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Art therapy hasn’t done squat for Gabe Jones. A thousand sketches of his fiancée can’t bring his memory, or her, back to him. Nothing on Earth can. His past lies in another dimension, a world just out of sight.

Another student on campus, Lea Huckley, unknowingly shares Gabe’s obsession with the fourth dimension. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents and fled, getting her folks locked up in the loony bin. Proving this other world exists is the only way to free them. Lea and Gabe strike a deal to help each other, and together they manage to open a door to the world of Gabe’s true origin. She’d use him for proof—if she didn’t already care too much.

While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his rediscovered memories of his fiancée, a much more sinister plot unravels. He uncovers his history just in time to become the unwilling lynchpin in a conspiracy to start a war. His memory holds the secret to the final riddle the would-be conqueror needs to get the upper hand. Gabe must protect the riddle at all costs, even if that means leaving Earth, and Lea, behind forever.


First published April 28, 2015

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About the author

Laura Maisano

8 books43 followers
Laura has an MA in Technical writing and is a Senior Editor at Anaiah Press for their YA/NA Christian Fiction. She's the author of the Illirin series, SCHISM and UNITY.

Her gamer husband and amazing daughter give support and inspiration every day. Their cats, Talyn and Moya, provide entertainment through living room battles and phantom-dust-mote hunting. Somehow, they all manage to survive living in Texas where it is hotter than any human being should have to endure. http://lauramaisano.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 33 reviews
Profile Image for Karleigh.
258 reviews11 followers
May 22, 2015
You can find me @ KARLEIGH READS
I received this book for free from the author for an honest review.

From reading the summary I had really high hopes for this book, it sounded really interesting and something that I would really get into to, which I did for the first couple chapters but then it started to go down hill from there, sadly. I loved the idea of another world, just out of reach, just out of sight, but this book just didn't grab me the way I expected it would.

I felt like the main characters were just to go with the flow "oh there's another world, that's cool, totally normal" or when Gabe learns where his "fiance" was "oh you were abducted by aliens, totally normal happens all the time, lets go out for food". (by the way these are not quotes from the book, this is how I took their personalities and how they handled the situations in front of them). These things aren't everyday normal things and I just think the characters should have acted accordingly. Been a bit more skeptical.

Also, the relationships were a bit weird as well. If I had just met someone, I wouldn't be knocking on their door all the time to hang out or tell them all my secrets. I felt like they were forced which was awkward.

Laura did a great job with world building, and explaining the details of the other world so that I have no problem picturing it in my head, I just felt that so much more could have been done with the story.

By the end, I wasn't sure how I felt about the book, and sadly I don't think I would be picking up the second one if I had it.

I do appreciate the chance of being able to read this one though!

There are a lot of great reviews on goodreads for this book, so make sure to check them out.
Profile Image for Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon.
2,087 reviews149 followers
November 3, 2015
**** 5 Cranky Stars ****

Schism: a split of division between strongly opposed sections or parties caused by differences in opinion or belief.

My only warning for this book is it ends in a cliff hanger. The story has so many aha moments it is hard to review without giving any away and ruining the reader’s pleasure of discovering them for themselves. This made the story worth reading and so easy to enjoy at any age.

The story has wonderful themes of loyalty, tolerance and fighting for good over evil.

Gabe was in a bad car accident and lost all memory of his past relationships. He is an artist who has a kind heart with a warrior’s soul who wants to make the world a better place for everyone.

He draws the face of a beautiful girl he thinks he must have loved. His thousands of pictures of his fiancée don’t help him remember his life with her, or anyone for that matter. He is the lynch-pin in changing the world forever.

The story is also about a strong, smart, quirky, college girl who everyone whispers is crazy. Lea, the main character, is highly intelligent. She uses science, physics and math to solve mysteries and problems throughout the story.

Gabe’s roommate, Matt is a gamer with mad skills. The three often have gaming tournaments where they stay up late and eat pizza and talk smack about how they play. It is a wonderful way to show the bond that they have right from the beginning. Together these three put in motion steps to change the world.

Gabe and Lea meet when Gabe saves her. She is working on a theory to prove her institutionalized parents are not crazy and they did see and were attacked by strange looking beings. Her parents were just too honest to the wrong people and landed in a mental hospital for it. The friends must prove her parents are not crazy and save the world without being put in rooms in the institution themselves.

The story takes place in two different worlds and though very different they share intolerance and corruption, but also hope and love which makes both places magical. The story even has an innovative Arthurian twist.

I look forward to learn more about these wonderfully complex characters.
Profile Image for Jacqueline Smith.
Author 29 books284 followers
August 1, 2016
An outstanding adventure and fantastic read!

Schism, the first book in the Illirin series by Laura Maisano, is everything I hoped it would be and more. Crippled with amnesia and struggling to recover from the car accident that claimed the life of his fiancé, Gabe is trying to reconnect to his past and find anything that makes sense. Lea, meanwhile, is striving to discover a pathway to an alternate dimension, to stop the monsters who have tormented her parents all the way into a mental institution. The events that follow, our characters never saw coming… And neither did I.

