What a wonderfully magical story! Stories with witches and magical realism are my absolute favorites! Add to that a wonderful touch of romance and som...moreWhat a wonderfully magical story! Stories with witches and magical realism are my absolute favorites! Add to that a wonderful touch of romance and some mystery/suspense and I am sold. This book book delivered in spades. Eight friends reconnect at a gathering for Beltane and uncover much more than they could have anticipated--the bodies of two murder victims and the threat of more to come at the next ritual gathering. We not only have great magical elements from the start, but also eight solid characters (who I anticipate will be four couples by the conclusion of the series) who we bond with immediately.
Thus starts this great novel which incorporates not only an incredibly realistic portrayal of the very diverse pagan community and some of their traditions and rituals. It then goes a step further and makes you think...what if...as many of the potions, spells and rituals performed in the book result in enchantingly realistic and sometimes frightening magics.
At the books heart is also a very believable and sweet love story. In typical fashion each member of the couple must finally let go of his/her baggage and embrace new possibilities and the future to allow the love to flourish. The reader knows that these are merely a few bumps along the way and that ultimately love will win out as this couple is clearly "meant to be."
There were numerous typos and other such errors throughout the book. I kept wishing that I was reading a hard copy and had a red pen on hand. However these error do not really take anything away from the enjoyment of the story. I'd say they are a mild irritation at worst but a good editing would do wonders for this book.
Jacqueline's amazing storytelling more than makes up for any proofing errors. I was sucked in from the beginning and fell in love with all of the characters which is a credit to her character development skills as well. I can't wait to pick up the second in the series and see what happens at Solstice!(less)
I absolutely loved the lush descriptives that Bri Clark uses in this novella. I could completely picture the woods and the characters that make up thi...moreI absolutely loved the lush descriptives that Bri Clark uses in this novella. I could completely picture the woods and the characters that make up this short tale. I loved the aspects of earth magic and healing that made up Aisleen's person but unfortunately the plot and the character development fell short for me. The romance seemed too similar to insta-love and the conclusion felt a bit too abrupt and it left too many questions for my taste. All in all: Beautifully descriptive but lacking in substance.(less)
This book seemed much too intense to be YA. I generally enjoy dark books if they are well done...but this one just wasn't for me. There seemed to be a...moreThis book seemed much too intense to be YA. I generally enjoy dark books if they are well done...but this one just wasn't for me. There seemed to be a huge and somehwta confusing infux of information all at the very beginning of the book, but this I could have gotten past. It was the "adult themes" and issue that I really had lopts of trouble reconciling with a YA book and an innocent character like Sasha and all that happens to her (I don't want to spoil anything) This is definitely for the older YA audience if even YA at all.(less)
There is definitely a theme here. Christmas short stories that seem to focus more on the steamy scenes and not enough on plot or character development...moreThere is definitely a theme here. Christmas short stories that seem to focus more on the steamy scenes and not enough on plot or character development. It was all just too unbeliebable (I'm not a fan of insta-love or inta-sex) for me to enjoy. I think I need to avoid short stories if they are in the romance genre in future. I'm sure that for many this book delivers...it just wasn't what I was looking for.(less)
I was really excited when I started this book. I loved the idea of a Tristan & Isolde retelling. Sadly this one just did not live up to it's poten...moreI was really excited when I started this book. I loved the idea of a Tristan & Isolde retelling. Sadly this one just did not live up to it's potential. I could not connect with any of the characters. Even for teens they seemed exceptionally naive and showed incredibly poor judgement to the point of being extremely annoying. I just could not relate to them at all and many times I found their actions to be confusing. Harrison didn't always explain very well why they were doing what they were doing...which also increased my frustration. As a reminder, I am a 30-something adult reading some YA. Perhaps this might appeal to a younger audience.(less)
When the chance presented itself to read Frank Peretti's new novel I jumped at it. I hadn't read anything of his since middle school when I fell in love with his books This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness . Illusion did not disappoint. It is a mind bending tale of love and loss, of hope and faith, and of man's unending desire to play at being god.
The characters and their back story are incredibly well fleshed out....so much so that it is impossible not to feel for their present situation. The secondary characters also each got a bit of their own tale...although I wish that we had gotten to know the motivations behind the villains a bit more. On the whole though, I almost felt like there was a little too much descriptiveness and detail (and I almost never say that) but there were definite points where the novel did feel as if it dragged a bit.
I tried my best not to get bogged down in the technical/sci-fi conundrums of the time/space issues inherent in this kind of story. I think that Peretti did a great job of giving us more than enough detail to make it all seem "possible" and at that point it is our job to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the story telling.
I was captivated by the "unconventional" love story and the unbelievable mystery throughout and could not help myself from rooting for Dane & Eloise despite the uncertainty and oddness of their situation. The conclusion of the novel was both spellbinding in it's beauty and grandeur (Indeed it was a "Grand Illusion" ) and left me immensely satisfied.(less)