I received this book free of charge from Bewitching Books Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb from Amazon:
When a self-conscious young woman discovers that the boy in drama class is really an immortal that painted the world into being, she becomes the target of another who could shatter not only her new sense of hope, but her world, as well.
Random: Never a dull moment with Pandas.
The Earth Painter intertwines fantasy elements with contemporary issues at a great pace that it is almost impossible to differentiate between them. Holly, our protagonist, has to deal with an overbearing mother that can only criticize Holly for her imperfections. Holly has low self-esteem because of her relationship with her mother but she grows a backbone when she meets Theo. Theo is a Painter (I would almost say an angel) who painted the Earth when it was created.
I like the idea of having a great Sculptor sculpt the world (like God) and the Painters painting the world have they see fit. Theo has land, Walden has the sky, and Fritz has the ocean which reminds of the domain of the three Greek god brothers (Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades). Theo and Fritz are odds with each other sort. It’s an interesting rivalry because Fritz enjoys wreaking havoc wherever he goes and reminds me a good deal of Lucifer and his thoughts on humanity (Humans will ruin the world). Besides the big three, the sciences (Biology, Geology, Chemistry) have their characters but Biology has the most prominent role in the book.
Fritz is the type of antagonist whose reasoning is clear and relatable which makes him one of the most dangerous types of villains. He whispers to the darker and selfish part of humanity in order to have his way. He is fun to read though. As readers, I think we want to see his logic and see what moral dilemmas Fritz will bring to the table.
The romance between Theo and Holly takes its time in developing. There is no “I love you” right off the bat. There is an attraction but it acts more like as curiosity in getting to know a friend. The pace of the relationship is very realistic, even the denial and slow realization of what is going on. Out of the 44th books I have read this year, this is the best one in terms of building a romantic relationship and making it real. Theo cannot feel like a human feels because he is immortal, a Painter but he can mimic humans very well. Holly is falling for him but she is not lovey-dovey; it is sort of awkward at times, she attempts to deny it when she realizes he cannot feel but the emotions are still there. It is a very nice progression.
It is not just the romance aspect that is handled really well but also the relationship between Holly and her parents. Her mother only cares about Holly when it comes to how Holly is representing her (the mother) in public like Holly has to be friends with the right crowd, say the right things and have the right job. Holly does become emotionally stronger but the comments her mother make which comes in the form of venomous advice still get under her skin which is normal since they plays to Holly’s insecurities. Her father is present but not much help against his own wife.
The book has a great storyline inside of it that I have nothing to take up issues with the book; in terms of a storyline. What is a little issue is with some of the sentence structures. There are certain paragraphs were two people are talking and it is not clear who is talking because there is no paragraph break. Plus on rare instances, some quotations marks are missing or misplaced because the character is still talking but the grammar is not showing that. It is a minor issue but in general, is it not a huge distraction.
In the end, this is a fantastic novel. It is well-balanced between Holly’s personal relationships and the fantasy elements of a creation myth. I can’t wait for the second book. Like I said, it has the best development of a romantic relationship and that alone is reason to pick this book up.
44th in the 150+ Reading Challenge
Also qualifies for: E-book, First in A Series, Where are you reading?- South Carolina