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The Antidote

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Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret. Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not on Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret. Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom. Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous. If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.


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Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret. Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not on Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret. Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom. Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous. If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.

30 review for The Antidote

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “Keep your secret close, for your enemies are all around you…” This wasn’t a bad book, nor was it offensive by any means, it was just way too over the top. I felt like I was reading a magical soap opera. And the twists and turns felt so forced and so unrewarding. In this world, there are four kingdoms, but one of the kingdoms has been under quarantine for almost a decade. Ten years ago, a plague almost killed everyon ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. “Keep your secret close, for your enemies are all around you…” This wasn’t a bad book, nor was it offensive by any means, it was just way too over the top. I felt like I was reading a magical soap opera. And the twists and turns felt so forced and so unrewarding. In this world, there are four kingdoms, but one of the kingdoms has been under quarantine for almost a decade. Ten years ago, a plague almost killed everyone, but they were able to get most of the children out, and able to give some of the people who were unable to leave an antidote that saved their lives. And it is still mandatory to take a tonic every day. “Fireli’s Three Seclusion Rules: You must never leave the castle grounds of Fireli, or the confines of your hamlet if you live outside the castle. You must never use more than the barest of Fireli’s meager resources. You must always take your antidote.” This story does a few flashbacks to let us know what life before the epidemic that put the kingdom on lockdown was like. And we also get to see how friends and family were separated, only able to correspond through letters. This book follows Ophelia, but we also get to see three other’s lives that impact hers. ➽ Ophelia/Fee - The star of this book, who has spent the last ten years of her life training under her kingdoms healer, so that she can one day take over. Fee also notices that she might be doing some magical things; some on accident and some on purpose. ➽ Xavi - The soon to be King, since he will be anointed king on his next birthday. Also, he suffers from chronic illness that makes him fatigued frequently. ➽ Quinn - The Princess who is promised to Xavi. Her mother is queen of one of the other three kingdoms. ➽ Rye - Prince, and Xavi’s brother, who is promised to Fee. He hasn’t seen Fee or Xavi for the last decade. “For the last ten years, Fireli had been caught in a time warp where every day had been the same. They needed change—craved change. They were on the brink of it.” And Fee and Xavi are going to see Quinn and Rye for the first time in ten years. Yet, when Quinn makes it to the kingdom first, Xavi’s health takes a turn for the worst. Fee and the healer who she has been training under are unable to heal him. But they soon realize that this is a personal attack, maybe after the profit that is in the mines that have been closed from operation for the last decade, and the only way to solve who is behind it is to play along. Oh, and the witches, or magic users, in this world are sentenced to death! So, Fee needs to be extra careful on her quest to heal Xavi, while also figuring out who she is and what she is able to do! This is when the twists and turns get so over the top that you will be side eyeing the entire time while reading. When I said this reads like a magical soap opera, I truly wasn’t kidding. “Sometimes the answers are right in front of us, child. For that is the best place to hide secrets.” And like a lot of things in this book, the romance was so forced. Like, I was totally on board with the arranged marriages, but it was like the author had to prove that the couplings were in love, too, for no reason. Especially with Fee and Rye and how their first meeting went after they haven’t seen each other since they were eight and ten, a decade ago. I know this review is short, but the book also feels short while reading. I feel like there is nothing else to say, sadly. This book was just completely not for me and my reading tastes. It felt and read very beginner level YA fantasy, for me. But I hope that if you pick it up that you will enjoy it more than I did. Happy reading, friends. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication. Content and trigger warnings for plague epidemic, loss of a loved one, murder, death, captivity, brief self-harm that draws blood, a fatphobic conversation in chapter 11, racism (a theme of “mixed blood” not being okay), and war themes. Buddy read with Candance at Literary Dust, Jules at JA Ironside, & Kayla, at Books and Blends! ❤

  2. 4 out of 5

    Candace Robinson

    ARC received via publisher!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rae

    ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review This review can also be found on the blog here: http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev... After reading some lackluster reviews I wasn't expecting to like this book all that much. I read the blurb but nothing in it really stood out to me and grabbed me, making me want to read it. But that all changed when I started actually reading. I ended up really liking this book! I found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading it and looking forward to when ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review This review can also be found on the blog here: http://vicariouslyvoraciously.com/rev... After reading some lackluster reviews I wasn't expecting to like this book all that much. I read the blurb but nothing in it really stood out to me and grabbed me, making me want to read it. But that all changed when I started actually reading. I ended up really liking this book! I found myself thinking about it when I wasn't reading it and looking forward to when I would get time next to finish where I left off. The characters while they started off somewhat immature and childish, soon grew on me and grew older in the book as well. Even in the end after everything wrapped up so neatly, I found myself wishing that there was more. I really grew to like these characters, the setting, and the story and wanted it to not come to an end!  Set in a fantasy world where magic used to once exist but now has been thought to be vanquished, witches are killed if found using magic and so therefore have gone into hiding. In the Kingdom of Fireli, the inhabitants are put under quarantine after a deadly contagion kills many of the people and the children are whisked away to other neighboring kingdoms to wait out the quarantine period. Among those sent away is Prince Rye, meanwhile his brother Xavi the future king, and their best friend and Rye's betrothed since birth, Fee or Ophelia, both remain in the kingdom of Fireli because they have both been infected. Even though they were given an antidote that saved them from dying, they still must take it every day until they are sure that the contagion will no longer threaten their lives. With the end of the ten yea quarantine period coming to an end, things are starting to change and its not all for the better. Fee, or Ophelia, was such a wild and unpredictable character. At first she was a little frustrating, with her feisty attitude and inability to follow any instructions that she was given. She was very immature and wanted only to satisfy her own whims regardless of the consequences. We do see her grow up quite a bit though throughout the course of the book, and thank goodness because I liked her much better as she got older. You start to see that her feelings for Prince Rye and King Xavi are more than just childish whims. She cares deeply for Xavi like an older brother and her best friend. And while she was separated from Rye for so long, she still holds on to her love for him as her future husband. This is not a love triangle so fear not! Just a sweet friendship and family bond formed between three children who grew up together and faced many hardships with each other to lean on. I love this type of relationship between characters. The love and kinship that forms from knowing someone your whole life is something that is so special and meaningful.  Fee is also gifted with magic. Her magic tends to lean towards plants and nature. She has had this little gift her whole life but has been told to hide her ability and to never let anyone else see, because if they think she is a witch she will be put to death. But Fee is anything but obedient and her connection to plants and nature is something she turns to when she has nothing else. What hurt could a little trick here and there do, right? Eventually she comes to see the cost of her magic and just what is at stake for using it. As well as all she is capable of. This story is a huge arc of character growth for Fee and it is such an adventure. The setting mostly takes place in the kingdom of Fireli but then moves onto another kingdom later in the book, so its not hard to picture the village and the little stillroom cottage where most of the story takes place. The descriptions are not overwhelming and I found that the writing flows really well and it was easy to read. I never found myself hung up on any particular part and breezed through the entire book in a matter of a couple days. I like when a book flows so well that you look at your progress after being sucked into the story for a while to find you've read almost half the book! That was most definitely the case here and it was like that from beginning to end. I never found any dull moments or parts where I was confused as to what was going on. Even the politics and the magic system were really easy to follow, and those are the parts I tend to get a little lost in most of the time.  All in all, this was a fun, adventurous, romantic, sweet, and all around entertaining book to read. I am happy that I didn't let my first assumption keep me from giving it a shot because I was pleasantly surprised. This might be one of my favorite romances in a book that I've read this year actually. There were some parts where my heart was pounding in my chest falling so in love with the words that they were saying to each other. I was swooning for sure! I would have been happy if this was a series instead of a standalone because I was just getting to know this world by the time it ended and I really liked how it was easy to understand and follow. If the author decides to write more in this world I am all there for it! Until then, hope you like this book as much as I did!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Brunson

    Thank you HarperTeen for providing me with a copy for an honest review. Before I start my review, I just want to say that the cover for this book is absolutely stunning! I’m sitting at 3.5/4 star rating for this one and since my thoughts are all over the place, I was thinking of doing a bullet style review. What I liked: -This story was more focused on Fee’s journey of saving her realm and her best friend Xavi than romance. -I adored the friendship between Fee and Xavi! It was refreshing to see a p Thank you HarperTeen for providing me with a copy for an honest review. Before I start my review, I just want to say that the cover for this book is absolutely stunning! I’m sitting at 3.5/4 star rating for this one and since my thoughts are all over the place, I was thinking of doing a bullet style review. What I liked: -This story was more focused on Fee’s journey of saving her realm and her best friend Xavi than romance. -I adored the friendship between Fee and Xavi! It was refreshing to see a platonic relationship between a guy and girl without being blurred by romance. -There was an air of mystery that kept me reading way past my bedtime! I never knew was a bad guy or when new secrets would come out. What I felt could have been better: -I felt as if I was missing information sometimes while reading. There could have been more background information regarding the magic and class system. Besides my issue with the world building, the story was very whimsical and I really enjoyed it! This was a buddy read with the beautiful Melanie❤

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sepani

    The story was not bad, but not very interesting either. While reading the book I felt that some of the information is missing. For example; the story didn't reveal about how the kingdom was before the plague. Other than that, the kind of relationships that were defined in the book was somewhat confusing and felt like its being forced. The first one third of the story was boring but thereafter, it became a little bit interesting. Hope the others would enjoy much more than me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    julianna ➹

    self care is dnf'ing this book

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee » Library In The Country

    Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This wasn’t a bad story. Actually, it was at times very interesting and action packed. However it was a slow moving story that has the makings of something great but needed more polishing. Until about 30% I couldn’t read this more than thirty minutes at a time because I just found myself getting bored and distracted. It was a FEAT to push through to that point and once I had actually finished I felt relieved and Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This wasn’t a bad story. Actually, it was at times very interesting and action packed. However it was a slow moving story that has the makings of something great but needed more polishing. Until about 30% I couldn’t read this more than thirty minutes at a time because I just found myself getting bored and distracted. It was a FEAT to push through to that point and once I had actually finished I felt relieved and unburdened. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the characters. The writing was lovely. However, the descriptions were just too lengthy and cumbersome. I had to skim them after about 50% just to finish. The “mystery” was confusing until very late into the book. I understand not wanting to reveal much to your readers, but what was revealed (or not) felt disjointed and really distracted from the actual story. And really, I’m still a little confused as to how the pieces fell together, how the magic system works, WHY magic is forbidden, how the four kingdoms are connected and just so much more. In the end, I finished this feeling glad that it is a standalone.