Schism is a mix of Young Adult, Sci-Fi, and Fantasy, and a compelling one at that. It is well-written and fast-paced to keep the reader engaged throughout the entire story. I'm so glad that I have the second book, because I simply can't wait to find out what happens next.
Profile Image for Aly.
1,832 reviews56 followers
March 26, 2015
I found myself easily relating to the characters in this book. I enjoyed the characters and how unique they were and you could say quirky. Gabe has lost his memory and Lea is just a little different. But the characters are fun to follow through out the story. I also enjoyed the element of magic in this book. If you like YA urban fantasy, you should check this book out. * I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Dan Jr..
Author 2 books11 followers
August 30, 2015
This is a book you can and must read at breakneck speed to keep up with the action. It was easy to get wrapped into the world of Illirin. The concepts are interesting. The plot twists are ever so satisfying. Enjoyable to the end. Wait, there's more to come. That's a good thing.
Profile Image for Arianne Thompson.
Author 4 books106 followers
May 14, 2015
What if you weren't who you thought you were?

What if you were someone powerful and important, maybe even from another world?

What if something horrible happened to your family, and you felt it was your fault?

What if you had a long-lost sibling you never knew about?

What if you loved someone you couldn't possibly have?

What if you had to destroy one of your best friends in order to save the world?

What if you got a lot of people killed?

Y'know, if you're anything like me, you'd agree that any one of those questions could make for a stellar book –but in SCHISM, we are hitting ALL of them at eighty-eight miles per hour. Hold on to your hats, buckaroos: you're in for a wild ride.

Before we get into it, I have to tell you that I am probably the worst possible reader for this book, because I'm not usually a YA reader, don't go in much for romance, and want my fantasylands to read like magical molasses – rich, thick, and slow. By comparison, SCHISM is a double-shot of espresso in a giant oh-shit to-go cup.

So what useful things can I, the worst possible reader, tell you about this book? Well, for starters, you are in no danger of nodding off: from chapter one, page one, strange happenings are afoot, and every next verse is less like the first: a little bit faster, and a whole lot worse. It's a hell of a plot, with twists and turns that make me legit jealous. In a lot of ways, that's a great thing: no time for heroes to sit around and angst for a hundred pages, no drumming your fingers waiting for some inevitable, predictable "twist", no pointless waffling of any kind. I dare say there is not a word wasted anywhere. For me, that was a mixed blessing: I love the story, but wish we'd had more time to stop and smell the roses. I'm dying to know what's for dinner in that universe-next-door, what the fashions are like, what the cool slang is, how people get married and what you say when somebody sneezes. Sadly, there is not a lot of time for sightseeing here: there are so many plot points, all falling one after the other like so many awesome disaster-dominoes, that we don't spend a lot of time on any single one.

I tell you what, though: maybe it's just my inner curmudgeon speaking, but Lea warms the cockles of my cold and withered heart. Like, I love me a tough girl with a gun, but it is so refreshing to see a heroine who's smart, empathetic, generous, compassionate, honest, and indefatigably bubbly-fun. (I mean, that's like all six My Little Ponies in one. Is that even legal?!) To be sure: it's not all kittens and rainbows here – there is plenty for her to be afraid of and/or upset about – but I love that her eventually-more-than-friendship with Gabe is the solid emotional bedrock supporting all of the unholy supernatural shenanigans that follow.

Yeah, actually, I think that's the best way for me to summarize it: there's a portal-hopping shape-shifting havoc-wreaking worlds-colliding epic story starting up here (and don't think you're gonna see the end of it without picking up the next book) – but right from the first page is a warm, sweet center that gives life to the whole thing. Take everything else I say with a grain of not-my-usual-genre salt, but I can promise you that SCHISM is a hellraiser with heart.
1 review9 followers
February 28, 2015
Schism is a YA urban fantasy that will appeal to pre-teens and teens, as well as adults with it's almost nostalgic depiction of college, adorkable romance, fantastical worlds and MCU-style humor. Genre fans, gamers and your average geek will get a kick out of the cleverly hidden references and most anyone will find themselves easily relating to the characters.

Mild spoilers follow:

The fantastical extra-dimensional reality of the book is an example of world-building at its finest. It quickly becomes apparent that the decade of work put into the design by the author was well worth the effort as the rich history of Illirin's inhabitants is spelled out for the reader in small doses, giving one insight into the culture without getting bogged down in historical speeches and exposition.

Arguably the brightest spot of the book is the well-constructed character development. Lea and Gabe both feel three-dimensional (or in Gabe's case, four-dimensional) and I found it effortless to become fully immersed in their personalities and lives, almost feeling as if they were part of my own social circle. They are both relatable in different ways and the author's ability to put empathy to words makes it easy to feel their concern for their families, their world, and, ultimately, each other.

Early on in the novel, the readers are given insight into the characters inner-most thoughts and are made privy to the emotional camouflage they each use in order to hide their true selves from the world. The most obvious of these is Lea, who herself admits to using "masks" to hide her pain and anxiety from those she cares about, and Gabe, who uses his amnesia as a way to keep others at arm's length. But the theme is taken even further in the book with nearly every character, and the idea of the masks we wear becomes a powerful metaphor for our own secrets, insecurities and internal fears.

