The Short Life of Sparrows


Romance - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
416 Pages
Reviewed on 04/05/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

The Short Life of Sparrows by Emm Cole is a magical love story that, apart from romance, also has its moments of fantasy and intrigue. Told from the point of view of Calli and Isaiah, the story revolves around Seers and Nightbloods. Calli, a Seer, is turning eighteen and she has a vision of what will happen among the Ordinaries. Isaiah, the hero of the story, is an Ordinary who works with Calli's aunt. The book is about the unshakable bond between Calli and Isaiah, a story of two different people whose emotions and feelings are tangible. This excellent book will keep readers riveted.

The story has many dimensions, many layers that will take readers on a roller-coaster ride of myriad emotions; love, laughter, friendship, suspense and sacrifice. The plot is unique and the secondary characters are also well portrayed as the story progresses. The detailed narration makes the scenes clear and visual. There are a lot of things happening in the story other than just romance, and that makes it a compelling read. The story is original and the whimsical angle of the plot makes it more appealing and magical as readers flip through the pages. The author's style of writing is creative and imaginative and that adds to the haunting and seductive elements of the story. The unexpected happenings, twists and turns as the story progresses pull readers into the book until the very end.

Heather Osborne

The Short Life of Sparrows by Emm Cole is a fantasy novel about a coven of Seers living on the outskirts of the world of the “Ordinaries,” along with the male equivalent, Nightbloods. Calli, a young girl on the cusp of her eighteenth birthday, is about to experience her Awakening, when a Seer gains their first vision. These visions range from romantic to disturbing, but are always a prophecy of things to come in the Ordinary world or in their own lives. Before this ceremony, an Ordinary, Isaiah, comes to their village to start a job with her aunt Lil. Calli’s Awakening dream is something she doesn’t wish to see involving Isaiah. Tides are turning in the village, and strange things begin to happen. Is Isaiah tied to their world in more ways than he knows?

Miss Cole has woven together a very unique type of novel. I enjoyed the originality of the story, but found I could not relate to any of the characters. I found Calli to be irritating, bouncing between her duty as a Seer and her need to escape it. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as she was well-written with clear goals in her mind. My irritation at her behavior shows the author managed to fulfill her characterization of Calli. Isaiah was likeable in a sense, but I felt he lacked conviction. The plot was strong, but the ending fell short and felt rushed. I would like to see what happens after the end of the novel, The Short Life of Sparrows, and I hope Emm Cole plans to continue the series.

Michelle Randall

Tucked away in the valley between the mountains is a village, well, a coven really, of Seers and their male counterparts, Nightbloods. Isaiah answers an advertisement for a handyman for the summer to work in the coven, even though he is just an Ordinary. Calli is getting ready for her Awakening on her eighteenth birthday. This is the day that she will 'see' her first dream, or nightmare. Rowe is the Nightblood playboy that seems to be attached to Calli, and Calli is determined not to be swayed by his charms. The Short Life of Sparrows tells the story of the summer of Calli's eighteenth year, how she deals with the nightmares that she sees, how she interacts with Isaiah and Rowe. It also tells us more about Rowe and Isaiah. We also learn about the relationship between the Seers and the Nightbloods and how they work apart but together. Emm Cole gives a wonderful coming of age tale for everyone.

The Short Life of Sparrows is a paranormal novel of magic and family, albeit a completely different kind of family. All the women live in the Coven, and they are Seers, and all the men live in a camp on the mountain and they are Nightbloods. Emm Cole gives the reader a unique family setup in this novel. The use of magic also requires something, so there is a cost in using it. There is also a cost to lies, and they never turn out to be worth their cost. It's a coming of age and deciding what they must do - follow in the family footsteps or leave and find something new. This is a great book for teens, young adults and adults.