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Equinox #1

Morning Star

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When a mysterious stranger interrupts Brianna’s mundane routine, her eyes are opened to the dark underbelly of reality… immortal rogues, ancient conspiracies, prophetic revelations, savage tribes, mammoth dragonflies…

She’s thrust into a race for her life when Kalen, a warrior from Ethos, discovers that she is harboring a secret… a secret that he’d give his life to protect.

There’s just one little problem… they are tempted by a forbidden romance, which threatens to compromise a divinely appointed mission. They are faced with a choice… love eternal, or the end of the world…

426 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 28, 2012

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About the author

Desiree Finkbeiner

10 books74 followers
Desiree Finkbeiner has a background in art, business, marketing, music and spiritual studies. She's a certified Neuro Linguistic Programming practitioner and has a passion for helping people upgrade perspectives to more positive views--

Continuing education is a constant adventure for Desiree with topics of interest ranging from homeopathic medicine and spiritual healing to hypnosis and mentalism. She prefers to read non-fiction, especially on topics that educate and broaden her perspectives on controversial and spiritual issues.

With thousands of completed art works in her archives, most of which appear in private collections worldwide, Desiree hopes to focus more on publishing, marketing and licensing her work so she can leave a legacy behind.

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5 stars
73 (30%)
4 stars
72 (29%)
3 stars
53 (21%)
2 stars
20 (8%)
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24 (9%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 64 reviews
Profile Image for Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey).
1,378 reviews470 followers
October 29, 2012
Quick review:

Cover: Okay
Rating: PG
Thumbs Up: 4
Overall: I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would.
Characters: Well written
Plot: A journey that requires inner strength when you are most vulnerable
Page Turner: Yes
Series Cont.? Yes
Recommend: Yes
Book Boyfriend: Kalen

SUMMARY (50 words or less)

When I read a book, I’m never 100% sure what I’m getting into. This was a book that surprised me in a lot of ways. Well written, well developed characters and a plot that keeps moving. Why not 5 stars? A little thing called insta love.

To see my full review and likeness of my book boyfriend, check out my blog post.


Audio Review

Jessica Geffen did such an amazing job with this book. She truly brought these characters to life. Her voices were distinct and I had no trouble following each of the characters even if I was multi-tasking. I really loved her voice for Kalen. She made the voice match the words the author wrote for him. I definitely will listen to another book she narrates. She added to as much enjoyment of the books as the words themselves. Awesome job!
Profile Image for Nicole Peterson.
203 reviews42 followers
June 16, 2012
First off...

I LOVE Dragonflies!

So I was drawn to the book by the cover. And am I ever glad I did.

At the beginning of the book Brianna is returning from her 21st birthday party and is surprised by a giant dragonfly, causing her to topple down a flight of stairs into the basement where she lives in her parents house. She is home alone and isn't found until the next day by her mother. When the paramedics arrive she has already started to heal from what could have been a fatal accident.

Once she is back on her feet she returns to college and notices another giant dragonfly at the window of her classroom. She goes to look at it and attracts the attention of her other classmates to it and two boys go out to capture it. A handsome guy rescues the dragonfly from the boys. Brianna is instantly drawn the stranger. While she watches she sees that it seems like he is communicating with the dragonfly and suddenly he appears outside the window right in front of her. When he looks into her eyes she feels that he is looking into her soul. Once he walks away she is obsessed with him for the rest of the day. Trying how to figure out a way to be able to see him again. She decides to put up some flyers stating that she has one of the dragonflies. Apparently, the one she was startled by, was killed by her cat.

Once she returns to her car after hanging all of the flyers she is approached by Kalen, the hottie, wanting the return of his dragonfly. And then the real adventure starts...

That's all you get. I'm not revealing any more.

At the beginning I was kinda irritated with how obsessed Brianna was with Kalen. But hey, I've been there so it wasn't so bad after I reminded myself of that. I love the bond between Brianna and Kalen. They would do anything for one another, it just seems so...pure. A true kind of love, that many just don't believe in any more. I loved this whole story and my only whine I have is "When is the next booook?"

Profile Image for Goblin.
56 reviews19 followers
May 1, 2012
Review from:Once Upon A Book

Who enjoys books with adventure, heroines with bizarre healing abilities, larger than life insects, evildoer bad guys, and the romantic prospect of love? This woman right here! So when I was asked to read and review this novel I was pleased to take on the task. Going by the summary above, this book seemed to coincide with my interests swimmingly!

The first few lines of Ethos: Morning Star absorbed me, and I couldn’t help but appreciate the exciting, and fantastic adventure that I was quickly caught in. The only blot on the story for me was the conspicuous presence of some obvious redundancies and editing mistakes, which nearly deterred me from continuing the book early on. Once the plot truly got rolling, Ms.Finkbeiner found her groove and more players entered scene. I am so very happy that I kept reading, because I genuinely ended up enjoying the universe and people that she so cleverly constructed!