Overcoming bigotry, or 'traitism' as it is called in Ilirin, is another powerful underlying narrative of the book, and its subtle handling caused me to draw positive parallels to Marvel's X-men comics on more than one occasion. By utilizing discrimination as the source of the novel's main conflict, the author is able to make even the most despicable of villains, Heten Nor, somewhat sympathetic.

The depth of the relationships created in the first half of the book, both between the characters and the reader, and the richness of the worlds, again, both the author's version of our world as well as Ilirin itself, make the dramatic events, losses and betrayals in the back end all the more effective and heart-wrenching.
Profile Image for Lisa Dunn.
Author 2 books20 followers
March 9, 2015
I received an ARC in exchange for a review.

SCHISM opens on a typical modern American college campus. Right away, Laura Maisano enshrouds the two main characters with mystery. Gabe has lost his memory. Lea is just weird, in a slightly Luna Lovegood way. They’re both a little quirky, and I love that about them.

Not being one to read or write a lot of contemporary literature in the new adult category, and being perhaps a few years past my own early twenties, it took me a few chapters to adjust to both the setting and the more casual style of writing and dialogue. I’d compare this to the way it took a few chapters to adjust to the first person present tense of The Hunger Games – ultimately nothing to keep one from enjoying a good story.

And SCHISM is a good story. Gabe and Lea grow as individuals and as a team. Initially awkward and unsure of themselves in our world, their journeys to Gabe’s true home, Ilirin, reveal strengths – and weaknesses – neither knew they possessed, endow them with confidence, and unite them in the cause much bigger and costlier than either anticipated.

And that’s what I ultimately love about this book – In the settings, character, and plot, there is much more than initially meets the eye. Once Gabe and Lea started traversing dimensions, it was really hard – like, “I want to keep reading, but my eyes won’t stay open” hard – to put the book down.

A final note: I love how Laura handles some of her secondary characters in such a way that the reader wants to know more about them, and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel as much to learn how things turn out for these characters as for Gabe and Lea.

Profile Image for Will Wortner.
44 reviews13 followers
April 24, 2015
The 1-line Review:

Schism hooks you in fast and is exciting from start to finish. Urban fantasy, extra dimension, big battle, mage Merlin descendant…Yes Please!

The longer review:

Schism begins as a mystery and ends as a modern magic-urban-fantasy. The storyline got deep quick, I was only 30 pages in when I felt like I was half way through the book. Main characters Gabe and Lea feel real and have that fleshed-out, multi-layer-protagonist-with-flaws essence about them (wow that was a mouthful.) They are quirky and likeable and sometimes annoying and develop a cute little relationship that evolves overtime. There’s not enough lovey-dove stuff to make it a romance, so its a good read for everyone.

Safe to safe the book eventually gets off earth and into Illirin (since the book is part of the Illirin Trilogy) and you wont be disappointed by the mix of magic, war, and political conflict that make up the second half of this story. It stayed exciting right up to the final battle and cliffhanger ending (arrggh!)

Schism has a great storyline and strong writing, much better than I normally anticipate from a debut authors first novel. I was impressed by the dialogue and internal monologue sequences and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Bottom Line:

Definitely worth the ebook read. Great start to a series and Debut novel. Boys and girls of they YA and urban fantasy genres will love it!

Where the book lost a half star:

AHH! the cliffhanger ending. I try not to hate on these endings, but i turned the page expecting to read more. Now I have to wait for the next one!
Profile Image for Jane Lebak.
Author 36 books376 followers
February 25, 2015
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Schism follows the story of two misfits who begin to discover that our world itself doesn't quite "fit." The Earth we know periodically intersects and interacts with another world, Illirin, driven by magic. Lea needs proof of this other world to save her family and has worked for years to obtain it. She's so close now, but she needs help from Gabe, a moody art student wrapped up in what little he can remember of his past. But Lea's breakthrough discovery about Illirin also illuminates something she never expected to learn about Gabe, and in the end, it may mean war for Illirin and destruction for the Earth.

I enjoyed Schism and really liked the interplay between Gabe and Lea, their different reactions to Gabe's past and the different ways they handle the questions of being apart, being different, being able to manufacture new selves. I recommend this book to anyone who likes YA or science fiction/fantasy, and I'm looking forward to reading more books in this series.
Profile Image for Midwest Romantic.
463 reviews11 followers
September 21, 2015

This was quite an interesting story. It started out kind of slow but it didn’t take long to come together and get my attention completely.

Lea and Gabe’s chemistry was perfect and I very much enjoyed how well they came together. It just felt so natural, which I LOVE when reading. They are one of the main reasons that you just have to keep reading this book! Their stories are so emotional and they grip in and make you feel like an emotional rollercoaster or sadness and happiness. It was a wonderful ride!

This is a great story and I didn’t even mind the book being read to me! I sometimes get irritated with audio books because they don’t sound good or they read to slow, but this one wasn’t too bad! Everyone should try this out for themselves!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Profile Image for Amy.
1 review2 followers
September 10, 2015
We are not in Kanas anymore, or Tx in this case. No, you just tripped down a rabbit whole, again, and fell into Illirin. It's a fast read and you will be searching for another way in while waiting for the 2nd book.

