karen's Reviews > Renhala

Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen
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's review
May 17, 2014

really liked it
bookshelves: meowch-bad-kitty, from-publisher-or-author
Read from December 28, 2012 to January 02, 2013


gather round, urban fantasy-romance fans...the rest of you can go do something else. or maybe you should stay,too. because i never would have thought to classify myself as an urban fantasy-romance fan, having never read one,(because i don't think Life Guards in the Hamptons: A Willow Tate Novel counts? ) but i liked this one a lot, so one never knows, does one?

take a risk in 2013.

i'm glad i read this one. it is a fun story with likeable characters, good action scenes, and it is genuinely funny in places. i particularly liked the relationship between kailey and her mother; it was touching without being treacly, and even though the book is primarily a fantasy-world adventure story, this relationship definitely stood out for me as the strongest writing. which is probably just my fantasy-inexperience talking; for me it is easier to be affected by things i can hold onto, emotionally, than towards things that are more surreal.

so, basic plot-stuff: kailey lives in south side chicago, where she has just survived a brutal assault by a creature not of this world. she is slowly recovering, physically and psychologically,but the world around her is changing. strange creatures are being seen around town, and there have been other attacks on humans. kailey has a terminally sick mother, a high-maintenance best friend named amber, an excellent akita named kioto, and a deep and abiding love of tea.

on an evening out with april, meant to be a "back in the saddle empowerment" outing, kailey meets an old man who gives her a gift. and then things really start rolling.

it turns out, there is another realm, called renhala, and select people are able to travel freely between the two realms. kailey learns that she is one of them, and has many as-yet undeveloped powers. which is an awesome thing to find out after you have been attacked and left for dead. way more empowering that a night out in heels.

but recently, evil elements from renhala have been slipping into our world, and kailey has to discover her powers and fight the bad creatures with the help of some good creatures. including:

a greble, which by its description i kept picturing like this:

a pregnant ceetchan, which is like a raccoon:

because there isn't much that is cuter than a baby raccoon

unless it is bunches of baby raccoons:

a wood sprite named jenna:

and, of course, some handsome gentlemen. you can insert your own images for them.

as far as the baddie things that come creeping, there are meeples, which are like cute little bunnies:

but bunnies who will kill you

and pixies, which are kinda like this:

and mooncats, which are seductive and sexy sentient cats.

so, like, the opposite of that. they can go either way, in terms of whether they will help you or kill you. they are renhala's wild cards.

there are other creatures and humans, as well, but i grow weary of GIS. fun fact: you can GIS any phrase in the world, and the odds are good that one of the results will be angelina jolie.

as for the romance elements... well, i am like a little kid. i am always watching the movies waiting for the close-up makeout scenes to end so we can get back to the killing. this is not an erotica-romance, by the way, so there is less for me to giggle over, but it does have a love triangle, and those of you who like that sort of thing will probably find it very engaging. i will just say that i would definitely have chosen the other fellow. no contest.

so, yeah, for me to have read a 430-page book outside of my genre-preferences, and NOT feel bored or confused at the end of it all, and to feel annoyance at the cliffhanger ending (reader-annoyance, not angry-annoyance), well, that is saying something. if you're looking to get into the genre, or are already into it, check it out. i have no idea how it stacks up against others of its kind, but i enjoyed it, so there's that.

**so, naturally, the fact that kailey is a "karmelean" had me singing this to myself the whole time. and considering one of my first crushes, after admiral ackbar, was on boy george, i think we have figured out why traditional romance novels just don't do it for me.
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Comments (showing 1-24 of 24) (24 new)

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message 1: by Jason (new)

Jason This is exactly what Cristina would love. Thanks for a gift idea, karen!


you are an amazing husband.

message 3: by Greg (new)

Greg I bet you didn't know that I love Akitas.

message 4: by Jason (new)

Jason No, no, I was getting her a mooncat outfit. Or is that really a gift for me instead of her? I always screw up these gift-giving rules.

message 5: by Jason (new)

Jason Greg wrote: "I bet you didn't know that I love Akitas."

They're so fox-like, Greg. I'm not surprised at all!

message 6: by Greg (new)

Greg I generally just call them fox dogs when I see them.

But I have to agree with you, after seeing your wrath over on the other review this morning I'd be afraid to cross you.

karen jason's got issues.

message 8: by Jason (new)

Jason Damn straight.

message 9: by Nefariousbig (new)

Nefariousbig Jason, I think you might be hoping to screw WITH your gift ideas, so you purposely screw UP your gift ideas. Analyze that...

message 10: by Jason (new)

Jason I like the way you think, Frances.

message 11: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Lutchen YAY! A review from krazy kool karen!! Wow, and it's a review with half-naked women and bloody bunnies....HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?! Thanks for the smile you put on my face today ;)

message 12: by Nefariousbig (new)

Nefariousbig Jason wrote: "I like the way you think, Frances."

Well, cheers to the screw year, and may all your gifts be BAD. 8)

message 13: by Melki (new)

Melki Y-e-s-s-s-s! Return of the creepy Blythe doll!

karen i'm glad you enjoyed it, amy! half naked ladies and bloody bunnies are kind of my trademark...or something.

David "proud Gleeman in Branwen's adventuring party" Killer bunnies?!? You mean, Anya from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" was right all along?!?

message 16: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome Will you be appearing on the next Vaginal Fantasy? http://vaginalfantasy.com/

karen i am still a buffy novice.

karen Tamahome wrote: "Will you be appearing on the next Vaginal Fantasy? http://vaginalfantasy.com/"

me?? i don't know what this is. i am not part of that group, but i do belong to a romance-club and a filthy erotica club. for giggles.

message 19: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome It's an urban fantasy book club show on youtube with Felicia Day and Veronica Belmont. They drink a lot. ;)

message 20: by Laima (new)

Laima Cute raccoons, creepy bunnies , almost naked girls and Boy George too!
You're starting the new year off with a bang!!

message 21: by Miriam (new)


message 22: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Lutchen Holy Shminkies, Miriam..That is the CUTEST!!

karen awww, i'm glad i came back to goodreads to see this!

message 24: by Erica (new) - added it

Erica Ok, based solely on the pictures in this review, I would totally have wanted to read this even had I not said I was going to because of the second review. Wait, I mean your review of the second book. That is what I mean.

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