Thank You NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for providing an e-Arc in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: For eighteen years a girl with no name, a Redwing, has been hidden away in a small attic room within a city of hissing pipes and curving temples perched on the side of the great volcano, Mol, while her sister, Jey–identical except for her eyes–has lived her life in public as an only child. Their father had hoped the hidden girl would one day grow up to be a normal human girl and not the wicked creature mythology has promised, so he secretly spared her life as an infant.
But when she switches places with her sister, striking up a flirtation with the son of the Empress, while working in the royal gardens and gets attacked by two suspicious priests on her journey home, she is forced to call forth fire to protect herself, unleashing her previously dormant powers and letting her secret out. She soon catches the attention of a cult with a thousand year old grudge as well as a group of underground rebels, both seeking her for their own gain. But when her sister goes missing and the Redwing uncovers a great plot to awaken Mol and bring fiery destruction upon them all, she is forced to embrace her powers.
The Hidden Twin sounded amazing, and it’s gorgeous cover clinched it when I saw it offered on NetGalley, but in my opinion the story fails to live up to either. The main problem is it’s written almost as if it were a sequel. I was so confused when I first started reading that I actually looked this up on Goodreads to see if this was a second book in a series. I had so many questions regarding the twins’ childhood yet the only details provided are a few vague references by their father. The society itself is pretty confusing as well with so many different villains they were difficult to keep up with. This city or country, (I was never clear on which it was) is ruled by an Empress, but then there’s this group of priests who seem to hold quite a bit of power. It’s never explained how they work together, or if they even do. Redwing is the one standout in the entire book. I loved her fearlessness and snark. I wasn’t able to connect with any of the other characters though. Redwing’s twin, Jey, turns out to be an obnoxious brat, and her dad is out of the picture for the majority of the book. The supposed love interest is so under developed that I had no clue as to what made him tick, which made any hint of romance unbelievable. I think the one emotion I came away with from this is frustration, because I think this could have been a great story. Instead, I was left wanting more.