The beginning of the story we find ourselves on Earth as a member every-day-life USA. With school, cars, classes, parents and all of life’s normal issues. As the reader we expect it to go on like that and have done. Only in this case we readers would be incorrect. Much in the way of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland we are transported to the fantastical world of Ethos. Interestingly we learn that parts of those very stories are truth, and some of them untruths. There’s a few tidbits like the classic stories I previously mentioned and as Brianna learns about this strange new world that exists, we get to see all of the fun ways the Author ties in and reveals how our known sciences compare to Ethos’ own “Magic”. I was gratified to read a novel that visibly had a lot of thought put into the nuances.

Another thing I appreciated was that none of Finkbeiner’s characters came across cookie cutter or atypical. Each new addition to the cast had their very own voice. Even the insects and animals had their own mannerisms and behavior that made them endearing and unique. I loved both the main characters’ personality and temperament! The female lead, Brianna, is easily someone a person could imagine knowing. Her youthful naïveté, honest affection, and in some cases amusingly (in the first few chapters especially) one track 21yr old mind, seemed relatable. As the story progressed we get to witness Bree grow up, just a little bit at a time, with the unexpected weight of her responsibilities as well as see a forbidden love blossom despite the rules. The male lead, Kalen, was well depicted and likable. Being very much the champion he was meant to be: confident, charming, gentle and sensitive; but not in an annoying whingey-way. I liked the discourse between the antagonists. Their conversations didn’t come across as forced and everything flowed nicely along with the plot.

I ended up losing track of time and read this novel late into the night just to see what happened next. And now that I have completed it, I must attempt to wait patiently for the next volume to be released. I eagerly anticipate the return of our brave heroes!

Over all, this book was a fun read, and I would very much laud it to fans of this genre. There wasn’t much in way of violence described, and only some brief displays of innocent, PG, passion. This publication is very much worth the undervalued price tag.I mean come on, there’s also a David Bowie mullet reference that had this reviewer chuckling aloud. Priceless!
Profile Image for Paul Montgomery.
Author 4 books4 followers
June 26, 2012
Brief synopsis - Brianna is your ordinary, average American girl. When an unusual dragonfly catches her eye, it marks the beginning of an adventure which will lead her into danger, love, and a whole new life. Pursued by the villainous Ellette, she must flee with her new protector Kalen to his homeworld, losing her heart and her home, and realising her destiny.

To kick it off, let me make things perfectly clear. I am not the target audience for this book, nor is it my kind of book. It falls into the kind of supernatural teen romance which has become a prolific genre in its own right. Unfortunately, that genre has fallen into a readily mockable state, with the Twilight series coming in for some particularly venomous abuse. And, yes, technically Morning Star does fall into that category. It walks a difficult path in a genre filled with traditions and types which have long since become cliche, and as such, should find it difficult to come up with something new.

The most typical story of this nature would run: Girl meets boy. Girl realises Boy A is special. Girl realises she’s special. Boy A realises girl is special. Boy A protects girl. Girl and Boy A fall in love, but realise they cannot be together, Boy B enters the equation, also falls in love with girl. Girl A cannot decide between Boy A and Boy B, but ultimately realises that she’s so in love with Boy A. Boy A ultimately realises the same. Boy B is upset, and does something bad. Girl and Boy A weather adversity, to find they love each other. The end.

Does Morning Star follow this? Does Morning Star give in to cliche? Does Morning Star stay true to the genre? Well, therein lies the fun. You see, Morning Star is a teen supernatural romance, but to say it’s like all of the others is to say that a rose is just another plant in the ground.

Yes, it’s flawed. There are some silly little spelling mistakes of the “your/you’re variety”. The warrior Kalen is, to my mind, too much of a wimp; speech patterns changes a little too quickly; Brianna seems a little too young for her age; the rush of love comes a mite too suddenly for my liking; and part of the ending is anticlimactic. But…

What should be a cliched tale is handled very well, and very sweetly. There’s an undeniable charm filling every page. It’s easy to get overly cynical about this, but Finkbeiner has taken a nice twist on the tale, and instead of clumsily jumping on every cliche, she deftly dances around them. There are some wonderful takes on prophecies, chosen ones, magic, fairies, the eternal life deal, and even vampires (I especially liked the take on vampires – a nice new take. Very rare to find).

Finkbeiner has created a nice mythos, and an interesting new world. The ending sets up for the forthcoming books. She handles dialogue, fight scenes, some cliches which shouldn’t work (e.g. amnesia, gushing declarations of love, etc) well. Hell, even the huge info dumps work nicely (particularly difficult when there’s so much to be said).

