I was given a copy of this book for review. I was glad for the reading though, as I've wanted to read an Elana Johnson novel for a while, but she mostI was given a copy of this book for review. I was glad for the reading though, as I've wanted to read an Elana Johnson novel for a while, but she mostly writes YA and I'm not into that.
This novel is more New Adult; the characters are older but still growing into their maturity. Echo (at least it wasn't Zoe) appears to be a humble peasant with powerful magic she cannot control. The story starts off with a lot of flashback as character building for Echo, and instantly creates a sense of vulnerability for the character through the use of debilitating magical impulse and the recent loss of her childhood home Bond partner. Echo has been told she has very powerful magic, unmatched in the known world of Nyth and its outlying villages, and is the product of a prophecy; but the use of this magic causes he great physical pain and emotional suffering. Any time magic is used around her she feels the uncontrollable desire to expend her magic, but to do so will expose her to the evil magicians of the city she has chosen to hide out in.
There was a lot of story plot to attract me: the world building is alt-historical, the plot of overthrowing a tyranical monarchy is intriguing, and even I can appreciate a love triangle. Ms Johnson writes with lyrical cadence, kissable romance, and a progressive action sequence with many twists. If I was a die hard romance reader who loved a magical setting, I would have given this a full five star review.
The writing is well done, but typical to its genre: romantic fantasy. The focus is on the ROMANCE. The setting could be any contemporary world (morning coffee and muffins, modern swim suits, The Bachelor reality TV), but is set in an alternate universe where magic is common, if unacceptable. Much of the action plot surrounds lies, secrets, betrayals, and royal intrigues; the bachelor prince is seeking a bride from the commoners, and over 60 percent of the book involves the jealousies of the candidates; though Echo herself never participates in the "choosing" events due to disinterest in being chosen the next Queen of the realm, or because she is too weak after expending her good magic to attend the few invites that actually reach her. Her acceptance as the next queen is known by all except Echo before the story even begins, however, so her absence is hardly noted by the other candidates.
I give this story a 4 star rating because it has a generally acceptable theme: the romance overwhelms the intrigue of a despot king being overthrown by his well meaning but weak children, an untrained heroine that saves all through determination and love, and eventually gravitates towards the expected happily ever after and summation of all the secrets plots, with enough loose ends to warrant a sequel or three.
The writing was good for its genre; I just wasn't wow'd by the story line or characters.
I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy romance in an alternate setting, and appreciate characters that are both vulnerable and powerful and use their powers for good at great cost to themselves. ...more
I wasn't sure I'd like this YA novel, but I was intrigued by the premise, and the one line on the cover that asks the question "are we our minds . . .I wasn't sure I'd like this YA novel, but I was intrigued by the premise, and the one line on the cover that asks the question "are we our minds . . . or our bodies?" I attended a book signing at a local bookstore, and after hearing author Carol Riggs discuss the book, the plot concept and issues explored, I had a few questions. The author wasn't sure if it was Dystopian, but did assure me it was not the typical angsty YA voice. I liked what she read, and that intriguing question, and decided to take the chance and purchase a paper copy.
To my mind, this is definitely not dystopian, and does not take place in a school. The world is set approx 50 years in the future, but that future is not a set date, as the technology, environmental, and social issues addressed could plausibly happen any time between next year or more than a hundred years. I liked how the author moved today's current issues along to a logical conclusion, complete with all the expected benefits and drawbacks. I could see myself living in this speculative future and completely related to the concerns and stubbornness of the Grandfather.
The age of the protagonist - nearly 18 year old Morgan who is an over achieving science geek with loyal friends and a wholesome, patriotic attitude - works well for the future focus, as even today young people and their industriousness is what the older (not elderly) generation depends on to keep the world moving forward. Each generation of characters was well developed, easily relatable regardless of the age of the reader.
Without giving spoilers, I'll just say the villian in this novel is Big Business and Government, focusing down to one person of course; and includes the question of how much control each should have over our individual choices/rights. I like a book that opens my mind to different opinions, and makes me want to research/learn about technologies and philosophies.
I would recommend THE BODY INSTITUTE to anyone who enjoys a well paced mystery, an exploration of social issues in the near future, excellently developed and believable characters, and a wholesome concept that promotes family values....more
Sabrina Strong is a 22 year old touch clairvoyant who answers an ad for an employer looking for a clairvoyant. She can tell over the phone the employeSabrina Strong is a 22 year old touch clairvoyant who answers an ad for an employer looking for a clairvoyant. She can tell over the phone the employer is a vampire, but this does not scare her off. Being essentially jobless and penniless, she is desperate enough to suspend disbelief that her skills could actually earn her a living. She is bitten by a werewolf as she arrives at the interview, and her potential vampire employer arrives at her rescue and sucks out most of the werewolf venom. The experience leaves her fainting into the arms of the most handsome male she could ever dream of meeting, and of course he and his minions are smitten by her sweetly tasty blood and alluring aura. She wakes in her vampire rescuer's bedroom, although he has not acted upon his desires as he needs permission from his vampire master to make her his. As the story progresses, Sabrina is consistently the target of lust from each alpha she meets (vampires, shifters, were's, but not the Fae) and each is more gorgeous and powerful than the last.
This is a simple urban fantasy, populated by all manner of paranormal creatures. Sabrina is a poor, young, innocent girl, thrust into the clutches of the billionaire vampire leader Bjorn Tremayne to solve the mystery of who murdered his life-mate by using her previously untested clairvoyant powers. She is offered a sign on bonus too large to refuse, a yearly salary bigger than she could make working part time for her sister in law's thrift store, and perks such as a car and cell phone of her very own. Plus, every hot guy in the Tremayne Towers lusting after her blood, both for eating and sex.
For me, this story was a combination of Fifty Shades and Charlain Harris' Dead And . . series. Lorelei is skilled at crafting a mystery and leaving subtle clues to point the reader to the obvious conclusion, and the development of the world and its rules was well paced and at times unique. Her characters were engaging with interesting back stories and continuing character plots. The novel stands alone, but leaves a number of unanswered questions for sequels to fill in.
While the story concept itself was interesting, and the writing style easy to read; the story was over written, sometimes repeating information (and mystery clues) as much as four times as the main character Sabrina, frequently forgot details and had to be reminded by other characters; and the step-by-step mannerisms and descriptions used a lot of unnecessary word count. There were also an extreme amount of misspelled and misused words, and prolific and inappropriate use of commas that consistently pulled me out of the story; even during the most action and sexual scenes. The ending rushed through a summation of events after the climax, leaving an unfinished vibe to the characters.
This genre is not my normal reading - I won the book in a giveaway - but I would recommend this book, and the series, to anyone who adores HOT, alpha vampires and shifters, a sexy female protagonist, and billionaire love stories....more