Thrall by Jennifer Quintenz

Thrall

by Jennifer Quintenz

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Braedyn is a high-school wallflower, facing the same insecurities and complexes that most of us do. Bullies, snobs, and jerks pull their typical pranks and harassments. With her best buddies, Royal and Cassie, she can face all the troubles of high school. But when a new boy named Luke moves in next door, her world is dumped upside-down. Humanity is fighting a war with mythical creatures. Secret armies defend humanity against them. Other worlds barely divided from ours threaten to release a horde of soul-sucking monsters. This was so not what she had planned for her junior year!

This book was everything I look for in an entertaining novel. Jennifer gave us a little romance, a little supernatural, a little danger, a little conflict, and a lot of fun. I loved the conflicts that she put Braedyn through. She was afraid of her peers and the agony they could inflict with so little effort. Her fear of being abandoned haunted her, and she came very close to realizing it. Her identity was challenged and her capability of good was called into question. I could relate to these fears and the way Jennifer wrote them was gripping. Will Braedyn be humiliated? Will she be rejected by everyone? What will she do if she is?

I also loved the moral struggle Braedyn faced during her adventures. She had to make big decisions about herself and others that could have drastic consequences. Very adult responsibilities were suddenly thrust upon her. She thought a lot about right and wrong and how her decisions changed and shaped her. She didn’t face easy decisions either. These were some tough calls.

I have no complaints whatsoever about anything. The editing was excellent, the plot flowed effortlessly, and even the unbelievable worked. This was a definite page-turner for me! Jennifer has written a truly engaging book.

Buy on Amazon

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14112002-thrall

The Dark Song by Piia Brendenburg

The Dark Song

by Piia Brendenberg

In the short novel, The Dark Song, songwriter India has bought the perfect artist’s retreat home. Nestled into an ideally tiny and remote town, the house draws her in–supernaturally. Something mysterious and sinister lurks within the Bakery House. Will India succumb to its beautiful, dangerous allure, surrendering herself to its perilous inspiration?
Reading this story was like listening to a song. I was carried along with the wonder and danger of the exciting tale. I liked the main character, India, a genuine, typical woman. Though personal descriptions of her were not abundant, she came alive through her genuine, amusing impressions and reactions to her circumstances and to others in her life. Her courage and innate sense of abandon carry her through her ordeal with flair.
Piia definitely filled her story with Great Sentences (see Reading Like A Writer by Francine Prose). I wanted to clean that house even though I knew it was imaginary! I couldn’t find anything in this story I thought could be improved, except for wanting to hear more from Piia Brendenberg! And guess what! She has more coming soon. Keep an eye on this author!

The Dark Song on AmazonThe Dark Song on Smashwords 

About Piia Brendenberg: from Amazon

Piia was born in Helsinki, Finland, in the middle of the winter, and she’s been freezing ever since.

A lover of fantasy, history and a good mystery, all of which also feature in her stories, she writes Urban Fantasy and Gaslight Fantasy, both in English and in Finnish.
She lives in a slightly haunted house with her cat, her chocolate, and her overactive imagination, and when she’s not writing or revising, she reads, knits a lot of warm socks, sculpts and paints.

Here is the story behind the Bakery House!

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand

Farsighted

By Emlyn Chand

Genre: Fantasy

My rating: Four out of Five Stars

Bonus! This blog tour has a $100 prize for one random commenter as chosen by random.org. Leave comments on this post your chance to win! You can also visit other tour hosts and leave comments on their blogs to enter for the random commenter prize.

This is my first Blog Tour participation. I’m a person who learns by doing, so this is me doing. My review will live at the “Book Reviews” page.

Description:

Alex Kosmitoras, blind from birth, is an otherwise normal high school boy, until he develops powers of foretelling the future, as well as perceiving events currently happening elsewhere. His new friends Simmi and Shapri, two girls in his class, have been drawn to him because they also have powers. Simmi can affect people’s moods and Shapri can speak to the dead. Shortly after meeting Simmi, Alex begins to have feelings for her. Then he has a vision of her gruesome death. Prevention of this disaster becomes his obsession, compelling him to hone his powers and push his own boundaries. Alex must crack the mystery of his  visions and stop a telekinetic boy named Dax from killing the girl he loves.

Review:

Farsighted was exciting and engaging. Emlyn’s characters were lovable and she made me want to know what happened to them.

Alex’s bravery through his challenges and his manliness was refreshing and made me respect him. I connected with him from the first few pages, loving his frank perspective and unique challenges. His many, shifting emotions were dead-on for a sixteen-year-old boy, and they enriched the story. I really enjoyed the view into his sightless world under the context that he had never seen before. Omitting that aspect from his descriptions made the descriptions sizzle, and that takes talent. Only once or twice did I think, “Would a blind boy be able to tell that was happening?” The plot engaged me as I was pulled through the book by the
momentum of the story, not left hanging by too much description or rabbit trails.

A few of the dramatic scenes seemed rushed. With all the great emotional description of Alex’s feelings through the rest of the book, I was surprised how little some of the big scenes were explored in this way. The scenes of Alex’s dad’s disappearance and reappearance, the false breakup with Simmi, the fake romance with Shapri, Alex’s mom knowing the whole time about his powers, and the final confrontation with Dax left me wishing for more details, particularly in how everyone felt. The characters’ feelings here so richly described elsewhere that I expected it to flow through the whole narrative.

The description of Alex’s identification of people by their smell, and his awareness of what was happening through sound was fantastic. I wanted to hear all about his perceptions and impressions in this unique perspective.

Alex’s numerous and dramatic visions belied the quick ending. There was so much buildup to the horror of Simmi’s death and the evil nature of Dax that the tame ending felt a bit like an anticlimax. This is truer with real life than with a novel, and I felt Emlyn could have gotten more out of her ending.

The segue into a second book was obvious, but not so abrupt that I felt cheated. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series!