For me, Kalen and Brianna both seem to pure, too sweet to be credible, and it seems like Finkbeiner may be pushing a bit of a message. However, I also get the impression that rather than pushing that message, she’s highlighting an ideal. Humility, purity, nobility. Brianna has a strength, and is willing to fight for her ideals (no timid wallflower, or horror-movie screamer! Although, she does instantly gloss over stabbing someone in the eye, which couldn’t have been pleasant), and handles her love rival in a pretty realistic manner.

Sweetly, the book is interspersed with hand drawings. Initially, the cynic in me rolled his eyes. However, I realised what a cunning little minx Finkbeiner is. These drawings are done to illustrate moments in the text, but they’re done in exactly the kind of style I would expect a smitten girl to sketch out whilst daydreaming fantasy moments with her man. As such, they’re actually quite sweet.

At heart, I’m a romantic myself. Unfortunately, wrapped around that heart is a healthy layer or ten of cynicism. Is this my kind of book? No. Was I charmed by the story, by the ideals, most crucially… did it allow me to let go, and enjoy myself? Was there something I could identify with? Did a part of me wish for that kind of purity and love?

Yes. Absolutely.

Overall – not technically perfect, daintily tiptoeing through a minefield of cliches, and absolutely not intended for me. And yet it won me over. Bravo, Miss Finkbeiner.

Profile Image for Gwen Perkins.
Author 6 books73 followers
April 21, 2012
The hardest reviews to write for me are for the books that I find my own meaning inside. You know the kind. Some stories, for whatever reason, grab you by the heart or by the mind and won't let it go. Whether it's because the characters remind you of someone you love, the experience is something you've shared, or simply because it's what you needed to hear right then and right now, those are the hardest tales to describe because they're the books that feel like a part of you by the time you've finished them. They're the ones that are personal.

Morning Star, for me, was one of those books.

Fantasy at its best is about escaping into a world that doesn't really exist. But good fantasy takes that world and uses it to reflect our own right back at us. The best fantasy makes us think about we ourselves believe and teaches us who we are through the story that it tells. Morning Star is a story about learning to love unconditionally even when that love demands sacrifice. It's also about finding the courage to understand that true love means making hard choices and being willing to hold on to who you are even if it seems that doing that will cost you everything in return. This book made me question myself and how far my own emotions might lead me if I was on that path.

Much has been said by other reviewers on Amazon about this novel's characters. Characters are another one of the strengths of Morning Star. It is Brianna who takes the lessons that I spoke of above and makes them human. Unlike other fictional heroines I could name, Brianna makes her own destiny. She is not afraid of the path that she has chosen to walk--instead, she embraces it, coming full circle from an unaware young woman to one who knows the danger ahead and yet faces it head-on. She is a character that my own daughters would find strength in. She loves deeply but not without reason. Her character lies not in her relationships to other people but in who she perceives she is and what she wants from the life that she has chosen.

The world in Finkbeiner's novel is so richly developed as well that I found myself thinking frequently about the cultures and their belief systems even when I was not reading the book. I came away from this novel asking myself questions about faith and about tolerance. The beauty of this story, however, is that the questions--and the answers that I came up with for myself--were not thrust upon me. It was simply that the world itself was so vivid that these issues presented themselves on their own.