  8. 4 out of 5

    - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)

    . : ☾⋆ — 4 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!! https://bit.ly/2SebfF2 ARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you HarperTeen and HarperCollins!!) I’d like to preface this review by saying that I honestly was not expecting to like The Antidote AT ALL. don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy that I did like it, but after I got approved for an ARC, I happened to stumble upon a few underwhelming and lukewarm reviews for it and truthfully? I was kind of dreading h . : ☾⋆ — 4 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!! https://bit.ly/2SebfF2 ARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you HarperTeen and HarperCollins!!) I’d like to preface this review by saying that I honestly was not expecting to like The Antidote AT ALL. don’t get me wrong, I’m super happy that I did like it, but after I got approved for an ARC, I happened to stumble upon a few underwhelming and lukewarm reviews for it and truthfully? I was kind of dreading having to read this book. HOWEVER, I’m here today fully and very happily eating my words. first off—I legitimately enjoyed reading The Antidote so much? I loved the characters and the drama behind everyone’s backstory and genuinely just had such a fun time reading this book. I was completely absorbed by the plot and was fully on the edge of my seat the entire time. this doesn’t come without saying, though, that The Antidote is not by any means a perfect book and I completely understand where all those other disappointing reviews were coming from. there’s a huge issue here with substantial plot holes, patchy world building and generally a very eccentric and peculiar writing style that didn’t sit very well with me at first. I can and am willing to see the problems within this book. from arbitrary and confusing plot devices (the stones?? what was the deal with that??) to a really, really underdeveloped world—or at the very least, underdeveloped to what we are shown as readers. but as a rational human being, I’m also willing to both reconcile and distinguish these problems from my personal experience reading the book—which was, overall, positive and enjoyable. I liked A LOT of things about The Antidote, much more than I ever thought I would. platonic relationships that stay platonic, DRAMA, arranged marriages where both parties are actually into the idea of getting married to each other, DRAMA, a magic system that isn’t overwhelmingly complex and therefore doesn’t overshadow the actual plot, and did I say DRAMA?? The Antidote has its pros and cons, as any book does, (I feel like maybe this one could’ve benefited from one last round of edits?). bottom line is, though, that it was still an extremely rewarding reading experience and I would 100% read a sequel, if Shelley Sackier were to ever write one. thanks again to Edelweiss+, HarperCollins and HarperTeen!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    J.A. Ironside

    ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review 2 - 2.5 stars To say that this wasn't for me would imply that I disliked it and it wouldn't be true exactly. There was nothing to dislike in this book and nothing really to like either. It was just a bit meh. My epic reading buddy, Melanie, phrased it best when she said it's like a magical soap opera with each twist becoming more and more ridiculous, and less and less engaging. Ultimately The Antidote is a bit of a mess but it's such a biz ARC provided by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review 2 - 2.5 stars To say that this wasn't for me would imply that I disliked it and it wouldn't be true exactly. There was nothing to dislike in this book and nothing really to like either. It was just a bit meh. My epic reading buddy, Melanie, phrased it best when she said it's like a magical soap opera with each twist becoming more and more ridiculous, and less and less engaging. Ultimately The Antidote is a bit of a mess but it's such a bizarre mess it was hard to feel annoyed about it. For one thing, the structure is all over the shop. I know, I know - I'm a complete bear for structure and not everyone works like me or reads like me, and yes all of that is fine. But there has to be internal consistency if you expect your readers to get off the ride at its conclusion without whiplash or confusion. I'm still not entirely sure what I read. Part of me wonders if I missed some deep, intellectual metaphor concealed by the untidy plot because I can't for the life of me imagine why this book was picked up by Harper Collins otherwise. And yet it's not bad - it's just unfinished. I reads like a first draft. The Antidote is set around the story of three young people - Xavi (the heir apparent), Rye (his younger brother) and Fee (a girl with a magical talent for healing and plants.) After playing in a cave one day, the three children return to find that a terrible epidemic has spread through the kingdom which now needs to close its borders in quarantine. Young prince Rye is sent away - evacuated with the other children - in order that at least one prince is kept from the seat of contagion. Fee, losing her parents to the sickness, is forced to conceal her presence with only Xavi, her best friend, and her mentor Savvi knowing she is still there. It sounds really promising doesn't it? And then I found out that the quarantine lasted for ten years...which really stretched credulity without a suitable fantasy explanation. However that's almost incidental in comparison to the other plot holes - which were significant, the wobbly and incomplete world building, the bizarre, forced dialogue and the plot. The plot was probably the biggest problem in that it seemed to be a collection of ideas that were only loosely connected and not very well thought out. It shouldn't be possible to have such a dizzying array of plot twists and yet still have nothing happen but somehow that is the case. Here's the thing, readers, whether they know it or not, invest in books for the character journey. Someone wants something and out of that wanting they face conflict in the form of obstacles, often caused by an antagonist. The stakes are high and through overcoming the obstacles, the MC changes and either succeeds or fails That's a really potted version of the hero's journey and there are obviously variations, just as there are readers who are only in a book for the world or for the language or because the ideas it explores are good, or because its part of some arbitrary list they have been told to read. But by and large STORY IS KING and character journey is story. This isn't a story yet because Fee's journey never gets going. Things happen to her but they are disconnected with the semblance of plot. There is far too much convenient 'because of reasons' going on and far too little character agency. And no, once again I didn't dislike it because there wasn't anything to dislike. There were a couple of things I would have liked if they had been more developed though. While I didn't give two hoots about Fee, I did want to see her succeed. I though Rye could have been adorable if there was more characterisation. I really liked how the whole potential love triangle never became a triangle. Xavi and Fee's friendship was sweet if suffering from the same lack of development as everything else. And I surprised myself by liking the fact that Fee and Rye were devoted to each other despite it being a marriage arranged by their respective parents when they were children, and knowing about it themselves for as long. Honestly, the idea that neither of them ever rebelled at the idea of marrying someone chosen for them was so far fetched it was laughable but I did sort of like the idea that they'd had a love-hate relationship when they were children and even a decade later still felt very strongly about each other. It was improbable and I have no idea why that hit my 'aww' button. Maybe it's that I've seen far too many 'princesses' running from arranged marriages in YA lately that the novelty of both parties being keen on the match their parents had made caught me out. Final verdict: it's not a bad book but it's also not a finished book. I can't recommend this. Buddy read with Melanie 💖☄

