Author: Yvonne Anderson
Genre(s): Science fiction; Fantasy
Adventurous and a thought provoking parallel of the American society
Stillwaters captures your attention with a tragic opening. Readers get a glimpse into the feral childhood of Jem and the neglect she endures from her only family members. Having grown up in the rural country of her unique planet, Jem is forced to care for herself under terrible living conditions because her father wants nothing to do with her. It is very clear that she has developed a tough exterior to prevent herself from getting hurt by anyone else and to survive the tough terrain of her home. The one person she finds herself vulnerable with is her brother. Jem's character reminds me of so many people who must maintain a solid exterior, but who ultimately have the some of the most loving hearts. It is clear she feels very strong for her brother and it was heartwarming to witness his kindness towards her, despite the rest of their family's cruelty.
After what appears to be a normal day for Jem and her brother, Jem ends up encountering a heart-wrenching situation that lands her in the City's medical care center. From this moment on, the story shifts focus while she embarks on a new adventure. Although the tragic beginning was difficult to digest, that part of the plot helped readers understand the amount of growth Jem experienced as her journey progressed.
Yvonne has a fantastic way of setting each scene with vivid details that engross you into the world she has created. I could picture exactly what Jem's planet looked like and how although it is vastly different from our own planet, there were still structural similarities I could relate it to. It is clear Yvonne utilized this novel to discuss a variety of topics that run parallel to organized religion, geographical cultures, and hierarchical societies. Doing this can be incredibly tricky because the parallel often ends up merging into a blurred reflection. However, Yvonne has a very keen eye for creating a unique plot premise that entails a variety of humanistic issues while still making the story relatable.
I think a variety of individuals would enjoy this novel as it encompasses many different scenarios that provoke insightful thinking. It also follows a strong female lead who manages to overcome a lot of obstacles throughout her adventures.
How did she rise from the shrouds of obscurity to become one of the world’s most influential figures? The enigmatic author J. S. Freeman breaks her long silence and tells the whole tale.
In Stillwaters, the first of her three-part story, she brings us into the steamy, untamed land of her feral birth. When the City invaders capture her—they call it a rescue, but it sure doesn’t feel like it—her first life ends. She wants only to run free again on Freemansland, but circumstances take her ever farther from home, until one snowy day, her second life ends as well.
Come and see. The truth she tells is better than her fiction.
Author: Tom Bierdz
Genre(s): Mystery; Thriller; Suspense; Political; Psychological
Riveting, philosophical, page-turner
From the first chapter, Crosscurrents will keep you on the edge of you seat with it's fast-paced feel, engaging story line, and dynamic characters. A hitman is hired to take down a senator who is proposing a weapon's control bill, but in the moment he is about to make his mark, his instincts take over preventing him from following through. Much to his dismay, the senator is his brother who he once forgot due to amnesia. This decision changes the entire course of his journey as another mark is now placed on his own life. He is forced to make a decision to save his own life or risk himself for the sake of saving his long-lost brother.
I really enjoyed the premise of this novel and how it always felt as though something exciting was happening. There was never a moment when I felt bored or I had a desire to put it down. In fact, I found it incredibly difficult to stop reading, especially as I made a quarter of the way through! I would say the highlight of Crosscurrents involves the suspenseful plot and intriguing characters. It was thought provoking as I pondered what I could do...save myself or try to save a sibling who I completely forgot was part of my life. Tom not only develops his main characters, but he left room for the supporting characters to have an impact on the story as well. The novel was focused on mystery, thrilling scenarios, and well-thought out characters. However, I found the scene descriptions to be a little lacking for my taste, but where the story lacked in scene details, it definitely made up for in plot structure. This novel is well-written and plays out with an elegant style.
Crosscurrents will take you on an adventure of suspense, mystery, and even a touch of romance. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a thriller that will leave you engrossed in the characters and flipping the pages at high speed!
Could you kill your brother to save yourself?