Morning Star is a remarkable debut by an author who has given me much more to think about than what lies within the pages of the novel itself. I look forward to many more novels from Finkbeiner and hope that she continues to explore questions of universal truth.
Profile Image for Soma Rostam.
239 reviews26 followers
July 31, 2012
When I concentrated on the name of this book, I thought it was about Greek Myths, and The God Of Love, Ethos, etc... But it's not, it's something you won't be expecting...
Brianna "Bree", is a 21-year-old young woman. After recovering from a horrible fall down the stairs, Bree finds a huge purple dragonfly, and she's sure that there's someone who wants the dragonfly back. That someone is a gorgeous , strange young man called Kalen.
Bree feels a connection toward Kalen, but when she comes home one day, she finds her mum unconscious and her precious mushroom stolen. But who would steal a mushroom? As Bree finds out, the mushroom contains all the magic of Ethos, a kingdom lost in time. But there is no power in the mushroom, since all the magic has been absorbed by Bree's body, and now Kalen has to protect her from the people who want the magic.
Bree and Kalen start their journey toward the kingdom, to fulfil Bree's destiny. Love between them is a sin, a taboo. But as their forbidden feelings for each other increase, Bree and Kalen are faced with choices that will change their future, once and for all.
Will Bree ever go back to her normal life? Will she be able to save the kingdom of Ethos? And will she and Kalen be together, or will the council break them apart? Find out much more when you read this breath-taking, romantic, imaginative read, Morning Star...
So, this book was really good. The author has a distinctive voice, and she really has a powerful storyline. The author is also a very imaginative artist with a wonderful bunch of work, which showed through the paintings in her book. It's just that the author's work didn't pay off well and the book looked like it missed a few things. Now, for the characters, Bree is supposed to be about 21 years old but she acts like a love-struck16 year old. I hated that about her and she wasn't someone I could relate to.
Kalen is the almost-too-good-to-be-true man, but I liked the fact that he kept his pride and wasn't always acting like a lost puppy (which a lot of guy protagonists do these days). And, oh yeah. How many times should I say? Love grows on people, it doesn't just pop out of the blue. This book was another insta-love story which I didn't like at all.
Throughout, this book is a great read with a few small flaws, that will probably go unnoticed. Recommend for YA paranormal lovers, and Atlantis fans...
4 reviews2 followers
April 16, 2012
I couldn't stop reading this book! I loved how the relational development between Kalen and Brianna began and eventually ended with a dramatic twist; brilliant writing. The continued tension between their love and their need to save their own worlds was heart pounding. I found myself up late at night imagining this fantastical world with these large dragonflies and the exotic peoples and customs therein. If the relationship aspect wasn't enough, there is enough action and fast-paced writing to enthrall even the most ardent fantasy reader. This book surprised me with it's pace and depth of writing. I'd recommend it to all readers.
65 reviews8 followers
April 20, 2012
I loved it! I can't wait for the next volume, and the next and the next and the next;)
This is a definite must read for anybody who has ever imagined another place, time, world, even if you are not a fairy tale lover, this book will spark your imagination!
This author does exceptional work, and I am so glad to have found this story!
She is such an amazing story teller, and her talent is very rare, to say the least.
You won't be putting this 1 down, and this will make you forget where you are and what your name is, at least for the time it'll take for you to read this awesome story!!
Profile Image for ~reader~.
24 reviews
April 20, 2012
This story focuses on Briana. Strange things are happening to and around her but the real story is the forbidden love between Kalen and Briana. They must chose whether or not to save their worlds or be together. I thought it was a well written, well thought out story. I don't read a lot of fiction but this one was worth the time.
Profile Image for Lily.
418 reviews27 followers
June 19, 2012

The blurb of this novel really interested me, even before the author asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her novel. So when I received the request, I was pretty excited about picking this one up.

Unfortunately, the first half of this book was filled with nauseating scenes and internal dialogue on the part of the female character, Brianna, on meeting Kalen, that almost made me drop the book. With all of the exciting action that was surrounding both characters in the beginning of the book, it was overshadowed by Brianna constantly going through over dramatic scenes of 'insta-love', a strange YA trend that seems to be very popular, but that I am quickly growing very weary of. If I read her stating both aloud, or during her many internal thoughts (which were unnecessary and didn't really add to the story) about how hot Kalen was, and how she felt their souls recognized each other ONE MORE TIME, I was going to hurl my Kindle across the room.

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But I stuck it out...

And gratefully and surprisingly, at exactly 44% into this novel, it completely turned around for me. What I thought would be a one star review, shot to three stars based on the second half of this novel alone.

The writer's world and character building skills really shone through the second part, as our characters escape Earth into the world of Ethos.

Ethos was an exciting, new alien world, filled with interesting beings, animals and cultures. I ripped through this part of the novel, as Brianna's character grows into the role that she was meant to play. Kalen, ever protecting, really becomes the warrior he was mentioned and hinted to be. We meet full bodied beings that are mysterious and yet human in their qualities, whether kind and noble, or jealous and treacherous.

Brianna and Kalen's relationship becomes more realistic in this part of the novel, where their devotion and love for one another do shine without the gag effect I experienced in the beginning. It was more mature and real.

As a result of this redeeming second part of the book, I am most certainly going to pick up the second part of this series to continue their journey.

Profile Image for Michelle.
185 reviews21 followers
May 13, 2012
Wow, what a story! From the moment I started reading Morning Star I got excited. It contained all the elements that I personally love in a book. Real, strong characters that capture you straight away with how likeable they are, a unique and intriguing world that captures the imagination from that start and a fast moving plot that is descriptive but not to the point where it's bogged down in too much detail where you feel you lose the path of the story.

The world of Ethos is described in such a vivid way that I could easily imagine all the main elements as I was reading. I could jut picture the tribe with their council heads and warriors, the advanced technology we get introduced to, the forest with its unique wildlife and all the laws and ways of living for all Ethorians. This book has everything you would want. Romance, adventure and fantasy and a world you will find yourself daydreaming about.

Most of all, I found myself getting a soft spot for the humble dragonfly. After reading this book I don't think I will ever look at one the same again.

