Katheryn is a programmer by day, writer by night. A lover of all things supernatural and helpless romantic at heart, she spends most of her writing time coming up with stories that incorporate at least one of the two. So far, she’s only published one book and a few short stories, but she intends to publish more work in the future. She lives with her husband, Eric, and their furbaby, Ada.
This is the opening story in The Breach Series. In Reckoning we are introduced to the newly orphaned Lexia, she is on her way to live with family that she has never even met before. Aunt Karen, along with Lexia’s cousins, Adwin and Saxon, help Lexia discover powers she never knew she had and grow into a powerful woman.
Reckoning is a story filled with the supernatural, demons, psychics, reapers and much more; behind all of this is a fantastic forbidden love story. The characters were very well developed, with histories and connections that grew at a good pace, not rushed and not too long and drawn out. The supporting cast was a perfect fit to the characters, just enough to keep the story interesting without getting lost in their stories.
I think that there are two skill sets that go into making a great author. The first is the ability to create a fantastic new world with characters that pull the reader in and away from their everyday lives. From my perspective, this skill is the most important, as it cannot be taught. It is a gift - the storyteller. Katheryn Avila has this skill in spades.
The second skill is secondary, it can be learned or even contracted out. It is the mechanics of writing: the flow, structure, etc. This was well done for a debut author, and I am sure it will only improve as Katheryn Avila continues writing.
I am eagerly awaiting book two in The Breach Series. What are Adwin and Saxon doing? What new trials await Lexia? What does the future hold for Lexia and Garrett?
- It's a surprisingly fast paced novel, considering there is constantly plenty of information on what the reader needs to know. How the author managed to do that without long, thorough descriptions is beyond me. The fact is it didn't take many words to make me visualize the surroundings where the actions took place.
- On that note, I loved the narrative style. There were a few surprises in it that peaked my interest instead of annoying me. Little things like the memories invading current action. You'd think stuff like that would break the rythmn but it didn't, it added to it. They were always brief enough so that didn't happened, but always packed of useful and interesting information about the characters backgrounds. We are fed the pieces of the puzzle one step at a time, never in a boring way and always wanting more.
- The ending was unexpected and had a lot of feeling. It made the book, despite being the first in a series, stand on its own. However, the sadness I felt from it makes me want to know what comes next.
- I had a couple of glimpses of Twilight that I could have done without.
- Couple of inconsistensies.
- I saw the plot twist somewhat near the end coming a mile away.
- Although the characters are very interesting and enganging, I could not feel connected to them. I think the book is aimed mostly at teens and I have no doubt that it will be a success amongst them. They will relate to a lot, especially the anger/angst the main character felt throughout the whole book, the fact that she was lied to by those who were supposed to care for her, the constant struggle with her feelings, how she seems to be everything a young woman would want to be - brave while feeling so lost, never complete and never fitting in.
Reckoning is a face paced, vivid fantasy book which kept me on my toes most of the time. As I mentioned, I truly believe teens will absolutely devour this. It has the potential to be a huge success and I for one am very interested in reading the sequels!
Disclaimer: I have received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
**I was given this book for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.**
3.5 stars rounded up
The Reckoning, book one of The Breach Trilogy by Katheryn Avila, is the story of Lexia Graham who has been shielded from a secret her entire life. That is, until her parents die and she's brought to live with her aunt and cousins. She has powers, both psychic and telekinetic. But that's not the only secret her family's been hiding. Lexia is only half human. Her parents aren't her parents, she has an aunt she never knew about, and she's being chased down by other half humans that want to use her as a vessel for their escape.
I'm just going to jump into the review, here. It's going to sound like I didn't like the book. However, it was one of the first that I've finished in a long time. I got into it. I wanted to finish it.
This is my first Reaper book--ever. From my vantage, it was pretty original. The plot is well thought-out. There is build-up that kept me reading, action that kept me involved, and a mostly effective ending. It wasn't bogged down by plot or boring characters. And not everything is neatly tied with a bow at the last, which I suppose is where two more books come into play, though Lexia's part read as finished. Maybe I've just adjusted to this world of cliffhangers we live in... I would go into more detail, but much of the info about the enemy they're fighting doesn't get introduced until three-quarters of the way through the book.
Onto the characters. The main character, Lexia, is endearing. Why? Maybe not her perfect character traits. Mostly because she's just lost every parent/guardian and is left as the legal guradian of her cousins. Lexia keeps going. She's a trooper. Garrett, the Reaper/guardian is a confusing love interest, showing up as a fellow trusted employee at Lexia's job--twice--and then trying to teach her to defend herself--once. Lexia off-and-on trusts him because she has to; everyone else who had a clue about the problem at hand has died. I'm not knocking it, but suffice it to say, I wouldn't want to be her guardian 'cause they all die off. Anyway, Garrett comes off as sort of the bad boy. I mean, he is a Reaper after all. So, despite my nagging doubts, I don't really care because...I like bad boys.