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    Isn’t that cover divine? I believe this is a stand alone from how everything wrapped up in the end. Very enjoyable book with great characters. Some bits were confusing but perhaps due to reading an e -arc.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Christie«SHBBblogger»

    Title: The Antidote Series: Standalone Author: Shelley Sackier Release date: February 5, 2019 Cliffhanger: No Genre:YA fantasy Like a pernicious weed, they will pull you out by the roots and destroy you. Keep your secret close, for your enemies are all around you.” The Antidote revolves around three central characters: Ophelia "Fee," Xavi, and Rye. The beginning of the story introduces you to them as children. The three of them are thick as thieves, and from an early age they knew they would be connec Title: The Antidote Series: Standalone Author: Shelley Sackier Release date: February 5, 2019 Cliffhanger: No Genre:YA fantasy Like a pernicious weed, they will pull you out by the roots and destroy you. Keep your secret close, for your enemies are all around you.” The Antidote revolves around three central characters: Ophelia "Fee," Xavi, and Rye. The beginning of the story introduces you to them as children. The three of them are thick as thieves, and from an early age they knew they would be connected to each other all of their lives. Fee and Rye are bound in an arranged marriage set up by their parents. Xavi and Rye are brothers and heirs to the Firelli kingdom, one of the four that make up Aethusa. They all knew their destiny, their futures were mapped out for them: Fee would eventually be the castle healer after her apprenticeship is finished. Xavi would become King, and Rye his right-hand advisor. Rather than feeling trapped, there was a comfort in that for them. Firelli mines produced precious metals that left the kingdom prosperous and financially secure. Until one day, those mines released a toxin that wiped out huge numbers of the population and left chaos in its wake. The three have all lost their parents and must adjust to the disaster that's befallen them. A ten year quarantine is ordered for the safety of everyone. For the first time they must be separated. During those ten years, "The antidote" is administered to the survivors by her mentor, Savva in order to prevent any possible further deaths. Fee goes from a precocious, sassy girl to a lonely, hollowed out young woman. She’d not been allowed to feel the edges of anything for ten years. She’d been held prisoner smack dab in the middle of an insipid life, intentionally held back from the spectrum of experience available. For a short while, I was worried there would be a love triangle and maybe she would fall for sweet Xavi, but it didn't take long to see that she really only saw him as a brother. As for Rye, it took me a while to get a handle on what type of person he was. He had prejudices against those with magic and I didn't think that bode well for his future with the heroine. For several reasons. One thing remained clear throughout: they both deeply loved Xavi, and would do anything in order to protect him. They would have to work together to not only find a cure for his mysterious illness, but to save the kingdom from unknown malicious enemies. Fee was a strong female lead that showed a lot of courage and grit. She's the kind of person you would want in your corner because she doesn't give up on those she loves. In the end, she must decide what she's willing to sacrifice for the good of Firelli. Even if it's something that will change her life irrevocably for the worse. The magic was interesting, though it wasn't a very complex system by any means. My reason for not rating higher was because the first half of the book I had some problems staying engaged with the story, and and it caused the pace to drag. I liked the main characters it took me a while to feel any enthusiasm for them because of it. The author keeps you guessing as to who is truly out to harm whom which eventually did draw me into the story more. On the positive side, this book is a standalone YA fantasy. There are a lot of trilogies/series saturating the genre, and it's nice to see a book with a complete ending for a change. While I did have some issues in the beginning, I enjoyed the story overall. FOLLOW SMOKIN HOT BOOK BLOG ON:

