Firstly, I will say that I did enjoy The Splendour Falls. It is an interesting and intriguing read, with paranormal and romance elements combined with a little mystery. One of the things I liked most was Sylvie, the main protagonist.
Sylvie’s character is great. She is quite a refreshing change to the many young girls who fall at the feet of male suiters. Sylvie is a very mature seventeen year old and I really liked the way she went about things for a girl her age. Being smitten with two guys didn’t reduce her to a girl who is unable function if they didn’t look at her that day, instead she is bright, witty and intelligent and very much her own person. Sylvie definitely knows what she wants and that’s to dance. To hone her ballet skills she has to train for hours and hours each day, which requires motivation, dedication and above all no distractions and to do this there has to be total focus. This shows Sylvie’s strength of character. And although she may never dance again due to breaking her leg, she doesn’t give up, instead she focuses her attention on finding information about her deceased father and her newly found family history.
Sylvie is definitely the main focus of this book and although there are other characters involved, we don’t really get to know them. Her dog Gigi plays a bigger part than the two guys, Rhys and Shawn, who are Sylvie’s love interests. At times it did feel as though it was the Sylvie & Gigi show. With that being said I loved Gigi, so utterly adorable. It’s just a shame that the other characters weren’t given the same attention. There is little in the way of romance in The Splendour Falls but it is alluded to. Obviously Sylve is attracted to Rhys, but the relationship didn’t develop quickly enough or as much as I would have liked it to. There are a lot of smart retorts, hand brushing and skin tingling but not a lot else.
The beginning of the book starts off really well and is very easy to get into with Sylvie’s character being instantly likable. But after around a hundred and fifty pages it plateaus and doesn’t seem to go anywhere. What follows is a lot of repetition consisting of Sylvie waking up, going to breakfast, walking the dog, going to the garden, sneaking Gigi upstairs to her room, feeling as though she is being watched, checking it out, freaking out and thinking she is crazy. Then going to sleep just for it to happen again the next day. Of course this isn’t all that happens. Some of her day is delving into her past and trying to learn about her family’s history and trying to understand the ghosts she is seeing. Unfortunately, the story is lost in too much padding. I also feel as though the book goes on for far too long. There isn’t enough story to warrant the five hundred plus pages, if it had been shorter it would have given a more tightly packed story and therefore a more enjoyable read.
I was impressed with the writing as it flowed really well even when the story dragged a little and the quality of writing didn’t diminish. Towards the latter part of the novel it did pick up pace and become quite exciting as all the pieces of the puzzle began to come together and my interest in the book and in Sylvie piqued again as I was pulled along with the story until the last page. At the end everything is wrapped up nicely and all the questions are answered. This is by no means an easy or quick read, but it’s one I would recommend.
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