A senator proposing a weapons' control bill. A hitman with amnesia. When the hitman instinctively saves the senator, his target from another assassin, the hitman's memory returns.
Knowing the senator is his brother, does he refuse the hit and place himself in the crosshairs, or does he go through with it to save himself?
A story about power and greed, good versus evil and a family caught in the crosscurrents.
Author: Brysen Mann
Title: The Xeno Manifesto
Suspenseful and gripping
This novel is an incredibly compelling read that will leave you wanting to know more about the main character, Frank. As an adopted child, he never knew the truth about his past until his journey ends up leading him to find answers not only about his own origin, but the origin of the entire human race. The concept of The Xeno Manifesto is definitely unique and will engage readers from the very beginning leaving them wanting to stay for the fast paced unfolding of the plot and character development.
I really enjoyed Brysen's ability to create each scene with depth and detailed orientation for readers. The descriptions are profound and will leave you with a clear picture of where the characters are and what they are experiencing. Yet, despite the meticulously thought out scenes, Brysenw as able to keep an air of mystery throughout the entire novel that left me needing to turn the page.
This novel runs a parallel of one man's journey to find answers to his past and newfound abilities with humanities' never-ending desire to understand what life means and where we all come from. I believe Brysen ran this parallel in a very elegant way when looking at the overarching plot. Readers who enjoy complex plots with great scene descriptions and character growth will find The Xeno Manifesto enjoyable!
Deputy Frank Smirnov wants a peaceful life but fate has chosen a different path. He could never have imagined a course that not only gives him insight to his past but to the true origins of the human race. NSA Agent Zachariah Allmass' job is to eliminate those who know too much, and those "Beings" with powers untold that have elected to remain hidden for all these millenniums, now possess evidence he needs for his true employer, the Committee. But Allmass has an agenda of his own. Meanwhile, Roman Petrov is a violent man who puts his retirement on temporary hiatus after being left with collateral damage that leaves him no choice but to eliminate the "thorn in his side". When these men's worlds collide, secrets that were never meant to be exposed will shake the very foundation of mankind's existence.
Before I get started with this message, I just want to say a huge thank you to all my readers and all the authors who have sent me their novels and put their incredibly hard work into my hands for an honest review. Without the help and trust of every single one of you, Brianna Remus Books would not thrive.
For those of you who do not know, I am currently an upcoming third year doctoral student in clinical psychology. My therapeutic focus is sexual trauma in children and early intervention. That being said, it is safe to say that I encounter a lot of difficult and outright tragic cases every single week. I witness a lot of suffering in my line of work and it has recently taken a toll on my own mental health. In psychology programs we hear this thing called "self-care" from our professors, supervisors, and mentors. They tell us to go to the beach, maybe drink some wine, spend time with loved ones. But what they don't say is to take care of our own mental health. There is still an incredible amount of stigma in our own profession that leaves students and young professionals burned out and feeling helpless.
Over the past year I have been feeling intense depression, severe anxiety, and other emotions I didn't even know I was capable of feeling. I felt incredibly lost and helpless and that no one understood what I was going through...and even worse yet, that I couldn't talk to anyone about it because I am supposed to be the strong one. I am supposed to be the one who helps other people overcome their depression, anxiety, and trauma. I was drowning and I could not figure out how to keep my head above water. I started procrastinating and turning in work I was not proud of. I was late on several book reviews because my depression was all-consuming. But of course, Instagram and other social media accounts bear witness to the perfectly edited photos and status updates of my imperfect state of mind. It's funny how hard we try to conceal our pain.
I lost sight of my internal happiness and the love I used to have for myself. There was a moment 7 days ago when I hit rock bottom. All my emotions and mental health were drained. But as I slowly brought myself out of that moment with the help of my parents and husband, I started to have huge revelations on how I could gain my mental strength back.
Among taking care of my body with exercise and healthy eating, as well as spending more time outside and spending less time on the internet, I realize I need to change some aspects of one of my favorite hobbies, reading.