Lea is doing some calculations for her research project when she falls off a roof and into Gabe. Gabe suffers amnesia after a car accident and has done everything the dr and counsellor have wanted with no result. Lea and her research is just the distraction he needs. Gabe turns out to be the key for Lea's research. With his help she discovers a whole new reality. Will she continue to help him recover his memories? Will she betray him?
Profile Image for Esther Haddie's Haven.
902 reviews56 followers
September 14, 2015
I feel at a slight disadvantage, as the description of the book gives away a bit of major plot points, but the book was amazing from start to finish. I feel that the topics chosen for the book's theme were the perfect choice. It touched base and hit home. I felt that Gabe and Lea were a great mix. Their characters were not complex, but they were developed and well thought out. This book brought dimensional worlds to a new level, in my limited experience. I quite L♥VED the plot and would read it again ASAP!

Full review (coming soon)- http://haddieshaven.blogspot.com/2015...
Profile Image for Kevin (Irish Reader).
274 reviews3,928 followers
June 7, 2016
*3.5 stars*
I was sent this for free in exchange for an honest review. Now, I'm doing a video review for this book so I will discuss it in more detail there but, I'm just gonna say that this book had so many twists and turns (some were predictable but not all). And I really enjoyed it. The cliff hangar at the end though!!
Profile Image for Cayt Landis.
93 reviews4 followers
June 24, 2015
Schism by Laura Maisano is an intriguing look into a world where our reality exists beside an alternate dimension, both sides kept apart by a thin, invisible veil. The story follows Gabe, a young man who seeks to regain his memories after an accident leaves him ignorant to who he truly is, and Lea, a young woman whose entire purpose in life is to prove the existence of the other dimension and prove that her parents, who claim to have been attacked by creatures from another world, are not crazy. These two must work together to reach their goals and find out the truth about the world.

I quite enjoyed the idea of this book. I love stories about alternate realities and the few details in the back blurb seemed really promising. Unfortunately, while the idea of the book was a good one, the execution was lacking.
The Good
The parts I enjoyed were the general plot and the world building. The idea of a our world being butted up against another world that can only be visited by breaching a veil is an interesting idea. I loved the idea of a young woman having to deal with parents being in an insane asylum because they had had interactions with this other world. No on believed that they had really encountered these beings and they were being held against their will for their own safety. Their daughter, on her own, needs to use your own skill and intuition to find proof of the other world. This was a promising idea for an interesting story.

I also enjoyed the world-building. The human side of things is much the same as it is in the real world, but the alternate world, Illirin, is a unique setting. This world is made up of different sets of people who have different aspects that separate them from each other. Some have wings, some have tails. Some can control magic while others can live in the sea. Not only are these traits interesting and make for a unique world, but the traitism found in the world was a nice commentary on racism and prejudice in the actual world. All races say they want to have freedom for all but there are those who think that certain traits are better than others. This was effective and added a layer to the story that I appreciated.

Illirin is an interesting mix of medieval world and modern world, combining magic and technology into a curious new setting that I enjoyed reading about.
The Bad
Sadly, beyond those few concepts, I did not particularly enjoy this book. I felt that, first and foremost, the writing of the characters was not done particularly well. These people are college students but they don't act like it. At times they act like children and at times they act far older than they are. They also don't have particularly believable conversations, thoughts or reactions to the events unfolding around them. Certain characters are far too willing to accept strange happenings and move on without much explanation. Also, the romance in this story was fine in theory but didn't work for me. The two characters fell deeply in love too quickly and were far too willing to sacrifice everything for each other after a short time. If they had been written more realistically, I would have been fine with the romantic developments but, as it was, it didn't feel believable.

The one character I had an especially large problem with is Gabe. Without giving away anything, let's just say that he's the type of character who just about everyone follows without question and thinks is an amazing leader. However, there is nothing about Gabe's experience or personality that comes across as a leader. People are willing to follow him and support him with very little basis, telling him he's a born leader, but they are basing this on nothing as far as the reader can see.. Every relationship that he has with characters in this book, from people in his city to his psuedo-uncle, just don't feel fleshed out or realistic at all. Essentially, every aspect of this book is told, rather than shown. We are told Gabe is going to be a great leader and that his father's friend is like an uncle to him, but none of these things feel realistic because they are just said, not integrated into the story.

Another issue I had with the book was the pacing and lack of depth in building up to events and developing the characters. Much of the book moved too quickly and key events followed one after another without enough time spent on them for them to really sink in and make an impact. By the end of the book a ton of different storylines and references were thrown out there and none of them were developed enough for me to care about. I think that the majority of the book could do with a bit of a rewrite, with more time spent on the most important parts. This book struck me as a first draft type of deal that could really benefit from some fleshing out.
The Verdict
In general, I felt that this book had the potential to be really great but it fell flat in many ways. I would not particularly recommend it, unfortunately.

dont_read Visit Vicarious Caytastrophe for this review and many more!

