Revenge can be a dangerous thing, especially when it is groomed and nurtured. It can make people feel intense emotions and do awful things. But vengeance doesn’t appear randomly, there must be a history behind the dangerous goal turned into action.  And that’s Greg Van Arsdale’s Alina’s Revenge is all about — a great loss that ignited the desire for revenge, but also led into an adventure of a lifetime.

Published in June 24, 2020, this book by Greg Van Arsdale truly gave justice to its theme. Apart from that, it also features a strong female protagonist that provided a new sense of entertainment for readers and pride for women. From a twelve-year-old girl who served as the substitute light to their home to a fine twenty-two-year-old woman who seeks justice for her family’s awful fate through revenge, Alina’s character development is truly remarkable.

The story uses traditional plot structure, which is respectively composed of exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement. There was no usage of flashbacks for it didn’t start in the middle. Thus, the author really did a good job on showing Alina’s backstory. In that way, the readers will not question why she has the strong desire to go on a vendetta. There’s no confusion created because the introduction of the little Alina and her family’s bloodshed was well-narrated.

It was set in 1993, when the Serbian-Bosnian War took place, in Bosnia. The unknown narrator didn’t give too much description about the atmosphere and the look of the place. However, it was enough to make the readers imagine what the area looks like. The point of view used was third person limited; it is because what is seen by the protagonist are the only ones narrated by the unknown narrator.

The narration and dialogue ratio in the story is perfect. It is a common knowledge that readers have different likes and views when it comes to reading. There are those that like narratives, those that love dialogues, and those that stand in between. That said, this book would suit the liking of the different types of readers because it has the exact ratio of the two. The backstory of the protagonist was well-narrated and the conversations she had with the other characters were seamlessly created.

It cannot be denied that the book shows elements of crime thriller and romance. The massacre of the protagonist’s family was the one that bring the story to its rising action. It was already a savory and thrilling scene for an exposition. Moreover, the love that Alina found fueled the fire that is burning brightly in the story. Hence, the book is a complete page turner with the right mixture of elements.

Alina’s Revenge is definitely a must-read! It is perfect for readers who love action-packed and romance-filled stories. There is also a great character development, which contributed immensely in the movement of the story. Even though it was almost impossible to believe that a 10-year character growth can be tailored in a story, but the author did a great job in transitioning the main character from adolescence to adulthood.

Most importantly, Alina’s Revenge didn’t entirely show a thirst for vengeance; because, it also shows how the love for family can drive a person to strive harder and do impossible things. To wrap it up, it surely is a book that is will bring you action, adventure, and love all at once — leaving you crave for more scenes and giving you a good hang-over from the great read that it provided you.