Thursday, May 4, 2017

Distiller: Hikari Loftus
3.5/5 Stars

by S. Jae-Jones
448 pages
St. Martin's Griffin (February 7, 2017)

I dove into this beauty after hearing every single one of my good bookish friends tell me how obsessed they were with it. Loosely based on Labyrinth, all about the love of music, and a romance with The Goblin King? Sign me up! .

The first half of this book swept me up with amazing world building and a fairytale vibe that I just love love love in my reading. You could feel it building to magic and promise of folklore. I was definitely enchanted for the first 200 pages. .

But just over the halfway mark of this book, things started to get confusing for me. One of the things I loved and disliked about this book was how poetic the writing was. Really some beautiful writing going on in Wintersong. But there were times when I really wanted clarity on a situation or an explanation and I felt like the writing got in the way. I found myself rereading scenes to see if I actually understood what was happening or the meaning behind the words, or if I was understanding the information as it pertained to the rest of the story. Maybe I was trying too hard?? .

Aside from this, the only other small complaint I have is that there were a lot of themes or things that were repeated SO many times that I felt like it reduced moments and characters to something less than what they could have been. (Ex: I felt like Liesel became only 3 character traits rather than something deeper) .

The Goblin King is the best part of this story. He’s such an interesting character, and we finish the book with exciting elements of mystery still surrounding him. I’m very glad to know there will be another book and I’m full of theories on where the story will go. .

So yeah, this book had a big chunk that wasn’t exactly my cup of tea and I did spent a long time in a chat with some friends to flesh out all the points that confused me. But overall, there were so many parts of it that I did enjoy that I know I’ll be continuing the series.


  1. Yes, I LOVED the Goblin King! Liesl.....not so much. I feel like S. Jae-Jones tried too hard to make her a plain and relatable heroine; every two pages, she was whining about her appearance or circumstances out of her control. It went from sympathy-garnering to eye roll-garnering really quickly. :( I do agree that the writing was beautiful, though!

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

  2. This is on my TBR! I'm a little nervous to read it because I've been hearing much of the same points you made.