comes to information that may be a little controversial or out of the ordinary. Kudos for the author for keeping me guessing.

With that being said, it would have been helpful to have more time spent exploring and developing the latest secrets of Ambrosia Hill. It wasn’t until the last 50 pages or so that I learned much of anything about them at all. While I know the author probably wanted to keep some things under wraps for the future, it was a little disappointing for me as a reader to have to wait until the end for even a few of my questions to be answered. It felt like there was a lot more that could have been done with these developments, and I would have happily gone with a five-star rating if they had either been introduced earlier or if several more chapters had been added on to explore what Zinnia thought of them and how they might change her life.

The character development was often slow in the first four Ambrosia Hills books, so I was glad to see it pick up here. Zinnia was given some great opportunities to deal with her jealousy and practice self-control when other people irrationally – or, in some cases, rationally – irritated her. Did she always make the most gracious life choices? Absolutely not, but that was a good thing. Everyone has bad days, and it was refreshing to observe how she behaved when she wasn’t her usually pretty calm and collected self. You can learn a lot from how someone behaves when they’re in a terrible mood, so I’m excited to see where Ms. Henry takes Zinnia and everyone closest to her from this point forward.

This is the fifth instalment in a series that I’d recommend reading in order due to all of the character and plot development that has already occurred in this universe, some of which the narrator assumes the reader already knows.

Angelite made me grin and wish for another adventure with Zinnia.

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