Profile Image for S. Nash.
Author 6 books19 followers
April 26, 2015

You’re walking on campus, late at night, and you look up and see a girl scaling a university building. She pulls out some kind of gadget, fiddles with it like a junior version of Samantha Carter and strange lights flicker in the air around her. What do you do? Run like hell, or stick around?

Yes, of course you’ll stick around! So did I, and every following chapter of Schism was worth it. It’s a fun trip into a modern urban fantasy tale that crosses between the Earth that we know, and the intersecting world of Illirin. The novel is written in a casual, conversational style that will likely appeal to a younger audience. We also get the perspectives of several characters, which adds some nice tension to the plot.

One of the things that I enjoyed about Schism is that every main character is hiding something. Lea Huckley’s search for the extra-dimensional beings who attacked her parents gets her labeled with terms from, “eccentric” to “Looney Tunes.” To keep up appearances, she uses this reputation to her advantage. She wears her quirky personality like a mask, hiding her fear and worry for her family. Her parents keep up their facade of insanity to keep themselves, and Lea safe.

Gabe Jones suffers from amnesia after the car accident that killed his fiancée. When he and Lea reach Illirin, it becomes obvious that he’s someone else altogether. Of course, there are others in the story who are hiding the truth about themselves, but to discover who and what they are hiding, you’ll need to pick up a copy of the novel.

Since the story is set on a college campus, the characters are largely independent, and like most college students, they’re also caught up in a bit of a romantic entanglement. Lea has a crush on Gabe, Gabe is not over his fiancée, and Gabe’s roommate, Matt, has a crush on Lea but gets friend-zoned in a painfully (but realistically) awkward moment. The romantic aspects of the story are mild, and appropriate for all ages.

Another point in the book’s favor is the world of Illirin. The author gives us a place that's certainly different from Earth, without being completely alien. There are many types of intelligent beings, defined by their traits: Winged, Legged, Tailed, Finned, and Seers. Think angels, centaurs, fish-people, and so on. The society is governed by a council with representatives from each trait. Illirin used to be stratified by a caste system. Although it has been outlawed, the lowest trait, the Seers, are still regarded with fear and disdain. The Seer Councilman, Heten Nor, aims to lead a revolution and unite Illirin under his command. Nor will bring war to Illirin, and it’s up to Gabe, Lea and their friends to stop him.

There are just a few things that tripped me up while I was reading. Of all the characters, the one that disappointed me the most was the antagonist, Heten Nor. He’s power-hungry and scheming and brutally violent, but I never got the sense that there was anything else to him. The more I read, the more I recognized Heten Nor in another Councilman-turned-ruler: Palpatine. (I’ll keep the secret of his “apprentice” because that would be another big fat spoiler.)

Another thing that gave me pause was the connection between this modern story and the classic characters of Merlin and Morgana. Though the author did a fine job in weaving in the Arthurian conflict into the separation of Illirin and Earth, the names have so much historical and literary baggage that it was difficult for me to get around them.

Overall, This is a delightful YA/NA fantasy, full of humor, action, and a bit of romance. When the battles begin, the tension ramps up to a wrenching cliffhanger. I recommend it for readers age 13 and older, and I look forward to the next installment in this series.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Originally published at www.bookie-monster.com
Profile Image for Shy.
249 reviews19 followers
June 17, 2015
Warning: Might contain spoilers...

The author successfully created a new world that unite a fantasy and earth (reality) in a way that is believable. Though I would have wanted to learn more of the technicalities regarding the wall that separates the two - called the thinnings. Other than those, I love how the author created the story revolving around this new world (Illirin) without totally taking the setting away from earth. And as a fan of the TV series Merlin, she really had me with the reference to Merlin and Morgana. I know it's something that some people might dispute about but considering that she made her story revolving in a totally different world, it was something that drew me more to the book. I also like the fact that it was written in a third person point of you which as a reader allowed me to see the events as it was seen by different characters. If anything, I think the author needs a little improvement in having the readers not only see those events happening but to feel them as well. And as this is a YA Fantasy novel, I like that the characters do act their age and not the fantasy-romance kind where these kids act more like veterans of romance and along with their silly ideals of what love is about.

Lea, the heroine was strong willed that not only inspire her to go through life with the baggage she was carrying but inspire others to do that as well. Characters like her are always fun to read than those damsel in distress that always needs saving. Gabe on the other hand was both a mystery and interesting character for me. It was said that he was charming but he was not aware of it. I was hoping that the author, would show me why some people say that about him. Matt - somehow I had a feeling that he will turn out the way he is. It was a feeling that I guess was a fruit of a good foreshadowing on the side of the author as that feeling didn't ruin the twist for me even if I was somehow expecting it. And for me the author did a good job on that part. There's nothing I hate more than characters and events turning out to be too much like it was planted it's harder to become believable. The main antagonist, Heten Nor, he was there from the start but somehow, I felt like his anguish and hatred was not fully justified in this book. He kind of give the contrast impression that Matt gave to me. The rest of the characters are still waiting to be fully uncovered and there is still much room for growth for all them that made this series something to look forward to.