When I first started Brianna Remus Books I had an intention to include all the genres I have enjoyed over the years (sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, psychological thrillers, romance). I wanted to connect with different readers and authors. However, as my blog grew I started to receive inquiries of reviewing for mostly thrillers and mysteries. Over the past week this was one of my revelations...I was working with children and families who experienced terrible traumas and I was coming home to read novels about more terrible traumas or situations. My mind never took a break from negativity, drama, and pain. I was taking in so much sorrow that was feeding my depression and bleak outlook on life.
You are what you feed your soul.
That is not to say that if one reads a book about a serial killer that he/she will become a serial killer. No. But if you are struggling mentally with finding happiness it is probably best to stay away from stories that bring your hope down. Will I never read another thriller/depressing story again? NO. But at the present moment I need to surround myself with more positive, upbeat, and hopeful words. Therefore, Brianna Remus Books is having a HUGE makeover in the coming month. I will be wrapping up reviews for authors I have already committed to and starting mid-July I will only be reviewing novels within the Romance genre. This genre has always made me smile, laugh, and have hope as corny or cliche as it sounds. But there is something to be said for love and the impact it can have on our well-being. I know this will be a big change for some of my readers and I appreciate your support and I also understand if this does not fit your own interests. The time you spent reading my content means so much to me and I will forever be grateful for what YOU have turned this blog into.
Be happy. Be healthy. Be well.
Author: Samantha March
Title: The Six: Kristy
Genre(s): Women's fiction; Friendship; Romance; Romantic comedy
Fun-loving and relatable
This novel came to me at just the right time. My reading list was saturated with thrillers and emotionally heavy novels that it was a refreshing break to read something light-hearted (for the most part), fun, and steamy! The Six: Kristy follows six girlfriends living in Chicago with various careers, types of love interests, and relationships with one another. It is part of a six-part series where each book takes the perspective of each woman. The first installment has Kristy as the main character and she is a lively and independent young woman who is taking on her first job as a full-time elementary school guidance counselor. Samantha made Kristy’s journey of starting a first job very relatable in how she conveyed the nerves and excitement that are associated with following one’s passion and seeing it realized. It was clear that Samantha did her research on the duties of guidance counselors, which made this aspect of the storyline more believable and realistic. I love having as much information about a character’s life as possible, especially when specific aspects will add more depth to the plot and overall feel of the book. Kristy’s relationships with her girlfriends was obviously a huge aspect of the book and Samantha did a great job at keeping all of the storylines and information straight. I am sure having six characters that are highly interactive takes a lot of brain power to manage. There was never a time when I felt confused about what was going on or when things within the story between the women did not make sense. Each of the women also added something of their own to Kristy’s story and it became clear that all of the women had their own story worthy of an installment. Samantha was able to balance the disclosure of supporting characters’ difficulties without letting readers in on every secret that will likely come out in the future books.
As the story develops, Kristy’s BFF in the group, Breely, makes a bet that Kristy must abstain from sex for six months and if she does, she will be invited on a yoga retreat to Paris with all expenses paid. It was nice to read a book where a woman is open with her sexuality and does not have to fear being judged by her friends. Kristy came to the decision on her own that maybe she should take a break from sexual escapades in order to find a more stable relationship. Books often convey women as not enjoying sex as much as men and that is exactly why I found The Six: Kristy to be so relatable…because women DO enjoy sex and that is okay J Samantha added an amusing twist in that Kristy meets an amazing guy, worthy of her time outside the bedroom, while she is on the six-month contract with her friend. The new dating pair navigates how to enjoy one another’s company without the expectation of going all the way. The scenes exploring their sexual tension are mildly steamy and fit perfectly with the overall tone of the novel.
