This first novel by Karen Lynch took me by surprise. It is well-written, (with a few minor typo/grammar issues -- none of which really hurt the flow).This first novel by Karen Lynch took me by surprise. It is well-written, (with a few minor typo/grammar issues -- none of which really hurt the flow). The character development is complex, with a deeply, fully drawn out protagonist. Even though the main antagonist(s) are barely present in the story, we feel their presence through their manipulations that bring so much woe to the protagonist.
The pace is fast, making this very hard to put down. Only sleep over-taking me could make me stop reading.
Many paranormal/urban fantasy stories tend to rely on certain cliches. Those cliches were absent in this story. The vampires are creepy, repulsive monsters in mostly human form. There were humans that were, in some ways, more monstrous than the monsters of the story. There were many additional creatures, such as trolls, imps, half-human/half-demons, that were fun, entertaining and added another layer of interest to the story.
The author is adept at writing descriptive scenes and emotions, allowing the reader to feel the rough forest floor with bare feet and the fear and repulsion felt by the protagonist when she is caught by the vampire, Eli. I still cringe at the image of him whispering to her.
I liked the MC quite a bit. She held many secrets, some very dark. She was not your standard angsty teen, though her decision-making skills made it obvious that she really wasn't way mature beyond her years.
I am looking forward to picking up book 2 to find out what happens to her next, and how her various relationships will play out.
I was looking for something quick and light and I found I had downloaded this some time ago. This was a light and easy read, though a bit too short toI was looking for something quick and light and I found I had downloaded this some time ago. This was a light and easy read, though a bit too short to be really satisfying. ...more
A few months ago, I read the prequel "Safe Haven". I enjoyed the story, but wanted more of the younger character, Sam. This story satisfied that desirA few months ago, I read the prequel "Safe Haven". I enjoyed the story, but wanted more of the younger character, Sam. This story satisfied that desire.
Sam, short for Samantha, is now 15 years old. Lily, her older sister, and Lily's husband, decide that Sam is ready to travel to the Continent, where Sam should find a place that is considered safe for people like her. Sam is a "Natural", and "Naturals" are considered very dangerous.
In this richly textured, alternative Victorian novel, "Naturals" have the ability to sense the desires of mechanical contraptions, such as watches, steam-powered carriages, etc. and to bring their desires to fruition. The problem is that these newly designed contraptions can be inadvertently dangerous to humans.
Sam's trip to the Continent does not go as planned and much of the trouble she lands in is of her own doing, though not intentionally.
Nat, a well-educated young lad, is learning the ropes of living on a ship that runs poorly and doesn't have the finest of crews. He makes some unwise decisions that cause him some serious problems.
The world-building is so well-detailed that I could smell the ocean air, hear the wood creaking and see the throng of life on the docks as though I was there.
Sam and Nat, as characters are interesting and feel painfully real. They are rash and naive, yet are essentially good.
When I finished reading this, I immediately looked for the next book in the series and was sad to see I'll have to wait.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this e-book for free from the author for an honest review. In addition, I personally know the author as a member of a local writing group....more
This was a very quick read, and I would give it 3 stars if it weren't for the not-very-stellar character building.
The premise sounded interesting. AThis was a very quick read, and I would give it 3 stars if it weren't for the not-very-stellar character building.
The premise sounded interesting. A girl, born a vampire, is going out into the world and entering high school, to learn how to fit into the human world. There's not any reason provided as to why she wasn't learning how to fit into the human world before 17 years of age. Maybe mom didn't feel the girl was able to exercise self-control until then. What started out as an interesting premise quickly turned into a tormented story of a girl torn between two guys.
The main character is rather naive, which is believable, up to a point. What isn't believable is that mom seems to have no concern about what her daughter is doing. This was a person who kept her daughter sheltered all these years and now she barely cares at all?!? Huh?!?!
The development of all the characters is rather weak and cliche. I couldn't build any empathy for Alice, the MC. Kai, the clingy, obsessive love interest, was not very likable. Max, the hunky interest, was shallow, and only slightly more likable than Kai. I think if more time had been spent on developing a few levels of complexities into these characters, the story would be much stronger and more interesting.
