Review: The Guests of Honor (Tales from the Virtue Inn #1) by Cat Amesbury

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Goodreads Summary:

Welcome to the Virtue Inn

Honor Desry’s only employee is a magical nudist, her guest list has an abnormal fascination with eels, and a surprising number of household objects are trying to hurt her.

When Honor’s mother mysteriously disappeared, Honor became responsible for both her younger sisters and the family inn. All Honor wants to do is run the inn, pay the bills, and not get killed by her unusually violent toaster.

Unfortunately for Honor, the Virtue Inn has more secrets than it does rooms and the Guests are restless. If Honor wants to keep her house –and her head- she’s going to have to learn how to please The Guests of Honor.

My Review

The Guests of Honor was a unique fantasy tale that takes quite the interesting perspective on hospitality. When Honor’s mother disappears she is thrown into the chaos that is managing her mother’s inn (The Virtue Inn) whilst simultaneously becoming the guardian of her two younger sisters whom she hasn’t seen in years. With the help of the odd (usually half dressed) servant Kay, Honor struggles to come to terms with the truth and secrets that lie within who the guests of Virtue Inn are and what being an innkeeper for such a bizarre inn really entails.

This book pulled me in from the start, The Guests of Honor creates a story that meshes components of Beauty and the Beast and the Halloween movie Monster House and makes one crazy adventure. When I first started reading it I was super intrigued to see how events would play out, especially the relationship between Kay and Honor. Everything about this book is a little strange and a whole lot ridiculous, but that’s what made it entertaining to read! In fact, it had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion! Virtue Inn reminded me a ton of Howl’s Moving Castle, and I couldn’t help but picturing certain characters and places from the book as being straight out of that movie. I love weird and different books and you can definitely find that in The Guests of Honor.

Though I loved the ingenuity in Amesbury’s tale, I was a little disappointed by the plot development. I kept waiting and waiting for the major conflict/antagonist to be introduced and learned nothing of it until I was more than half way done with the book. It just felt like there was very little movement with a bit too much setup, I enjoyed what was in the book, but I felt that the events did not need to be drawn out as long as they were in the beginning. Once the conflict was made fully known and I had an enemy to set my sights on, it felt almost rushed, like this huge suspense filled event was thrown in all of a sudden and a little out of context. I never even learned why the antagonist was doing what he was doing. Why did it benefit him/it to cause so much trouble? In fact the true enemy was not even fully revealed, he just sort of remained a mystery.

All in all The Guests of Honor was a unique fantasy tale with a strong female lead and had some ridiculous/ humorous situations and dialogue that made it enjoyable to read. My only stipulation were the lull moments in the story and the underdeveloped conflict, but it was still a pretty good read.

You can buy The Guests of Honor on Amazon here!

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