I have to admit thought that sometimes I found myself thinking that Brianna's resiliance was just too good in certain situations. She hardly seemed surprised at being thrown in the midst of a foreign world without much preparation beforehand and was way too easy going at taking certain events in her stride. To me, a normal person would have needed a bit more of an adjustment period before being so receptive to their new situation. On the other hand, maybe this is a good characteristic though as it's a refreshing change to all the books I've read in the past with female characters that just fall apart at the slightest thing.

Also, I just have to point out, how good is this cover? I must admit that I am a sucker for book covers and this one won me over before I even had any idea what the book was about.

Overall, I think this is a very entertaining book and a definite page turner. I found myself a bit deflated at the end though because it's an ending that obviously points to a sequel and I really want to know what happens now. I don't like being made to wait!
Profile Image for Julie(Reading By The Beach).
131 reviews17 followers
June 23, 2012
As seen on -> Reading By The Beach

Desiree Finkbeiner created a fabulous world that came to life through bright, vivid imagery. I instantly became lost in the enchanting world of Ethos and can't wait to go back.

The main characters, Bree and Kalen, were definitely likable, perhaps even lovable at some points. I wasn't completely swept away by either of them. One problem that I had was that there was a huge emotional struggle between Kalen and Bree that should have lead up to an intense emotional scene, but I found that scene to be lacking in the intensity that should have been present. I felt that they gave in too easily for such an important struggle. It also seemed that Bree's diction, for the most part, was more old-fashioned than it should have been for a 21 year-old woman living in the 21st century. Bree would comment on Kalen's diction (a lot) but I found that hers matched Kalen's more than it should have (which wasn't a huge problem if she didn't keep ragging on Kalen). But, they were each great characters and although I wasn't completely swept away by them, I could still feel the emotions that Finkbeiner was trying to portray. I must say though, that my favorite character was Athena. Once you read Morning Star, you'll see why.

I loved the concept that Desiree Finkbeiner introduces to us in Morning Star. She took a popular genre and crafted it to make something that came across as new and refreshing. I was riveted to my seat as each new aspect was produced and I was constantly anxious to see how everything would play out. There were expected twists, but also a lot that weren't expected. Finkbeiner definitely has a knack of keeping up the suspense without drawing it out in unimaginable lengths. I'm ready to dive back into Ethos and begin from where we were left!
Profile Image for Sheila.
Author 78 books181 followers
October 15, 2012
Clean-living Brianna feels like she’s “having a chemical high” when she sees a mysterious stranger through the window, this after falling downstairs and possibly breaking her neck. But there are mysteries here, gorgeous creatures among the beautifully described scenery, and an interesting blend of myth and imagination in the plot. Grasping the truth behind earth’s relationship to Ethos might require “a deep understanding of quantum physics, fourth dimensional tesseract polytopes and a handle on space-time continuum” but luckily the reader can get by with just following the story, as long the concept of miles being part of earth’s metric system doesn’t confuse them too much.

The writing blends some pleasingly evocative descriptions with long passages of internal dialog and deep analysis of unfulfilled desire. The mix of myth, magic and technology is sometimes uncomfortable, but Ethos and its creatures and dangers are beautifully portrayed in the second half of this novel, well worthy of the gorgeous cover picture. Purity twines itself deeply into Kalen’s and his world’s mystique and keeps the story well-grounded morally. Meanwhile a fascinating take on good and evil, death and immortality, invites comparison and contrast with Biblical creation and the Fall. Earth’s mythology makes a nice foundation for the author’s skillful world-building, and Ethos is a truly fascinating place, imagined and described in great detail, from flora and fauna to the rules of magical power and the mysteries of prophecy.

With the futures of earth and Ethos in question, Bree and Kalen balance love and duty throughout a fascinating adventure. The novel’s a fairly slow read, and sets the stage for volume two in its exciting conclusion. As long as occasional typos and repetitions don’t bother you, it’s good clean well-imagined fun and an enjoyable YA adventure.

Disclosure: I got the ebook on a deal and promised the author an honest review.
Profile Image for Maghon Thomas.
1,287 reviews1 follower
July 22, 2012
I will first take my first sentence from my lovely best blogger friend Nikki- DRAGONFLIES ARE AWESOME!!!! Nik, I couldn’t agree more. This is one of those awesomely intriguing stories. A normal girl, very boring, get thrown in a whirlwind ride as she meets this mysterious boy and finds out she’s now a part of his supernatural world.

The world building and scenery descriptions have to be my favorite! I mean, it’s so awesomely described that I felt like I was there, too. And the creatures and people and cultures, so fascinating! Now the characters. Brianna is either gunna be loved or hated. I personally like her as she is very real to me. Normal people have all of her insecurities and failures with curiosity and hope. Some may find her weak, I find her courageous for her choices. I’da peed my pants hahaha

And KALEN!!! Love him! He’s every young adult woman’s fantasy dream. He’s hot, smart, kind, brave, and hot!! Oh and he’s some kinda special warrior- sorry no spoilers- so that’s really hot!!!