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Elaina

    This book follows Fee, a girl with rather extraordinary talents in a world where possessing any form of magic is abhorrent. However the Crown Prince Xavi, who just so happens to be Fee's best friend is sick, and she may be the only one to help him. Dark pasts collide with the high stakes and deception of the present, and Fee is left to uncover the secrets of saving the kingdom. 'In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.' I hyped this book up in my head and no part of it fit with what I This book follows Fee, a girl with rather extraordinary talents in a world where possessing any form of magic is abhorrent. However the Crown Prince Xavi, who just so happens to be Fee's best friend is sick, and she may be the only one to help him. Dark pasts collide with the high stakes and deception of the present, and Fee is left to uncover the secrets of saving the kingdom. 'In the world of healers, there is no room for magic.' I hyped this book up in my head and no part of it fit with what I was looking for. I guess every so often what you're looking for in a story won't always meet your expectations. The beginning was jarring. It begins with a couple of flashbacks and we are thrown into something that isn't explained very well but I think the author did this as a way of gripping the reader and hoping they read on to find out the gaps in the details. Books that do this aren't my favourite, I find it disappoints me early on and it makes it almost impossible to then connect with the story or characters. Don't get me wrong it can be done really well and when it is it can make for an incredible way of story telling, however this didn't feel to be up to that level. What's sad though is that with some manoeuvring around and more heavy editing this could've been amazing. The plot seems exciting and as though it's going to be fast paced at the beginning. So much so that I was wondering whether I would ever figure out what was happening but after the few flashback scenes the pacing slows down considerably, almost to an extreme. I found it to be boring and most descriptions and explanations of any kind to be overly written and long winded. The writing is wonderful if you look at each line individually but if you're looking for a fast paced plot and interesting characters to go with it, I don't think this is the book for you. “Sometimes the answers are right in front of us, child. For that is the best place to hide secrets.” I feel as though I've been in a really odd dream after finishing this and I've never had quite the experience like it. I breezed through it well enough but even though I kept reading I don't really know for what reason. I've seen this is being marketed as being perfect for fans of Laini Taylor and Sara Holland and because I love their work I thought I'd love this and sadly that wasn't the case. I think the fact that the writing is quite flowery is why it's being compared to their books but other than that I couldn't really tell you any other similarity, so keep that in mind. It may just be a personal preference thing and some of you may love those authors solely for their style of writing and may enjoy this for the same reason. However even though the writing was flowery, the long winded descriptions didn't add much to the story, for there was little in terms of world building and background information surrounding the magic system and overall history of the world in which this is set. Only adding to the trouble I had connecting to the story. I think if you enjoy a slow moving read and you love reading about all the smaller details of a story, and don't really look for the large twists in the books you pick up you may really enjoy this. But sadly this isn't my kind of style. As a whole it isn't a bad book I just think its catered to a very specific audience and if what I've mentioned sounds like something you'd like then I would definitely recommend giving it a try. I hate not having many positive arguments for this book but I honestly found most of it pretty average and that may be because I've read a lot of young adult fantasy. It's possible that if you're new to the genre you may appreciate it more, but I wouldn't recommend it for those of us who've read a lot of fantasy. If any of you choose to pick this up, I really hope you enjoy it more than I did. Thank you to the team at Harper Collins (Harper360ya) for sending me an advance reader copy to review! (All quotes are taken from an arc and are subject to change upon publication.) Triggers and Content Warnings: Disease, Epidemic, Grief, Loss, Death, Murder, Captivity, Self-Harm and brief conversations that include fat phobic and racist comments and themes of war. For more reviews check out my blog: https://www.sophieelaina.com/single-p...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gogol

    someone had described this book as a soap opera and upon skimming it I realized it was a very apt description. The book thinks it’s a fantasy but in really it’s an underwhelming, convoluted mess.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shealea

    Gave up on this book 7% in. I requested this book because I thought it would be a light and easy read, but in the (admittedly) few pages I've read, it quickly became very clear to me that the writing style and I won't fare well. The writing had a lot of unnecessary flourishes, and in addition to this, the beginning had a very melodramatic vibe that led to my loss of interest. I know that 7% isn't enough for me to validly critique the story as a whole (which is why I won't be giving this book a rat Gave up on this book 7% in. I requested this book because I thought it would be a light and easy read, but in the (admittedly) few pages I've read, it quickly became very clear to me that the writing style and I won't fare well. The writing had a lot of unnecessary flourishes, and in addition to this, the beginning had a very melodramatic vibe that led to my loss of interest. I know that 7% isn't enough for me to validly critique the story as a whole (which is why I won't be giving this book a rating), but I'm too disinterested and bored to continue reading. The book cover is really lovely, though. Disclosure: I received an advanced reading copy of The Antidote (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an honest review. * Find more of my shenanigans in my natural habitat.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melliane

    Mon avis en Français My English review I was very curious to discover this novel, first of all because of its cover but also because of its synopsis! It must be said that it is quite difficult to resist a novel such as this one! Fee, Xaxi and Rye spent their childhood together while being the best friends in the world. Xavi is destined to become king and Rye is destined to marry Fee, who is training to become a healer. But now, their lives are turned upside down overnight when an epidemic ravages t Mon avis en Français My English review I was very curious to discover this novel, first of all because of its cover but also because of its synopsis! It must be said that it is quite difficult to resist a novel such as this one! Fee, Xaxi and Rye spent their childhood together while being the best friends in the world. Xavi is destined to become king and Rye is destined to marry Fee, who is training to become a healer. But now, their lives are turned upside down overnight when an epidemic ravages the population and kills their parents. Forced to hide for almost 10 years: Xavi and Fee end up together and Rye stays alone. They will wait for the perfect time to meet again. But many things can change in 10 years and Xavi seems sicker than ever. When plots arise and each party is accused, our heroes will have to find out who the real culprit is. Moreover, Fee will have to be very careful about her magic because this world does not tolerate it and even destroys it. I had a good time with the story. It was finally quite different from what I expected when I read the synopsis. I enjoyed being a little wandered by the author about the identity of the culprit or even the reason for Rye’s disease and it’s true that like Fee, I made the same assumptions. These three characters are different and I liked to discover them. It was easy to understand their doubts. A good discovery!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becca ☾☁︎⋆ (PrettyLittleMemoirs.com)