My have a few question regarding thinnings and Schism that I hope will be answered on upcoming books. Looking at the cover, it's not quite the way I imagined it to be. My brain is also nagging the question, what makes thinnings appear? How exactly does someone cross the boarder? Does it need a special talent to do that? Because while the heroine can easily find one she cannot easily cross it and the hero vice versa. Aside from this, the characters life in both worlds were described well by the author that I can vividly imagine it as I read along.

All in all, reading Schism was like being on a new adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed. There was enough drama, humor, a bit of romance and action that will have you holding through every page until you reach the end and looking forward to the next instalment.
Profile Image for Russ Linton.
Author 21 books89 followers
April 28, 2015
To start, and I hate it when people start reviews this way, Schism doesn’t sound like a book I would normally read. The blurb gives a solid sense of a star-crossed romance. Romance, as it is often depicted in genre stories, isn’t my thing. Sappy, sticky sweet, or cloyingly carnal – most often it comes off as fake to me.

Look, I’m a guy and I like guy things, even if it isn’t particularly popular to do so. Cut to the chase and tell me a story without getting derailed by the love interests and mimicking whatever NA bestsellers are “supposed” to offer. And that’s precisely what Schism does.

Laura does a great job of not having her protagonists fret, or pine, or gush about each other. There aren’t pages and pages of getting lost in either’s headspace as they try to cope with feelings or plan out their next secret rendezvous. When they are apart and thinking of each other or together and trying not to let their emotions get the best of them, it feels real.

Under this believable connection between Gabe and Lea lies an interesting world – or two. A parallel dimension in fact. Here live beings who are monstrous in form, but it is their all too human ambition and tribalism which makes them truly deadly.

But they aren’t all monsters. (Gabe’s shadowy past can be traced there – not a spoiler, this is in the blurb!) However, this dimension does cross paths with earth in a dangerous way which could spell disaster for both of their worlds. Gabe and Lea are naturally key to making sure this doesn’t happen.

While the parallel nature of the “fourth dimension”, as Lea calls it, makes for some interesting conflict and commentary on our own world, where it doesn’t quite work for me is a matter of personal taste. To partly quote the book’s author: I like weird shit.

To me an alternate dimension could be even weirder than the one depicted in Schism. But the familiarity of things in the Fourth Dimension does keep the flow of the narrative going. Still, I couldn't help but feel there were a few missed opportunities for giving the place more personality. (I’m sure most people will disagree – why muddy a perfectly good story?)

Schism is a fun read and worth your time to explore. I’m particularly stoked that it’s yet another novel about characters who have recently made the transition into adulthood and are struggling with the fallout. Lea and Gabe both wrestle with grown-up issues without an overdose of angst but with plenty of conflict driving uncertainty. Wrestle with everyday problems and save a dimension or two along the way – I’m down with that and interested to see how their future unfolds in the next book.
Profile Image for Haley Keller.
324 reviews
April 10, 2015
I'm not really sure how to explain Schism. I feel like it is both like and yet no like the books that I usually read. That's how I felt it would be going into it too, and I think that's part of what fueled me to read it. It's a fantasy book, which I love, but there's just something about it that makes it feel closer to sci-fi than most fantasy. I think it was Lea's attemps at calculating where the thinnings would appear and the fact that Illirin felt so much like an alien world and not just a fantasy one.

When I say that though, I don't mean to put people off. If you like fantasy but not sci-fi, I would still give the book a shot. After all, it's still definitely a fantasy book. You'll find plenty of that. But I thought the way the world of the book was laid out was really cool and something I hadn't encountered in the past.

As for the romance, I think the romance in this book was the best written romance that I've read in quite a while (unless I'm forgetting something). Maybe it's because the last book I read with any romance was one I strongly disliked, but I thought the romance in this was great. It took up just the right amount of the plot, and even though there was a small love triangle (which I grow increasingly tired of as the days go by), I actually liked how this one was done. I don't want to go into much detail for fear of spoilers, but it's nice seeing a love triangle done in a way that feels realistic. It's not an idealized thing or something where you're angry at the girl for jerking around the guys or where you puzzle over why they both feel strongly enough that they have to cause everyone so many problems. It felt real, and I thought all of the characters managed to handle the situation that didn't make you roll your eyes because it was just too over the top.

I really liked this book. I think it was my favorite that I've read in several months, and I'm really looking forward to the sequel. I need to get back to reading fantasy more often because I swear that the only fiction books that I've absolutely enjoyed in months have been the few fantasy books I've managed to read.

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Amie's Book Reviews.
1,503 reviews164 followers
January 13, 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

~ I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Gabe has no memory of the accident that claimed the life of his fiancé, Heather. In fact, Gabe's mind is like one of his unused canvasses - completely blank.

Lea spends most of her time working alone on her E.D. Project. She would rather be alone than have to listen to the other University students snickering behind her back.

Gabe and Lea meet and the two misfits bond instantly and Gabe agrees to help her with her project. In return, Lea will try to help him get his memories back.

When Lea's research leads them to another dimension, the ramifications for both of them are huge.

Want to know more? Sorry, no spoilers here! You need to read this book to find out all the details and to join Lea and Gabe on the adventure of a lifetime.

I am not usually a fan of books that use amnesia as part of the plot, but SCHISM is an exception.

Gabe wanting to recover his memories is an example of "Be careful what you wish for, since it might come true."