The ending had me completely surprised! I expected some things but was totally surprised with others. So, here, think Alice in Wonderland meets the Iron Fey meets Aliens with cool dragonflies who are good guys hahaha ok I know that sounds like a terrible comparison, but my brain is still befuddled from my stupid mistake a few minutes ago. And I’ve gotten likes in the “boo-boo” post, already hahaha yeah I’m laughing about it!

All in all, I REALLY NEEDA get my hands on the next book, hopefully not too long from now. 4 PAWS from me!
Profile Image for Lindsay Kendal.
Author 11 books255 followers
May 18, 2012
3.5 Stars

This plot in this story is very interesting. It’s not something I have read before and so that was a breath of fresh air. Of course the whole forbidden love thing isn’t new, but who doesn’t love it?? The writing style flows very well and is easy to read. But... I don’t want to sound too negative here, however, how many times does a reader need to be told that a guy is gorgeous or amazing? We get it, he’s awesome! Maybe even the best thing since sliced bread! We don’t need to be told this over and over and over. When she isn’t droning on about this, and the romance between the two characters actually takes over, it’s nothing short of beautiful. There is no filth or smut, just swoon-worthy, tasteful and did I mention beautiful? Romance.

Now, although the romance was written perfectly, and that involves Brianna, I didn’t like her very much at all. She’s too obsessive and rather dull. This is a great shame as she has a good story revolving around her. Maybe she should act like a normal girl instead of... well her! Yes I know this is a fantasy and she’s learning new things about what and who she is. But come on girl. Sometimes I just wanted to slap you.

On the bright side, this author shows promise and I do hope the story will continue. It not often these days that you find a storyline which is pretty unique. I hope the author keeps that up! She has a very wild imagination and does a great job in writing this book so that it’s visual to the reader.
Profile Image for Rochelle Campbell.
Author 18 books161 followers
June 16, 2012
Ethos: Morning Star is a long work that takes you on a journey you'll not soon forget. With believable characters, Ms. Finkbeiner weaves an intricate and complex story that intertwines the fate of two worlds in a web of mythology, science and love.

Brianna Armstrong and Kalen are the main characters and they have such an intense rapport from the beginning of their acquaintance that it's almost painful to read about their bond. Initially, Brianna's insecurity about whether her feeling are reciprocated make her appear weak and whinny creating a difficulty to want to root for her. However, as her relationship with Kalen becomes clarified (they are to be just friends due to the importance of the situation they're in), Brianna's angst is bearable and the reader and Brianna can now focus on the story at hand -- saving two worlds from a powerful evil that threatens to annihilate everything and everyone in two realms.

Magic and sorcery are creatively and sparingly utilized so that obstacles are not easily overcome. There is real struggle, deceit and puzzling prophecies involved making it difficult to predict how things will eventually turn out. This makes Ethos a really fun read as the path to resolution is not clearly laid out.

In Ethos: Morning Star, Finkbeiner has written a work that can well become a sci-fi/fantasy classic.
Profile Image for Jenna.
363 reviews
June 29, 2012
Spoiler Alert~~~

The machination of the story is good, and I was astounded with the authors discriptive adventures from earth to another world called "Ethos". If there's such thing a realm called Ethos I would be in it. It just show that my imagination runs amok, especially when the author has a great creativity with their inscription.

Brianna, whose pursuit was gathering strange species was chance to a unique mushroom when she was nine years old during their family vacation, and brought the mushroom home with her. This particular mashroom was belong to Ethorian Elders, and was hidden to earth by an Ethos warrior Daghoon to avoid it to fall in the wrong hands, hence, the Ethos minions are after it, because of the great power that it possessed.

Kalen, the Daghoon warrior from Ethos was sent back to earth to look for the missing mushroom before it falls to Ellete and her minions whose greed was to possess power, and conquer Ethos. While, Kalen was looking the mushroom on earth one of Kalen's tracker traces the smell of the mushroom in Brianna's home, and Kalen ended up pursuing Brianna to get the mushroom first before Ellete does.

From here on the story has a great adventure, action,love, and betrayal. I dont want to tell the whole story afraid to spoil it, and I already did some... :)
Profile Image for Amanda.
360 reviews
August 28, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. It had a slow beginning but it drew me in and kept me interested.

I loved the original spin on the world of fairy. It as unique and something I haven't read before. I enjoyed seeing how classic things that we see in our modern fairy stories twisted a little bit and shown a different way. For example, the large plants on Ethos making the faeman and fae look tiny so in our art, they are depicted as tiny beings.