    First reviewed on PRETTY LITTLE MEMOIRS. You know you're in for one heck of a story when there's magic, and that magic can't be used. So, in this case, it's totally forbidden in The Antidote. Instead of magic and all it entails, they use herbal remedies (I guess our version of behind the counter remedies and prescription things) and special ways they incorporate into their lives instead of using magic. Fee (or Ophelia, as she was born), our main character, is loyal to the system and keeps her own First reviewed on PRETTY LITTLE MEMOIRS. You know you're in for one heck of a story when there's magic, and that magic can't be used. So, in this case, it's totally forbidden in The Antidote. Instead of magic and all it entails, they use herbal remedies (I guess our version of behind the counter remedies and prescription things) and special ways they incorporate into their lives instead of using magic. Fee (or Ophelia, as she was born), our main character, is loyal to the system and keeps her own magic buried within since a contagion forced half the kingdom away and separated her from her betrothed love and left her, and the future king, Prince Xavi, who were infected, behind. Fee's best friend Xavi is on his death bed, struggling for life because of the way they were infected, and knowing this, Fee's own magic is playing games within her. Xavi is the prince and due to be the future king, so the stakes are a thousand times greater that he lives. Keeping him alive is all that Fee wants, and because of this, her magic ventures out during a momentary slip. Everything she knew about magic - and the secret world it has masked - is thunderous, throwing her life into a dangerous darkness. But to fully give in to everything magic holds would be worse than anything she could think of. She could save Xavi, but at the risk of her own life by those who forbid magic, deciding whether it's truly worth the sacrifice, Fee stands on uneven ground that's quaking under her footsteps. Overall, watching Fee - and this entire world, characters and plot - grow over the course of the chapters, I was enthralled by this twisted fairytale of bonds, true love, magic, a dash of sassiness and high stakes. It did take me a while to get used to Fee's character, because she is so determined in her ways and stubborn, but in the end, it kind of just made me love her even more. Whilst there were some slow moments, it was still a super amazing read. I still have my soft spot for YA Romances, but The Antidote is definitely up there with incredible YA 2019. Four stars!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hâf

    I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book. The cover is absolutely beautiful and so I was instantly drawn to it. But I wasn't aware of the plot or themes before I read it. This novel felt as though I was reading a book on fast-forward. The pace is incredibly fast at times, I would definitely have appreciated more detail and description at various points throughout the story. However it was a very enjoyable read, the plot was unique and there were many twists and turns that kept me inte I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book. The cover is absolutely beautiful and so I was instantly drawn to it. But I wasn't aware of the plot or themes before I read it. This novel felt as though I was reading a book on fast-forward. The pace is incredibly fast at times, I would definitely have appreciated more detail and description at various points throughout the story. However it was a very enjoyable read, the plot was unique and there were many twists and turns that kept me interested. The story is described as a romance, but to be honest there was hardly any romance at all. The romance only begun in the second half, but can you really call it romance if there's almost no interaction between the two parties! I preferred the platonic relationships between the MC and the princes, it was focused on friendship and trust and I wish more YA books would feature platonic relationships in such high regard. The characters were likeable, especially the MC with her humour and naivety. I would recommend this novel to anyone who's after a fantasy fix. I received an arc of this book from the publishers.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen

    4.25 Stars After I read the synopsis, I was excited to read this book until I started reading some of the negative reviews. It took me a few times passing it over until I took the plunge...and...I was really happy that I did. I enjoyed the story and all of the characters...yes, it was a bit extreme in some spots and the author did try to overly validate the romance from the arranged marriages, but I just couldn't put this book down. Even to the point where I fell asleep on top of my reader.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* The Antidote, by author Shelley Sackier, is a rarity in the young adult fantasy genre. It is a full developed story line with a beginning, a middle, and an ending that precludes the need for any sequel. This is a story about Ophelia, or Fee as her friends like to call her. Her friends meaning Prince Xavi of Fireli, and his brother Prince Rye. This is a story that is set in a land known as Aethusa. It is a land that is separate *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy *Rating* 3.5-4 *Thoughts* The Antidote, by author Shelley Sackier, is a rarity in the young adult fantasy genre. It is a full developed story line with a beginning, a middle, and an ending that precludes the need for any sequel. This is a story about Ophelia, or Fee as her friends like to call her. Her friends meaning Prince Xavi of Fireli, and his brother Prince Rye. This is a story that is set in a land known as Aethusa. It is a land that is separated into 4 Kingdoms. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nemo (The Moonlight Library)

