You Let Me In, by Camilla Bruce is a dark fantasy full of faeries, magic, and danger.
Synopsis: Cassandra Tipp has disappeared. Bestselling novelist, and notorious in her neighbourhood, Cassandra has a dark past, one the whole town knows. Everyone knows of her and her infamous trial, acquitted or not she is someone they use to avoid.
Now she has gone missing and she has left behind one final story. She is ready to reveal the truth of her murder and death filled past, but at what cost? Was Cassandra really a bad person? Or was she really protecting the true culprit? Will you believe her story or will you dismiss it as insanity? The truth is relative after all…
Content Warnings (may contain small spoilers): Child abuse, murder, suicide.
So, I am doing a mini-review for this one since I gave it an average rating and, to be honest, found it to be quite a weird read. I love faeries, I love stories about them, movies about them and I love all the different depictions there are of them – my favourite, however, are the chaotic, dark and manipulative depictions. So, you can only imagine that when I saw this up on Netgalley I had to have it because dark evil faeries.
However, this just didn’t hit the mark for me. The first part of the book is very heavy in terms of information, it borders on being an ‘info-dump’ and the writing is difficult to grasp. It is written in first person, addressing and detailing two other characters and their actions, in the second person. Once Cassandra actually begins telling her story it is much easier to read and the writing is actually very impressive with a nice balance between sharp and direct but also beatifully metaphoric. Once you are in the story it is well written, very strong and easy to read, I ended up reading this in one sitting as it is short and quick.
The other aspect I really enjoyed was the faerie magic and their portrayals, the idea that they are what they eat and they take on elements of nature without being its friend or protector. I found this incredibly interesting because the faeries are dark and evil and the idea that they physically take on traits from nature or from their food was compelling and unique, a depiction I haven’t before, at least not to this extent.
The story is one that can be read two ways, depending on what you believe as Cassandra is an unreliable narrator so you have to rely on your own interpretation. On one hand it can be read as a metaphor or allegory for abuse, on the other hand it can be read as the faeries being real. That was interesting and the ending is left pretty open.
But, I really could not get on board with the story as a whole. There wasn’t so much a mystery as there is interpretation. I was expecting a mystery/thriller novel that slowly revealed the truth – this is not that. Instead you are told Cassandra’s truth pretty much straight away, there wasn’t a mystery to unravel, some things aren’t completely revealed until the end but it wasn’t shocking or suprising to me, and that left it feeling a little flat.
Moreover, it feels as though you are meant to side with the faeries being real, which I did for the most part. This caused an uncomfortable atmosphere when reading the book because the relationship between the faerie (Pepper-man) and Cassandra was outright weird and strange. Even if the story is not about Cassandra being abused by a family member, she still is anyway by the fae. And then she eventually falls in love with him- I love dark, weird Grimm style stories but this just was too weird and uncomfortable for me.
Overall: This was not the mystery/thriller it seemed to promise and it was a very weird, uncomfortable read. However, it is well written once you get into the story and the general mythology of the fae was incredibly interesting. It is a clever book, but it was not for me.
*I received an eARC of #YouLetMeIn, by Camilla Bruce from #Netgalley #RandomHouseUK #TransworldPublishers in exchange for an honest review*