Ok, this is a warning for those easily thrown out of a story by verb-tense change. Often, out of left field, the author switches to present tense. I guess you could look at it in the sense that Lexia is telling the story from the past tense and "asides" the listener/reader.
He clearly wasn't human, and if past experience was to be believed, non-humans aren't very fond of helping humans.
I wouldn't complain, but it's throughout the book. (I know, I started bookmarking them to make sure I wasn't just reading it wrong...) Another issue I took was that there were POV changes without warning and it's lacking in transitions. We're thrown topsy-turvy from one situation to another.
These are really just for those who wouldn't read it, jus' 'cause. Steer clear if you'd stop dead at the first tense shift and cry to your grammar-Momma. Because the book is pretty great even with the issues.
Reckoning is a very well written story. Lexia’s first person view point makes the story an engaging read as Lexia’s actions and reactions are convincing. There were never any moments where I frustratingly thought “Why are you doing that Lexia?!”, “What? Why?” or the common *facepalm* which can be the norm with some female protagonists. Lexia, on the other hand, was a character I genuinely liked. I don’t know if it is because I am a female reader so I can be overly critical or if it is because female protagonists tend to be ‘you either love them or you hate them’ but Lexia was a protagonist who I wanted to see succeed. In some stories, I have not cared for the female protagonist very much (i.e. Twilight’s Bella and The Mortal Instruments’ Clary) but with Lexia I felt concerned for her (like Hunger Games’ Katniss) and when she tried to take control of a situation, she did not have an OTT outburst but was decisive and believable.
A refreshing twist away from vampires, angels, and shape shifters. The plot is creative and compelling. Saxton is my favorite but I always love a little badboy in my reading. I have two hang ups, the sentences are staccato instead of flowing and at times I found myself editing them in my head. The other was the start and stop which also felt jerky, like a kid learning to drive for the first time. It allows for a faster pace but the transitions felt forced. Still a very well planned and executed book and I look forward to reading her future work.
**I was given this book for free by the author in exchange for an honest review.**
This story is complex, well written, and simply amazing! The author did an outstanding job keeping the reader constantly wondering what will happen next. The story at times was intense and always changing to where it was difficult to figure out where the author was taking you. There were so many twists in the plot that was unexpected! The ending caught me completely off guard! There aren't to many authors who take the risk and is actually able to pull off an ending like Katheryn Avila did! I can't help but hope the story doesn't end with this book!
The author created such a unique plot! The main character Lexia is extremely strong. She is smart independent but fights everything she hears or knows. There is no easy solution when it comes to her or her problems. This book is about destiny and believing things happen for a reason- regardless if you want them to or want to accept the outcome. Hands down, this is a fantastic book full of action, love, and everything I between.
Overall, I was happily surprised by this book. I hope there is a sequel!
Lexia is orphaned and must live with her eccentric aunt and her odd twin boys. Odd phenomena soon manifests and Lexia is told hers is a family of psychics with the ability to peer into the unseen worlds beyond. She and her two cousins train to control their odd gifts, and when her aunt dies, Lexia is named guardian of the twins.
Fast forward some years. Lexia is a young journalist coping with the hassles of raising two teenage boys, further complicated by their mystical attributes and the influences and perils of the spirit world. In addition, a serial killer who may be of a supernatural nature is on the loose.
When villainous denizens of the spirit world target Lexia and her family and friends, she must uncover the reason why while fighting off attacks by beings who wish nothing more than to destroy their victims’ souls and take possession of their flesh. The story is yet further complicated when a dark and handsome Reaper – a being who collects the spirits of the dead – continues to appear, exciting her even as he heralds potential tragedy, doom and the sundering of Lexia’s precarious family.
I’d classify this as urban fantasy with a touch of romance, which I admit is not my genre of choice, but I gave it a fair read. While the story is well-written with a lot of heartfelt moments, for much of the book I found little to really distinguish it. From my admittedly limited experience of this sub-genre of fantasy, the characters and storylines seemed to fit a certain standard: heroine, dark and edgy love interest, family troubles and a perilous mystery, but did not step very far beyond.
This changes during the conclusion leading up to the finale, where the mysteries, villains and stakes were finally revealed, and the ending was one I didn’t see coming. Perhaps what I perceived as a lag in the middle was necessary to keep the mysteries under wraps until the right time.
Now seeing this is but the first in a series, my interest is piqued about where the story will go from here.