    This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.You know what? This is bullshit. I don't owe anyone anything. I've just struggled through a different book that I could tell from the opening pages wasn't up to the standards I require in my fiction. I wasted six weeks on that book. I finished it. I was not impressed. This time, instead of fo This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.You know what? This is bullshit. I don't owe anyone anything. I've just struggled through a different book that I could tell from the opening pages wasn't up to the standards I require in my fiction. I wasted six weeks on that book. I finished it. I was not impressed. This time, instead of forcing myself to finish a book whose writing style I despise, I'm quitting it at 23%, which is quite long enough to be reading something you'd rather not. QUITTING IT. I don't owe anyone anything - not authors, nor readers, nor even the generous publishers who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I don't like reviewing books I don't finish, and I don't like not finishing books I get for review. You see why I was torn and feel like I have to force myself to read this book. FORCE myself to READ, my most favouritest thing in the whole world. I'll just supply a few reasons for why I'm quitting this book: ◾I hate the writing style. The author is being deliberately vague in the hopes it provides mystery to encourage me to carry on. Instead, it comes off as poor writing and inconsistent. Like, why is Fee still there when all the other children were evacuated? Is it because she needs to be trained? If so, why is it a secret? This is not answered in the first 20% and you know what? I need answers to very small questions like this, otherwise it just seems like pointless conflict. ◾There's a distinct lack of worldbuilding. ◾The first seven chapters were each a false start that didn't provide anything to the plot or characters. In fact, I prefer to pretend the book started at Chapter Eight. ◾As of writing (pre-publication), there is a distinct lack of 5 star reviews on Goodreads. Yes, this is an ARC, and not everyone has access to it before publication. But there is so little enthusiasm from the people who HAVE read it that I'm not charmed or intrigued enough to finish it. I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  21. 5 out of 5

    ♠️ TABI ♠️

    I sense a potential best-friends-to-more vibe and I am HERE FOR THAT OKAY

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    This story was a complex fantasy with interesting characters. It begin with a prologue which sets the stage and has characters we don't see again until much farther into the book. The main story concerns a land suffering some sort of a plague that has killed many of the people including the king and queen, a land that has been decimated, and a missing jewel. The main character in this story is a young girl named Ophelia - Fee to her friends. We meet her as a mischievous seven-year-old (?) who so This story was a complex fantasy with interesting characters. It begin with a prologue which sets the stage and has characters we don't see again until much farther into the book. The main story concerns a land suffering some sort of a plague that has killed many of the people including the king and queen, a land that has been decimated, and a missing jewel. The main character in this story is a young girl named Ophelia - Fee to her friends. We meet her as a mischievous seven-year-old (?) who sometimes spontaneously does magic. Magic, however, has been forbidden in her kingdom and it is necessary that she be taught to hide it. Her best friends are ten-year-old Xavi who is the heir to the kingdom and his brother Rye who is Fee's destined husband. They are inseparable friends. However, when the plague comes to the country, Rye is sent away with the other remaining children to other nearby kingdoms, Fee is hidden by the castle's healer Savva and becomes her apprentice, and Xavi is put under the guardianship of Sir Rollins as he learns about the country he'll rule when he turns twenty-one. It has been determined that the country will be clear of infection after ten years. During those ten years, Fee learns from to be a healer and mostly manages to suppress her magic. She spends much of her time trying to find a cure for Xavi's illness. The only contact she has with Rye are the letters that he sends Xavi. Though she writes to him, he never answers. Things come to a head when Xavi's betrothed Quinn comes to the country and Xavi gets sicker. Fee learns that Quinn is poisoning him. In an effort to protect Xavi, they fake his death and hide him in a cave where they spent time as children. Then Rye returns to the country much changed and is convinced the Fee has deliberately poisoned his brother. It gets more complicated from there as Rye and Fee try to find out who poisoned Xavi and what happened to him since he's missing from his hiding place. Fee learns more about her magic and her heritage and the villain who started all of this because she was thwarted in love. Fans of twisty, romantic fantasy will enjoy this story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Di

    Unfortunately The Antidote fell securely into the 'It was Okay but nothing great' category which I truly hate when reviewing ARCs. There wasn't anything specific that really put me off this one, however there's a lot that could have been better, particularly the pacing. The writing lacked the flow that keeps me reading late into the night and I found it all too easy to put this one down. The world building lacked strength and conviction and I wanted more suspense and spiralling tension in a plot Unfortunately The Antidote fell securely into the 'It was Okay but nothing great' category which I truly hate when reviewing ARCs. There wasn't anything specific that really put me off this one, however there's a lot that could have been better, particularly the pacing. The writing lacked the flow that keeps me reading late into the night and I found it all too easy to put this one down. The world building lacked strength and conviction and I wanted more suspense and spiralling tension in a plot that could have been great. In the land of YA fantasies I wouldn't go out of my way to read this one when it's not adding anything particularly new or fresh to the genre.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caden Armstrong

    I really loved the idea of this book. I had a few issues following the background and history of magic and the world in this story which threw me off a bit sometimes, but the characters and the romance was beautiful. I really recommend!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amira

    I liked this book, but I did think that the romance was spread out unevenly but other than that this book was good!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Baptista

