The first book in a trilogy, Imperfect was a lovely and quick read that didn’t waste any time getting the reader into the fantasy world that Theodosia finds existing parallel to her England of the 1800s. Theo is fiercely independent and has difficulties with the expectations her family and society have placed on her. She feels she is destined for a marriage where she will be miserable and longs to escape. When a strange tree in the middle of the woods transports her to a land where the mystical is real, at first she thinks it is the answer to her problem. Theo soon realizes that both worlds have their problems and choosing which one to stay in is not going to be as easy as she’d thought.
I really like historical fiction with some element of fantasy thrown in. It has the potential to be written really well, and Imperfect was one of those stories. It straddled the line between the two worlds perfectly, without having too much time spent in one over the other. Bronwyn Kienapple touches on the expectations that would fall on the shoulders of a girl in 1800s England without making it too dense. When Theo is transported to the world of the Nextic, she meets an attractive man who doesn’t follow the strict rules of England at the time and doesn’t understand why she does either. Their relationship grows slowly; I was glad that the author didn’t completely throw what was correct at the time out the window in order to have a romantic moment or two.
The mystical setting of the Nextic was really fun to read; it was beautiful, but also had an element of danger because of encroaching mysterious shadows and beings. It looks like the next book in the trilogy will heavily feature this place, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the world is expanded upon.
My one disappointment about Imperfect is that it is so short, although that does allow a reader to finish it in a day. I felt that it was getting really exciting and then it ended right at the overall climax of the storyline. I know there will be more conflict in the next novella, but I wish it had finished up the conflict in this one first. I will definitely be continuing this series, however, so splitting the novel into three novellas worked in my case!
I received a copy of Imperfect from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.