On the more critical side, there were some editorial choices I found a bit odd, particularly a brief shift in point-of-view later in the book. I didn’t see the necessity in such a shift, and it resulted in the need to repeat information when it is relayed to the main character.
The prologue I thought a little too long, which built up a tone so that I found the sudden shift at the beginning of chapter one jarring. Some portions could have been cut and placed in one of the flashback or recovered memory sequences in the book. I also found the main character’s – and thus the reader’s – introduction to the fantastic elements of the world lacking in that sort of wonder of discovery experienced in the best of fantasy fiction.
Overall, the author could be one to watch, the series has potential to go in multiple directions, and the premise is intriguing when finally revealed.
*I received a free copy from the author for an honest review*
I just saw the older book cover before starting the review and I will say wholeheartedly that the older one doesn't do the book any justice while the new one kind of fits it with the scythe symbol and all but the hair over the face creeps me out.
I like books which start off with a prologue because it just makes more sense with the setting and the characters and this book is no exception. By the end of the prologue, I was excited to know more about Lexia and her story. And then starts a very mysterious and intriguing tale with the involvement of murders and wraiths and demons. Certain parts of the story had me creeped out while few others had me turning the pages quickly to satisfy my curiosity.
The setting wasn't anything special just the normal paranormal stuff with demons and angels etc., But the additional spotlight on the Reapers and their work was fascinating. I think I haven't read anything about Reapers till now.
The book packs a solid punch in terms of the characters and the story. The protagonists, Lexia and Garrett rocked according to me. Lexia is a strong woman bringing up a couple of teenagers while Garrett is a grim Reaper with a soft spot for her family. I think there's a different story behind that! And I think the future books might uncover the mystery. The side characters like Adwin and Saxon perfectly suited the situations with their penchant to get into trouble. I am sure they will be more of a front seat characters in the next book.
The story was neither hurried nor slow. It was written at a steady pace which kept me entertained with the various incidents happening around Lexia. I never knew what was going to happen next! There were a few repetitive phrases which irked me. Lexia's realisation about her family was pretty obvious on the reader's side but kind of abrupt on her side. Other than that, nothing else disappointed me.
The narration was done in two points of view, Lexia's and Saxon's. When I started Saxon's POV, I was surprised because it was so unexpected and abrupt. But I loved reading his thoughts. If it had included Adwin's POV too, I would have been totally satisfied.
The ending made me sad but I am hoping the questions raised at the climax would be answered properly in the sequel. And that there will be more of Lexia and Garrett!!! With that, I will leave you to draw your conclusions from my musings.
My one line review : A refreshing page turner with the emphasis on Reapers.
Katheryn J. Avila’s Reckoning, book one of The Breach Trilogy, tells the story of Lexia Graham, a strong willed and determined heroine whose life is turned upside down when her aunt dies and all of the family skeletons come tumbling out of the closet. An orphan herself, she must now protect her orphaned nephews while they are all drawn, unwittingly, into a supernatural world that becomes its own kind of macabre inheritance.
Reckoning was a fun, dark and engaging read. For me, it felt like slipping into my favorite pair of jeans. I know that’s an odd thing to say about a book, but it’s the most genuine way I can describe the experience. Everything about it felt familiar, and that in no way is meant to imply that it was predictable; if anything, it followed a certain kind of tradition in story-telling that I’m always happy to see.
While the story is ultimately about loss, literally and figuratively (since the plot revolves around Reapers), it still managed to remain light and charming—a testament to a fantastic supporting cast (they were so good that I still can’t settle on a favorite). The imagery was great and left an undeniable impression. There’s a scene in the story—I’ll just say that it’s a scene at the Crossroads—that captured and expressed the essence of the story in such a beautiful and haunting way that I can still see it clearly in my mind. If I had to point to a negative it’s that I wish I knew more—sometimes (mostly in the first half of the book) the story seemed to move too quickly for me without delving deeper, but that’s just my own preference.
Kathryn Avila presents a deliciously dark world perfect for starting the month of October. It starts a little dark but becomes bleaker as the pages turn. The story stays consistent with its mythology throughout, introducing ideas I hadn’t really considered before which is always fun, and adds a few twists and turns as it goes. While I might have a slight personality clash with its protagonist, she is still a highly likeable character and one I felt great respect for in the end. A true dark fantasy, this is a wonderful introduction to a series that I hope to enjoy for some time. Overall, Reckoning gets 5 stars. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
The plot moves quickly and pulls the reader in from the very beginning. The action drives the story and builds strength in the characters. The novel has supernatural elements that move beyond storytelling to create universal themes of good and evil.
Yes, I wrote this one. And now that I'm finally seriously working on its sequel, it was time I read it from start to finish - something I haven't done in years.