    *3/3.5 I had the honor to meet Sackier at the Tucson Festival of Books where she got the opportunity to talk about this book. Her personality is energetic and fun, and she was super passionate about this book, so I decided to look into it. It’s possible I have heard about this book from instagram or somewhere else and decided not to read it because the plot didn’t seem that much intriguing. However, I decided to buy the book anyway at the Festival, and now I have a review about it. Here are a fe *3/3.5 I had the honor to meet Sackier at the Tucson Festival of Books where she got the opportunity to talk about this book. Her personality is energetic and fun, and she was super passionate about this book, so I decided to look into it. It’s possible I have heard about this book from instagram or somewhere else and decided not to read it because the plot didn’t seem that much intriguing. However, I decided to buy the book anyway at the Festival, and now I have a review about it. Here are a few things about this book that caused me to give it a lower rating. 1.) The storyline is reallyyyy slow-moving and there is hardly any epic action, as one might expect with a fantasy like this one. 2.) There weren’t really that high of stakes to keep me intrigued in wanting to constantly read the book (hence why I took 2 weeks to complete the book). The conflicts that did arise in the book were acceptable but repetitive and not jaw-dropping. 3.) The romance: first, I will say I really appreciated the relationship between Fee and Xavi as best friends without any romantic innuendo between them. As for the actual romance (which was developed over almost the entire book), it was precious and one of my fav types of romances (two people that were friends when they were younger, then eventually develop deeper feelings). However, one of the scenes (their second kiss scene to be exact) was a bit rushed? I’d say, or at least I think it was because he was about to go to a meeting, and it was not a perfect time to do what they wanted to do... A quick little note: I just adored the last line he said to Fee; it almost made me cry and UGH they are just so good together. That was my review over a not horrible book in the slightest means but not an epic fantasy if that’s what you’re looking for. Still, it was a good read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Charis Rae

    3.5 STAR RATING. I received an ARC from the publisher. Opinions expressed are solely my own. This book is one of the most anticipated releases of 2019, and I’m sooo lucky to be selected for the book tour and read an ARC. I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book. It looked amazing and THAT COVER??? Pure perfection. - THE CHARACTERS. They were such fluffy little cinnamon buns and I LOVED THEM SO MUCH. Fee definitely wasn’t the best protagonist ever, but I still found her sweet and relatabl 3.5 STAR RATING. I received an ARC from the publisher. Opinions expressed are solely my own. This book is one of the most anticipated releases of 2019, and I’m sooo lucky to be selected for the book tour and read an ARC. I honestly had no idea what to expect from this book. It looked amazing and THAT COVER??? Pure perfection. - THE CHARACTERS. They were such fluffy little cinnamon buns and I LOVED THEM SO MUCH. Fee definitely wasn’t the best protagonist ever, but I still found her sweet and relatable. Savva was super snarky while Rye was a quiet little cupcake. And then there was Xavi. XAVI WAS THE BEST. I’m a fan of deep, killer themes, but this book lacked depth. While I really enjoyed the story, it just lacked that extra layer that makes me fall in love with a story. The friendship is GOALS. Fee, Xavi, and Rye are such hilarious little beans together. Fee tries to be the mature one and Rye goes around wrecking everything while Xavi just sits and watches. Also… this author is a GEM. She liked several of my photos on Instagram then proceeded to tell me that my novella sounded awesome. I messaged her to tell her how much I enjoyed her book and she went on to tell me she loved my Instagram account and FOLLOW ME??? Not to mention we fangirled about Xavi together. What could be better!? - FULL REVIEW: http://charisrae.com/the-antidote-by-...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kate’s Book Spot

    The storyline jumped straight into the action with a prologue that raised plenty of questions. Following that was a delightful introduction to a trio of childhood friends, their bond was palpable and I couldn’t wait to see if that bond would hold through what was to come. The writing style had a magical quality to it which I thought was appropriate considering the topic of the book. Magic was forbidden and secrets were being kept, there was clearly something untoward going on and I just had to kn The storyline jumped straight into the action with a prologue that raised plenty of questions. Following that was a delightful introduction to a trio of childhood friends, their bond was palpable and I couldn’t wait to see if that bond would hold through what was to come. The writing style had a magical quality to it which I thought was appropriate considering the topic of the book. Magic was forbidden and secrets were being kept, there was clearly something untoward going on and I just had to know what it was. As the pieces of the puzzle came together and I discovered the truth about the contagion, I found myself gasping in shock. After that came revelation after revelation, the author really knows how to keep a reader hooked on her words! For the things that hadn’t been revealed, I soon came up with some theories of my own - would any of them be correct? Towards the end things become quite intense and I wasn’t sure if I’d finish reading in tears or with a smile on my face. This was a lovely, magical read that was difficult to put down.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Fiona Tolley

    I ended up liking this book more than I anticipated but the one thing that bothered me was the writing was unnecessarily formal at some parts. Even the dialogue between characters seemed forced and awkward because of the very formal structure and fancy but unnecessary word choice. However, the plot was really unique and I loved how the story played out. Perfect for fans of Long May She Reign by Rhiannon Thomas and Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bunny

    I actually really enjoyed the story itself, though it was a bit clumsily written in places, particularly the ending. Nevertheless, I wanted to know what happened with Fee, Xavi and Rye, so I plowed through. Magic is amazingly written in the Antidote, and I feel like some people could take a few hints from Shelley on that much at the least. Unfortunately not my favourite book of the year, but a fun adventure for the most part.

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