Monday, December 2, 2013

YA Review: Relic (Renee Collins) + Giveaway

Title: Relic
Series: standalone
Author: Renee Collins
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Alternate Western Fantasy
Rating: Older Teen (violence, sensuality, scary situations, implied sexual attack)
Told: First Person (Maggie), Past Tense
Format Read: Paperback
Find It On: Goodreads


After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries.

Working in a local saloon, Maggie befriends the spirited showgirl Adelaide and falls for the roguish cowboy Landon. But when she proves to have a particular skill at harnessing the relics’ powers, Maggie is whisked away to the glamorous hacienda of Álvar Castilla, the wealthy young relic baron who runs Burning Mesa. Though his intentions aren’t always clear, Álvar trains Maggie in the world of relic magic. But when the mysterious fires reappear in their neighboring towns, Maggie must discover who is channeling relic magic for evil before it’s too late.

Three Words: Western with magic.

Writing: While not a particularly quick read for me, the story was easy enough to follow.

Setting: An alternate Wild West where the unearthed bones of magical creatures give the bearer the ability to wield the creature's powers. A unique and interesting concept.

Story: After the loss of her town, her home, and most of her family, Maggie must somehow scrape together a life for her and her little sister. But when she accidentally attracts the attention of the richest man in the area, she has no idea what danger and deceit she is embroiling herself in when she takes his offer of comfort and magic. As she scrambles to discover the truth behind the attacks that took everything from her, she finds herself at the heart of a power struggle of epic proportions. Will her relic talents be enough to save them?

It was a pretty slow read for me, with a lot of down time and little bursts of action. But the unique premise was enough to hold my attention for the entire book, and the mystery did keep me guessing until the very end. I personally would've preferred a more melancholy ending, but most will be satisfied with how the story concluded.

Characters: Maggie was a child struggling to be an adult. She was inexperienced with life but made do as best she could, and found the strength to persevere when she needed it most. She could be a little too naive at times, but she definitely felt authentic. I really liked Maggie's friend, Adelaide - best character in the book, in my opinion. Landon was sweet and playful, Yahn mysterious but a constant strength for Maggie. Little sister Ella was a bit of a selfish brat, but in her defense she was only seven. Connelly made for a satisfying evil villain, while the "is he or isn't he" villain Castilla had me conflicted right to the end.

Romantic Relationships: There are three romantic interests for Maggie in this book - two boys, and a man. One is kept firmly at the forefront as her romantic interest, one (the man) is considered a few times given the opportunities a life at his side could present, and one she is inexplicably drawn to, but we don't know if this is romantic or more out of a magical connection (it certainly leaned more towards the romantic though, in my opinion). The man aside, I actually rooted for the latter of the boys - not that the former wasn't good (and good for Maggie), it was just a preference given how she reacted to both, and how the story ended.

Series: This was marketed as a standalone, but while the end wrapped up well, I feel the story was left open for a sequel if desired.

Conclusion: While nothing spectacular, even with its unique genre mash-up, it was an interesting concept and a relatively entertaining story. If there does come a sequel, however, I won't be interested in reading it.


By the luck of the draw (literally - I won it twice), I happened to get an extra copy of this book - which means, of course, a giveaway! Enter below for a chance to win a paperback copy and a set of Relic postcards. Good luck!

(US only - apologies to my International Followers! Must be 16 years or older to enter.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I totally agree with what you have to say about the love interests! I was a huge fan of Yahn too! I wants them to be together forever! Forever i say! I also want that unicorn post card!

  2. Woooho I'm excited for this, it looks so awesome! Thanks for hosting and those postcards are to die for!

  3. I want to read this book mainly because I've had friends of mine absolutely rave about it and they stuck it in my reader's choice as their way of making sure I read it. I just have to get a copy of it to read [:<

  4. I've been wanting to read this book for awhile!

  5. The cover looks really pretty and the cards are very interesting. :)