This review was written for YA Books Central and is reprinted here with permission. You can see the original here.
I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Things That Should Stay Buried by Casey L. Bond
Published by Self Publish on 2020-08-26
Length: 300 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Reading Challenges: 2020 New Release Challenge, COYER All Year 2020
Some destinies are written in the stars. Others must be bought with blood…
The Zodia are real. Clawing their way from a long-forgotten tomb, they emerge, ravenous to claim everyone born under their star signs. Plotting to resurrect kingdoms no human knew existed, they are driven by a hunger for vengeance against the one who buried them: Aries.
Larken is a natural born sprinter, but even she can’t outrun the darkness closing in. A shelter-in-place order has been issued, causing widespread panic. Some brush the alarm off as a drill, until people begin to disappear... vanishing without a trace. Left with only one option, Larken’s brother does what he must to save her life... and calls forth Aries.
Considered a traitor by his own kind, only Aries has the power to stand against the Zodia. But he can’t do it alone. Mystically bonded to Larken, the pair must band together for the fight to come if either hope to make it out alive. Neither anticipated the passion that would ignite between them. Yet, in a world suddenly thrust into chaos, it may be the key to their survival.
The Zodia are out for blood with their attentions inexplicably focused on Larken. When long buried truths finally come to light, will their love be their salvation or their curse?
Casey L. Bond has been on my reading list for years, and now I can finally say I have read one of her books and not just read it but loved it! Things That Should Stay Buried is unlike anything I’ve ever read, drawing me into the story with the first words and not letting me go until long after it was over. Loosely based on Beauty and the Beast—my all-time favorite fairy tale—Things That Should Stay Buried follows the story of one family as the Zodia awake and tear the world as we know it apart.
Larken is no stranger to the mysterious and unknown. When her twin brother died in front of her years prior and inexplicably came back to life, it wasn’t really her brother inhabiting the body. Larken doesn’t know what Kes is, but she trusts him and has even grown to love him in the years since he became her brother. This bond is unshakable, and one of the reasons I found myself admiring her. She loves this boy even if he isn’t her brother, she trusts him to protect her and have her best interests at heart, and she worries for him. When the Zodia awake, only Kes can keep Larken safe. She knows that, and yet there is something in her that wants to protect him as well. I can’t help but love this about her.
Kes isn’t the main character of the story, but I adore him. He’s lived a thousand lives as the protector of Aries, but this life as Larken’s brother is clearly the one he is at home in. There’s a moment when Larken confronts him right after he possesses her brother that cements their bond. This bond is what leads to his decision to ask Aries to bond with Larken, to protect her from what is to come. He’s desperate, and that is clear, but his actions reflect the love he has for his sister, and I couldn’t help but love him for it.
Aries is one of the twelve Zodia who have awoken from millenia of sleep. Otherworldly and powerful, he grants Kes’s request first and then whisks them away to his kingdom. In the blink of an eye, anyone born under Aries now resides within his kingdom. The same goes for the entire world, whatever star you were born under is now your home. Families are ripped apart, including Larken’s. Few are together. While sympathetic, Aries promises to make their new home pleasant, but he cannot promise the same for those under the other Zodia. I love Aries! He isn’t the beast he appears to be. He is kind and gentle, a fair ruler, and above all he wants to protect those in his care. How can you not love him?
The story focuses mostly on the bond between Aries and Larken. Larken is a Taurus, and the bull wants her. Not only that but it was Aries who betrayed the Zodia, forcing them to sleep all those years ago. Taurus has allies who would kill Aries and then Larken would be his. I love the world and mythology that Bond has created here. Taking the zodiac signs and making them real living and breathing creatures is genius! An entire mythology is set up and explored within the pages of the book, and I could not get enough! It adds a layer of mystery to the romance and helps drive the plot.
Overall I really enjoyed Things That Should Stay Buried. I love the world Bond created for her story, and I love how seamlessly she wove her tale with the original Beauty and the Beast. While this is truly a love story between Aries and Larken, it is so much more. I love the bond and banter between Larken and Kes, showing you that family doesn’t have to be blood. I highly recommend this one to anyone that enjoys mythology with a dash of romance and adventure.