Thursday 26 April 2018

The Uncrossing, Melissa Eastlake

Luke always smelled like church and magic

Luke can uncross almost any curse—they unravel themselves for him like no one else. Then he encounters the first curse he can't break. And it involves Jeremy, the beloved, sheltered prince of the Kovrov family—the one boy he absolutely shouldn't be falling for. 
Jeremy's been in love with cocky, talented Luke since they were kids. Jeremy's family keeps generations of deadly secrets, forcing him to choose between love and loyalty. As Luke fights to break the curse, a magical, citywide war starts crackling, and it's tied to Jeremy.
* * * 
3 / 5

The Uncrossing was an odd little book. It’s about a curse on a young man called Jeremy Kovrov, the adopted son of a powerful family, and another boy who can unravel almost any curse. It’s about magic in New York, about power and history and the lengths we will go to to hide the past. But it was also just plain weird. 

"I know he's hard to like," Alexei had said, "but he loves you." There was nothing as simple as word for that.

Luke is employed by the Kovrov family, who are sort of the magical gangster family of New York. They’re powerful and dangerous and they employ Luke, against the wishes of his parents, to unravel curses for them. In Jeremy Kovrov, Luke finds the first curse that he can’t seem to break. It’s just a weird twist of fate that Jeremy’s been in love with Luke since they were kids and Luke has a boyfriend who seems like a bit of a dick. 

The Uncrossing is incredibly imaginative. Jeremy’s curse is really interesting (I won’t spoil it for you) and you really feel for him. His family has a lot of secrets that are slowly revealed throughout the book and his relationships with his two older brothers are complicated and interesting. Eastlake has written some really compelling relationships: Luke the curse-breaker and his curse-maker sister; Luke and his parents; Jeremy and his slightly insane family; Luke and Jeremy. The romance between Jeremy and Luke is a slow-burn, full of heart-break and pain, and I thought it was very nicely done. 

Camille's glare was intimidating. She wore a thick layer of black lipstick like she wanted someone to ask her if it was a metaphor

But a lot of the book is just very confusing: I didn’t really understand how magic and New York fitted together. Do normal people know about magic? Is there just magical communities? Then there’s some sort of magical gangs? Huh. The way curses are made and unravelled is also sort of weird and not very well explained.

Overall, whilst I found The Uncrossing confusing to read, it had a lot going for it: interesting characters, a novel setting, and an imaginative plot. 

My thanks to Netgalley, the publisher, and the author for an ARC of this book.

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