This book is considered fantasy, but it could also be labelled as science fiction or as a thriller. It could even be considered a romance.

One of the things I really liked about this book was that it was fast-paced. There is very little "filler" in SCHISM which is a refreshing change from many Young Adult novels.

It is not an easy task to create an entirely new world, yet debut author LAURA MAISANO has done just that. Her world building skills are excellent. Not only does Illirin exist, but it has centuries of history. She has populated it with five races (called 'Traits') each of whom have their own distinct physical characteristics, beliefs and prejudices.

There is violence in this book, and though there is a bit of romance in this book, there are no sex scenes or anything that would prevent this from being read by tweens and teens alike.

I give this Young Adult novel a 5 out of 5 star rating. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This novel is one in which you can immerse yourself in a fantasy world that just might actually exist. A great book to curl up on the couch with on a cold winter day!

I have one question for the author: When can I get my hands on UNITY: the next book in the series?

To see the full review with graphics visit http://AmiesBookReviews.wordpress.com

Profile Image for D.L. Hammons.
Author 2 books49 followers
April 4, 2015
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For me, one of the traits of a good book is when it’s able to overcome one or more inherent prejudices of the reader. Urban Fantasy is not a genre I'm particularly fond of, nor are books that are obviously part of a larger series, but neither of these elements prevented me from enjoying what turned out to be a very enjoyable reading experience.

This will be a spoiler-free review, as I wouldn’t want to spoil things for what I’m certain will be a landslide of future readers.

As with all good stories, it begins and ends with believable characters that the reader can bond with. SCHISM has that in spades. Ms. Maisano has done a masterful job of breathing life into her two main characters – Gabe and Lea -- giving them each their own strengths, faults, and insecurities, and the interaction between the two come off as real and natural. But it’s her secondary characters that expands and solidifies the world(s) she created – adding dimension and avoiding what I’m constantly running into with many YA novels nowadays – paper thin plots. The motives and emotions of the characters who see limited time in the spotlight drive the plot just as much as Gabe and Lea, which this reader very much enjoyed. Gabe’s gaming-obsessed roommate, Lea’s troubled parents, a power-hungry politician with devious plans for Gabe, each brought depth and texture to the story.

Another favorable trait I look for in a book is the world building, something that is critical in the Fantasy genre, and again the author nailed it. There was obviously plenty of time devoted to research and erecting the framework of a world (both of them) for this story to play out in, and the attention to detail is impressive, but it is done in such a way that the reader never feels overwhelmed or confused. Not an easy task to pull off.

Overall, this was a fun read – one that I consumed in just a couple days – and if I had purchased this at my local Barnes and Noble I would have considered this money well spent. Kudo’s to Ms. Maisano for creating such an entertaining book, and I truly look forward to the next installment.
Profile Image for Anjeline Magtoto.
13 reviews3 followers
August 2, 2016
I received this novel from the author in return for an honest review!
Just want to Thank her for that.
I gave this book 3.5/5 stars, which means.
I like this book, but I don’t have strong feelings about it either way.

SCHISM is the first installment in the Illirin series. The story follows two main characters named Gabe and Lea, Gabe had lost his memories after a car accident happen that claimed the life of his fiancee, Heather. Lea must prove that this world exist. The monsters from the other side attacked her parents, and so she needs proof of the other world in order to save her family. Gabe and Lea strike a deal to help each other out. Gabe helps Lea with her project. In return, Lea will try to help him get his memories back. While Gabe tries to reconcile his feelings for Lea and his discovered memories of his fiancee, a much more sinister plot unravels. Gabe turns out to be the key for Lea's research. With his help she discovers a whole new reality.

Gabe: I love Gabe, However, I did have some problems with him, but he's still a great character.
LEA: I love Lea's character, I find her very interesting.
Gabe and Lea were a great mix. They were well developed and thought out.

Yes this book took me a while to finish, don't get me wrong it is a fast paced book, just had things to do. I really did enjoyed this book, such a unique and interesting story. The characters are well developed, the plot is interesting and the climax is wonderfully executed. However, I did have some problems with the world building.

Overall, I really did enjoyed this book. If you like YA urban fantasy, mystery you should definitely check this book out.
Profile Image for Lady.
1,171 reviews13 followers
January 23, 2016
•••I listened to the Audible Audio Edition of this book•••

Listening to this book was riveting. I couldn't believe it was over! I will definitely keep an eye out for more books narrated by Ryan Prizio in the future :) I hope the author uses him again for the next book!


Missing Memories And Hidden Monsters

This series must be listened to (or read) in order. This is the first book. I can't wait for the next one!

Gabe is lost. He has complete amnesia. All he knows is he was in a car crash that robbed him of both his fiancèe Heather and every memory of his past. He struggles constantly trying to remember anything. When he meets Lea he feels engaged in life for the first time since he can remember. What is this strange girl up to? Can she really help him get his memory back?

Lea is always searching and doing research to improve her experiments. She needs to find proof of the monsters so she can free her parents from the mental institution they are incarcerated in. Only she knows the truth. Her parents did not hurt each other... The monsters did. Gabe is the first person she has ever felt a connection to. The first person who didn't treat her like a freak. She has to help him... If only so he will continue to help her. Will they find a way in to the world of the monsters? Why does he believe her?