Lily has a secret she values over everything else in her life. Meeting Henry, an officer of the law, and a man that has been enthralled by her from aLily has a secret she values over everything else in her life. Meeting Henry, an officer of the law, and a man that has been enthralled by her from a distance for quite some time, puts her and that secret at great risk. Should she risk getting closer to him and possibly lose everything, including her freedom, or should she stay true to her plans to find a safe haven?
The author has created an interesting Steampunk version of Victorian England, that felt gritty and oppressive, with fantastical mechanical devices, that made for a great background for the dilemma our main characters find themselves in. What Lily holds secret is considered dangerous by others and is illegal. As noted in one of my favorite lines, "...rules troubled the good and bad alike, little caring what reasons might put them under its weight." This theme is played throughout the story, while the potential lovers struggle with their feelings and what is right and wrong.
Lily is well drawn out, with strengths that felt realistic for her time period and situation. Henry, her male counterpart, brought a nice Yang balance to the story, without being developed as some super dominant hunk like those that have shown up in many Romance novels. The relationship between the two felt credible and I grew, quickly, to care what would become of them.
My favorite character was Sam. I don't wish to spoil any fun surprises that arise, so I will just add that she was really delightful.
I am looking forward to future stories in the world that the author has created. I, especially, want to read and learn more of the Naturals and mechanicals.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this e-book for free from the author for an honest review.
I'm wavering between 3 1/2 stars and 4. Four stars because it was well-written with an interesting concept. Three and a half stars because of a few niI'm wavering between 3 1/2 stars and 4. Four stars because it was well-written with an interesting concept. Three and a half stars because of a few nit-picky things that bothered me.
This suspenseful novel is fast-paced and packed full of action.
One of the real winning points for me was how the author handled the pro-choice/pro-life issue. The author could have easily used his story to push an agenda leaning toward one side or the other. Instead, he took a middle approach, maybe not a perfect approach, but at least one that didn't make this reader feel beaten over the head with his moral beliefs.
I would have liked to have seen a little deeper character development of the MC and Carole. In many suspense novels character development tends to be overlooked for the sake of the action and thriller aspects, but I think this story could have even been more powerful with a deeper sense of why the characters got so involved.
I enjoyed the story and thank the author for providing me with a copy of the book to review. ...more
I finished this some time ago and forgot to write my review, so I'm doing this from what I remember.
This was one of the better books I've read on theI finished this some time ago and forgot to write my review, so I'm doing this from what I remember.
This was one of the better books I've read on the steps for getting your ebook published and what you have to do after getting it published to actually make some money off your ebook(s). The author covers formatting issues, ways to get published and how to promote your ebook once published. I'd recommend this to anyone who is serious about getting their book out there. There's especially useful things to think about if you're publishing non-fiction....more
Let me start with the disclaimer that I don't read these types of novels very often, so my review will be colored by my reading tastes, but I receivedLet me start with the disclaimer that I don't read these types of novels very often, so my review will be colored by my reading tastes, but I received this book from the author for free for an honest review.
In the beginning, I wasn't feeling any empathy for the MC. He was judgmental and difficult. I nearly gave up on the book, but decided to slog through a bit more, because the writing was fairly good for a first-time novelist. The author has a very decent grasp of language and style and there were very, very few editing errors...a pleasure after some of the first novels I've read recently.
The author has done a good job, IMO, of capturing the alienation and aimlessness that some teens and young adults feel once they graduate. In the MC's case, he had little guidance and tended to be very self-defeating. Mixed in with resentments and anxiety, we had the perfect olio for a coming-of-age story. ...more
I really wish I could give this a higher rating. The story seemed to be interesting, but releasing this in a rough draft form makes nMaybe 2 1/2 Stars
I really wish I could give this a higher rating. The story seemed to be interesting, but releasing this in a rough draft form makes no sense to me. The plot lines were a mangled mess, particularly in the last two tales in the novella. Characters were sometimes hard to follow.
On the plus side, the writer has the beginnings of some interesting world-building going on. It is imaginative and would be easy to get lost in. When the plot twists make sense, they are intriguing.
I wish to note that I read the 4th Edition of this book and as such, some editing must have been done since the unedited rough draft version was initially released. It certainly needs some more work before I could recommend this to others.
I picked this up when it was offered for free on Amazon. ...more