Trapped

Trapped - Ronda Hinrichsen I received "Trapped" as a part of the Goodreads "First-Reads" Giveaway, and it's my first novel experience from Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen. What drew me into the novel from the get-go was a blend of enticing elements. First, I noted the protagonist, Emi, is a young woman who discovers she's been lied to her whole life about her family, their history, and her place in the world. Second, in order to discover the truth, she leaves home for another country (Austria) to discover the truth about these factors. Add to that the measure of a deadly curse, twisted manipulations from people who want to use Emi for their own motives (as a Firstborn She - Emi is subjected to some measurable royal treatments), and some small elements of romance and you have the standout elements of Hinrichsen's novel. There are some caveats to this, which I'll explain in a moment, but let me focus on the positives.Hinrichsen's prose flows smoothly and is easy to digest in the dialogue. I think that makes this YA oriented novel appealing and better represented than some of its peers (as it doesn't pull any odd inclusions for the sake of conflict/angst). Emi is a likable heroine - age appropriate, intelligent, and quite aware within each situation she comes across. The collective cast of the novel is decently developed and I did genuinely like their portrayals on a surface level. I consider "Trapped" a moderate read (a little more than a quick read), and easy to digest with respect to content and style.That said, let me list the caveats. The pacing within the novel is variable - sometimes with some very interesting turns and threads. When Emi and the people she knows and loves are in peril, you know it and can identify with her in the moment. However, I found that there were places in the novel where the momentum changes directions and I had to slog through places in the narrative in order to get to the next point - where it picked back up and I could move through it better. There wasn't one specific scene that stood out to me to illustrate this, other than where some of the reveals in the story took place. I thought they'd have more impact on me, and they didn't. It might be because some of the characters could've had further fleshing out to make it hit home more.Another caveat was that the romance, while appropriate and convincing, might not be as fleshed out as some would like with respect to the characters. I'd agree with that only on the measure that I wish the characters were a little deeper. For a story like this, however, it was an element rather than a main focus, so I liked that most of the interactions and conflicts on that plane weren't overdone, but they could've had just a bit more. (I liked Daniel, but I felt I didn't really know Lucas that well for him to make an appropriate rival.)I'd recommend Trapped for those who want a quick read in the fantasy genre, with elements of suspense and magic taking front and center in the innerworkings of the plot. I enjoyed it for what it offered, and think anyone wanting a light read could as well, as long as you can overlook some of the caveats.Overall score: 3/5