New Release (Book Review): Fates Divided by Jules Barnard

Title: Fates Divided  (Halven Rising #1)
Author: Jules Barnard
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Length: 359 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars


Elena Rosales has busted her ass to get into a good college. She’s the only one in her family ever to attend, and expectations are high. No pressure. But Elena’s got this one in the bag, because she’s as dependable as the molecules she studies, as reliable as the chemical reactions that comfort her in their predictability. Until they don’t.

Elena has always wondered why her mother abandoned her on her first birthday. It’s not until she turns eighteen and her chemistry experiments go berserk that she learns the truth: Her mother wasn’t human, and the Fae are willing to harm those Elena loves if she doesn’t use her power over the elements to cure them of a deadly disease.

Derek, Elena’s brooding neighbor, isn’t the friendliest guy, but he has access to an off-hours lab and is willing to help Elena create the antivirus. He has his own secrets to keep, and this business Elena is mixed up in could blow his cover. But when Elena and Derek get together, more than chemicals spark fire—and they soon discover just how complicated attraction can get when they find themselves on the other side of the portal, fighting for survival. Lives collide, and allegiance and love are tested, in Fates Divided.


In the Halven Rising Series, love and ancient allegiances are threatened when the worlds of Fae and Halven collide. Each Halven Rising novel features a different couple and may be read as a standalone, but an overreaching story arc connects the books, so it’s fun to read them in order.



The Good: What drew me to the book from jump was the heroine, Elena Rosales. I loved that Elena’s half Mexican, half Fae and that it’s part of her narrative, but not THE story. As the book went along, the romance between Derek and Elena does a good job of grounding the fantastical elements of the story.

Overall, the story skewed young to me, with Elena just turning eighteen and coming into this crazy power to manipulate liquids and transmutation of elements. It’s very scientific at times, as there’s a Fae superbug that’s wiping them out quickly, and it’s a race against time to find the cure. I will say though that it’s not strictly young adult, as there are many, many kisses (which I enjoyed) and some love scenes that were definitely more about the romance than the down and dirty. It fit perfectly within the context of this story and I enjoyed them.

There’s alot to take in with this ‘verse, since Elena and Derek are what’s known as Halven, children born of a Fae/Human coupling. That’s a serious no-no, and the prejudice that they encounter was a good allegory to what many mixed race children have to deal with on a daily basis.

The Mostly In Between: I wouldn’t call this bad, but it is part of the prose – alot happens off-page, and because it is the first book, there’s alot of information that needs to be parsed out to the characters and the readers. I would have liked to see more happening in real time. To have seen the devastation wrought on the Fae because of this bug, to meet some characters who play integral parts of this story. Also, it felt that for such a fantastical plotline, at first Elena and Derek seemed to be isolated in laboratories and rooms alot. The most exciting scenes happen in the second half and make up for this, so I was satisfied.

The way it’s resolved felt like the majority was recapped towards the end. Since there’s a bit of an overarching storyline, it’s not surprising and I am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next couple of books.


I enjoyed it. It’s a good start to a series, and I loved Derek and Elena together.  I would recommend it for YA/NA paranormal/urban fantasy romance readers.

– Ivy

*An ARC was received for an honest review.




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