***This series is suitable for young adult through adult readers who enjoy new adult coming of age sci-fi fantasy action adventure mysteries with a dash of romance and tons of intrigue :)
Profile Image for Todd.
Author 3 books5 followers
March 6, 2016
Unfortunately, I have no photographic evidence I've met a being from another dimension.

No matter. The salmon-skinned, winged Illirin Seer, Aime Nee, was out and about in Dallas, Texas, last month promoting her alter ego Laura Maisano's YA novel, Schism.

Schism proves a fun read about a mismatched pair of college students, Gabe Jones and Lea Huckley, who discover they are chasing down the same path (or should I say, portal?) toward an alternate dimension --- the realm of the Illirin, a world connected to Earth by more than the dimensional pathways known as "thinnings."

While Gabe is taking an art class as a way to fend off his grief over the loss of his fiancee and recover from memory loss, he meets Lea, a math student actively seeking a fourth dimension. After their accidental meeting, they not only discover the fourth dimension, they discover Gabe's secret --- he is Illirin, a winged inhabitant of the other realm, and one who suddenly and reluctantly gets great power thrust into his hands. Power that puts two worlds onto the cusp of interdimensional war.

The novel is a fast-paced fantasy, with plenty of romance, betrayal, and action.

It left me wanting to know more about the Illirin realm, however. Maisano touches on this new world in brief glimpses, which is appropriate given the protagonists only recently discovered it exists and that they both have ties to it.

Fortunately, this is the first book planned in a series. So, the glimpses are likely to evolve into fully formed sights. And the final pages of Schism also hint of Nee's future role, outside of book promotions.

--- Todd
Profile Image for Kelley Harvey.
Author 10 books383 followers
April 28, 2015
Laura Maisano brings us a unique storyline with out-of-this-world characters. A vivid and colorful world exists just on the other side of the schism and Lea Huckley is determined to prove it’s there. She must if she’s going to free her parents from the loony bin. When she meets mysterious Gabe Jones, she has no idea he’s the proof she needs. She has to decide whether to use that information or not.

After a car accident took his past from him, Gabe has suffered amnesia and the loss of everything he ever knew with the exception of the face his fiancé, Heather. He teams up with Lea to help her prove her theories and learns there’s a world beyond what’s seen on earth, another dimension. On the other side of the schism are the answers he’s been struggling to find. However danger waits behind the face of the girl he loves and there are those in the world he’s from who want him dead.

This book has it all, fantastic world building, action, adventure, and political intrigue.

PLEASE NOTE: I rated this as a 3 star, because here, on Goodreads, that means "I Liked it"... I am NOT saying it isn't awesome...the only reason it didn't get a higher star rating from me is it isn't really "my" kind of read. I like more romance and heat. I do think this might appeal to all types of readers. I hope lots of people try it, not everyone has the same tastes.
Profile Image for Kolleen Fraser.
Author 5 books40 followers
June 3, 2015
I love a good YA Fantasy and SCHISM was definitely that. It was a fun urban fantasy written in a way that young and older readers alike will enjoy the story with a YA/NA feel.

We meet Lea, a quirky college student who is also trying to hunt down beings from another dimension, a place called Illirin, beings who had attacked her parents now considered crazy for what they've seen.

Enter Gabe... The object of Lea's crush. He suffers from amnesia since being in a car accident that killed his fiancée. The romance is played down in true YA form but there is enough to make you root for them. Gabe isn't ready for love, still mourning his fiancée.

There is a great cast of characters who all seem to be hiding something and it keeps you guessing. NO SPOILERS.

The inhabitants of Illirin are all created so well it felt like I was right there. So many creatures and politics involved in this fantasy world it's up to Gabe, Lea and their group to put a stop to the war brewing.

The stories move at a fast pace and keeps you interested with lots of laughs and action. In true series form there is a hell of a cliffhanger but it gets us excited to read the next instalment.
Profile Image for Crystal Collier.
Author 6 books182 followers
September 14, 2015
This book was not what I expected from the description, but it was definitely epic. People who love the Smoke and Bones series or Avatar will fall into this story world without issue. I loved Lea, a spunky yet nerdy girl who is motivated by the tragedy that ruined her family life. Poor Gabe will go through the ringer, but he's worthy of cheering on. I seriously thought about giving the author a piece of my mind for how she treated him, but I suppose what doesn't kill us...

Overall, I enjoyed the story...if only it had tied up nicely so I wasn't left tapping my foot and watching the clock for the next installment. A great story for urban fantasy lovers.

Content Warning: Appropriate for YA audiences. Minor language. One or two suggestive moments.
Profile Image for Syvannah Tewes.
108 reviews3 followers
June 11, 2015
Schism was absolutely amazing. I loved the characters, I loved the plot, I loved everything about the book. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy the YA genre.
Profile Image for Sandra Cox.
Author 47 books104 followers
July 19, 2015
Ms. Maisano does a great job of balancing two worlds using a believable vehicle for crossing over. Strong characters and a great plot. I recommend it.
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