It was hard to separate myself from my own work, but honestly this wasn't as terrible a re-read as I thought it'd be. I was ready to do all sorts of cringing, but my writing holds up for the most part. This book is a prime example of 'write what you want to read' and I'm glad I finally bit the bullet and read it myself.
Here's to getting Withered Legacy done for NaNoWriMo!
* * * I give Reckoning by Katheryn J Avila 3 stars! I was given an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Phew! I almost missed out on this enjoyable read. I loved the story after Chapter 2, but it took me that long to get into it. The truth is that if I hadn’t agreed to review it, I probably would’ve stopped reading at the start of Chapter 1 and that would’ve been a shame. It would be a 4-star read for me if it hadn’t been for the awkward start.
What I Liked: • I enjoyed the fresh take on reapers. • There were a lot of interesting details about Lexia and her family and their abilities. I enjoyed the “psychic GPS” shared by the twins, the descriptions of astral projection, and the way reapers had to hold back their power. The touch of romance was well done, too. • There were some great sections where the action was interspersed with flashbacks. It served to keep the tension high while still revealing needed detail. I think more of the prologue could have been shown this way and the book’s opening would have been stronger for it. • Also (not related to content but still a nice feature) the cover is amazing.
What I Didn’t Like: • As I mentioned above, it was hard to get into. The prologue seemed excessive to me. I understand that it depicted a huge turning point in Lexia’s life, but it seemed too long. And then, when Chapter 1 started, I felt like I had to reconnect with the characters as their ages and their lives had changed so much. But, I didn’t have the time to make that connection as a lot of action began immediately. The tension of those opening scenes was lost on me and when Lexia did a very noble, self-sacrificing thing I didn’t care very much because I hadn’t connected with her yet. When I made it to Chapter 2, I started to get a feel for her and I started to get into the book. But, if a writer loses readers in those critical first pages, it can be rough to recover. • Also in the first chapter, I felt that I was learning about the abilities of the characters just a split second before those abilities were in action. Common advice for writers is to begin in the middle of the action. But, this first chapter didn’t flow for me. It seemed disjointed. I feel I would’ve connected to the story quicker if we had been shown Lexia at work, trying to help people with her gifts right off the bat and I would’ve been more invested when her life was threatened. Additionally, the abilities could have been introduced further ahead of when they were needed and it would’ve felt more natural when they were used during the action. • There were a few minor formatting and spelling problems such as missing letters or “purchased” instead of “purchase”. I noticed, but they weren’t so frequent as to distract me. • Usually, I’m a fan of a fast pace. And I appreciate the difficulty of creating afterlife realms and describing them. Sometimes, though, the book seemed a bit rushed. I found myself having to go back to reread a bit to make sure I was understanding.
Would I Recommend This and to Whom:
I recommend this to fans of Urban Fantasy who want something refreshing. It’s a different take on the grim reaper and Nephilim. I plan to read the next in this series when it’s released as I think the concept has potential.
Here’s my disclaimer: I got a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Cool. Now that’s done, on to the actual review.
Reckoning by Katheryn J. Avila is a story about Lexia, a young woman who loses most of her family and ends up in charge of her younger twin cousins, Saxon and Adwin, after their mother dies. Then this strange guy shows up and things go downhill from there. Reapers, demons, angels, and wraiths abound in this fast paced urban fantasy adventure.
I loved the story itself. The ideas that Avila conjured were familiar enough to be believable and maintained that fun element. From little details, like Lexia’s sarcastic attitude, to the tension drawn out as the book hurtles toward its conclusion, Avila has a good grasp on the overall plot and goal of the story. As has been mentioned in previous reviews, there were a couple minor plot holes, but to me they were not enough to take me out of the story.
I also think Avila did an excellent job of developing her characters throughout the novel. Lexia’s transition from a scared teenager to a lost early twenties to a more confident woman felt real and relatable. Saxon and Adwin undergo their own growth that is very fitting to the events in the story as well. Garrett, the stranger, becomes a little bit more of a known quantity by the end. With him, I was left wanting to know more.
The one relatively big issue I had is that there were a couple things that seemed to be somewhat forgotten along the way in the story. Like the murders that start this whole escapade. Avila gives an answer to what happened – no I’m not going to spoil it by telling you – but it felt rather off hand, as if wrapping up that little bit was an afterthought. I get the story moved on from that, but it would have been nice to see some of those elements wrapped up a little more deftly.
Overall, I give this a 3.5 stars out of 5 and will round up for creativity points. While, yes, there were a few missteps, Avila has some great skill with her characters and takes you on quite the adventure. Check it out before the next book in the series comes out.