The plot and story were well developed and I'm interested to see what happens in the next installment. This is one of those stories I would have rushed out to read the sequel to if it was already completed.

I loved the characters and the way the relationships were built. I did experience some issues with Kalen and Brianna's love story. The insta-love was a bit too instant and didn't build or have depth to it. You can see Brianna's side of the story and the attraction, but Kalen kind of comes out of left field after a lot of "we are friends and only friends". It just didn't seem real (although, you do feel it and see it later in the book). This is really why it got the 3 star rating from me. This part of the book just didn't feel natural and it caused some hang up as I went back to re-read thinking I missed a section of the book.

I would totally recommend this book though. I can't wait to see where the story goes from here.
Profile Image for Kattie.
303 reviews43 followers
November 7, 2015
I received this book as a review copy in exchange for a open and honest review.
WOWOWOWOW. This book was great! This book will stick with me for a while, and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. It was so unique. Aliens/faeries and dragonflies! The most beautiful romance story I have read this year. The characters in this book are so strong, and well-written. You really feel for them the entire story. There is a lot of action in this book, and all of it is believable. I think this would make a great anime! It is a real page-turner. When they say books take you on a journey, they are talking about books like Morning Star. Brianna, a regular college student, has her entire life changed in the blink of an eye. She finds out everything she believed needs to be reevaluated. Fairy tale stories are real, including evil villains and true love, and she has just found herself in one. Ethos, the other world in this book, was so amazingly detailed, that I can still see parts of it in my mind. I usually do not enjoy sci-fi, but this book was so good! Normally I can't fathom some of the things science fiction authors try to get you to believe, but this story was done so beautifully, that it painted a picture in my mind, the entire book! The ending was amazing, but left me wanting Book 2!
Profile Image for Carolyn.
56 reviews1 follower
April 24, 2012
A mushroom changes a young woman's life...turning her from ordinary into extraordinary! The man who vows to save his planet and protect her is forbidden to love her. Should they give in to their love, or give it all up to save their worlds?
When I got this book, I didn't know that I would love it so much! This is well written and the characters are so fully developed, the villains are extra evil it was awesome! Seriously, I never wanted this story to end. I read 'a lot' of books and books and there are few that I really love. This one is one of my favorites. I could have done without the gross bits, but that did not take away from how much I loved it. The forbidden love between Kalen and Brianna was an engaging conflict. You felt for each of them and wanted so bad for them to find a way to be together, even though they couldn't be. Kalen is the hands down perfect hero ever! He's honorable as well as vulnerable, and of course hot. What hero isn't? Brianna never had a serious boyfriend in her life, and hadn't felt true love until Kalen. It was so refreshing to see first love bloom. The only bad thing about this book was that it ended and there is no sequel available. Note to author: Please have the sequel available this year.

Profile Image for Flora Smith.
524 reviews45 followers
June 7, 2012
I received a free copy of this book for review.

I would probably stretch this up to 3.5 stars. I thought it was fairly well written and I enjoyed this original story.

Who doesn't enjoy a story with giant dragonflies, magic mushrooms, and hot guys with angel wings. Throw in an evil doer and her race of minions and you have a perfect story. Well almost. It is a wonderful story of forbidden love with people from other deminsions and great imagry, but there is an almost overpowering religious aspect to it. There is all of this purity and chastity related to Kalen and Brianna and their destiny. Their love is taboo, and so much so that it equated with going to hell. Any diversion from the path of physical purity would have spelled certain disaster for all worlds. (I admit it, I had to take a break in the middle and read something smutty before I could continue.) The only other issue I had was in a couple of places the actions of the characters wasn't logical. I don't want to give any spoilers so I will just say in a couple of places Briana and Kalen seemed to go toward danger instead of away from it.

Overall its a good story for YA and lovers of fantasy if you don't mind the religious overtones. And I admit, I'm curious to see where this series is headed.
Profile Image for Vicki.
3 reviews
May 13, 2012
I got this book during a frenzy of downloading freebies to my Kindle on May 3, 2012. The description was decent, nothing too Earth-shattering from any of the other titles I was perusing, but the dragonfly on the cover was exquisite and sealed the deal for me.

It wasn't something that I jumped right into reading immediately, either, but once I did start, I couldn't stop. I had to know if Brianna was going to die; why was she healing so quickly; who was this freaky hot guy; why couldn't they be together and what was up with all of those huge dragonflies. [Regarding the dragonflies: I thought the use of them, in between the directional shifts within a chapter, was a creative idea. (However, I am biased as I love dragonflies.)]

Once Ethos was firmly established, I kept thinking that this story was reminiscent of something else that I had read, heard, or seen, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what. Its otherworldliness was rich with a tangible feel that kept me enthralled, but didn't distract me from Brianna and Kalen or their adventure. If anything, I was more devoted to reading it than I had been while they were on Earth!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Morning Star, and look forward to the next book in the series!

11 reviews1 follower
May 22, 2012
This book was a very pleasant surprise for me! I just happened to come across it while browsing the free books on kindle one day. It sounded interesting enough, so I though I'd give it a try. I am so glad that I did!! I am torn between giving this book 4 and 5 stars. On one hand, I really did love it, and I look forward to the release of the next book, but on the other hand, it did not consume my life like other books have. (That might also have a bit to do with timing, though, as things have been pretty busy lately!) One of my favorite things about this book is how the author describes Ethos and their way of life. There are many parallels between Ethos and Greek mythology and Christianity. Life, death, and immortality are major themes. Morals and ethics also play a large role in the story. The way in which the characters dealt with temptations and overcame self-doubt was very refreshing. So, the more I think about it, the more I think I'm going to stick with a 5-star rating! I can't wait for book two!!
Profile Image for James Peercy.
Author 27 books20 followers
May 28, 2012
See the world through the eyes of a mushroom. What could that possibly mean?

Modern day meets myth in a twist of fate for Brianna. What starts as an ordinary human existence turns into a world of amazement. An unexplained accident, a mysterious man, and a world of magic that few have ever glimpsed, come crashing together in a volatile mix of adventure/intrigue of world shattering proportions.

The very first line grabs your attention, and soon you are pulled into a world which changes and evolves from safety to fear, from fear to joy, and from joy to determination. It is told in the first person by our heroine Brianna. Her captivation with the mysterious man is both expected and evolves as she realizes there is more to the person than mere outward appearance. It is a journey of growth, love, laughter and sadness with the ending leaving plenty of room for more. Watch for the second book!
Profile Image for Beth Cutwright.
378 reviews8 followers
May 21, 2012
I really enjoyed this work of fantasy. It did as promised and provided escape from reality! The characters were strongly developed and you could feel their love and their pain and their fears. The storyline was fast paced and certainly captivating and who couldn't fall for the beautiful colorings of Ethos...another world with giant dragonflies and magic! I highly recommend this as an escape reading and also a fine romance without all the detailed sexual garbage writers seem to feel a need to include in grotesque detail. The romance included here is intense but prohibited between our star couple. There is more at stake than just their romance. My only grievance is this is book one in I believe a trilogy...I want it all now! LOl Excellent work Ms Finkbeiner!!
Profile Image for Dani Star.
26 reviews1 follower
May 18, 2012
I love the description for this book, the very end says, “love eternal, or the end of the world” and that is really what hooked me. I’m not big into romance books so I was pleased that this book wasn’t all mushy and kissy kissy. It is a very unique, adventurous novel about a girl and boy, who have to make difficult decisions, and have to face crazy circumstances. I love fiction novels, I love reading how others imagine fantasy worlds and this book was very impressive. The world that Kalen comes from, the world of Ethos is strangely unique, and I must say the same about this book. I really enjoyed reading it and I highly recommend this book to others!
2 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2012
I liked this book, I enjoyed the characters; I have a habit or ususally really liking main charachters but in this book I felt that the author did a good job of drawing me into to the other charachters in the book. I enjoyed really liked the animals in the book and wished they had played a bigger role.
I thought the writing style was ok, I think a little more dialoge between the charachers would help build the chemistry between the main characters. I also didn't love the end, I know that there will be more, so I am hopig book two will draw that out. Overall a good book to pass the time, but the characters weren't deep enough for me to keep me engaged in what happens to them romanticaly.
Profile Image for Jason Kivela.
333 reviews4 followers
September 6, 2012
The story was pretty good. A lot of cool concepts. I did see a lot of similarities to the movie Avatar, but they were tweaked enough that they can be considered influences, not plagiarism at all. Fun world. Good characters. Nice plot. I did like all of the classes of people/beings and how that was handled. Strong world building there. Lots of YA fantasy tropes, but they were handled well. I rarely rolled my eyes. I did think the romance aspect was a bit too much, but I've come to understand that my interest/level of acceptance of sappy romance is a lot lower than the standard YA story has. So it's more of a personal preference thing.
Profile Image for Anand .
124 reviews25 followers
May 6, 2012
This novel seems to have been highly influenced by The Twilight saga and the plot of Avatar. Obviously the story is neither about vampires nor about humans trying to steamroll another planet...but individual elements of both these stories have surely been borrowed. I thought the romance has been captured and narrated beautifully by the author...in fact this novel can stand on its own purely as a romance story with the sci fi adventure as a great bonus. The imagery created through the narrative is vivid and grand. This novel will appeal to a relatively younger college going audience.
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