As far as Kristy’s character in general, I found myself changing my thoughts on her quite often as I was reading. I love her quirky and spunky attitude and she is clearly independent and works hard at her job and friendships. However, there were also moments when I wanted to scream at my iPad mini to tell her to communicate and stop being a stereotypical millennial who doesn’t know how to solve interpersonal problems. I found her fitting into the annoying category when it came to her figuring out the relationship with Grey Grahl. HOWEVER, I also have a lot of respect for authors who write characters that are not perfect and have more realistic qualities because that makes for a more relatable experience and it helps readers to connect with the characters so much more. Speaking of feeling connected with characters…I felt incredibly proud of Kristy for how she handled an amazingly difficult situation she encountered at work. I feel even more proud of my friend, Samantha, for shedding light on a terrible situation that happens to children every single day. It was a powerful moment in the novel that took it up several notches.
Lastly, I think it is important, not only in this situation, but when reading any novel to understand the genre the novel belongs to. This falls into chicklit and the friendship genres, so if you are looking for an incredibly intense plot with characters that will leave you pondering humanity, this novel is not for you. But if you want to read a well-written story about young women who are navigating friendships, relationships, marriages, jobs, and independence, than I highly recommend The Six: Kristy.
Kristy Martin is twenty-something, single and living it up in Chicago. She has a crew of close girlfriends to keep her social calendar active, and is celebrating finally securing employment in her chosen field. While always free-spirited, Kristy is getting tired of the revolving door – or more accurately, bed – of random guys and failed dates, and comes up with a plan to get her act together when it comes to the opposite sex. That idea is quickly shot down by her bestie Breely Laver and replaced with a bet she can’t refuse – a free trip to Paris with her yoga instructor BFF if she can go six months without sex. Enter in charming, sexy, delicious Grey Grahl. Kristy tries to navigate a spicy new relationship without giving away her bet, while also dealing with an incredibly sensitive crisis at her job. Her first year as a full-time elementary school guidance counselor starts off with a devastating situation with a young student, and Kristy finds herself struggling to stay above water in both her professional and personal life. With her girlfriends as a support system, Kristy navigates troubled times at the school and agrees to come clean with Grey. This first book in a six-part girlfriend series introduces you to Kristy, Breely, Nora, Lauren, Tinsley and Scarlett, and takes readers on six individual stories about relationships, career choices, personal conflict and the bond of friendship.
Author: Helga Gruendler-Schierloh
Title: Burying Leo
Genre(s): Women's fiction; Contemporary women; Literature and fiction
Touching, genuine, relatable
Burying Leo is an incredibly relatable story that explores the concepts of first loves, marital discord, infertility, and self-exploration from a woman' perspective. This novel covers a variety of topics that lends itself to being a very personable read. For a majority of the story, Ingrid is enduring a variety of difficulties, so there is an underlying tone that feels exhausted and emotionally drained. It is very easy to feel Ingrid's struggles and how hard it is for her to rise above them. With that being said, this book is not necessarily a "light" read, although it is an easily digestible novel. The content is heavy and emotionally driven, so there were times when I, myself, felt drained from the issues that were brought up. However, this was not necessarily a bad thing because I enjoy novels that have more depth and content that makes me feel something as opposed to surface level stories that don't give me the opportunity to connect with the characters.
My liking of Ingrid fluctuated a lot throughout Burying Leo and I think the variability in her likability made me enjoy the book even more. There were times when I was really rooting for her and wanted her to gain a win in her life. There were also moments when I lacked sympathy for her troubles because she made decisions that clearly had an impact on her own well-being, specifically related to her romantic relationships. Throughout the book, readers follow her through many trials and most of them relate to her marriage. It was incredibly painful to read some of the situations Ingrid found herself in. She often came across as helpless and unwilling to make the necessary changes in her life that would bring her happiness. While I appreciate when authors illustrate challenges that people face everyday, it can become a little too monotonous if the characters lack growth for a majority of the story. I found that to be true for Burying Leo as I mentioned previously I felt drained for a good portion of the novel. However, Ingrid does end up making an astounding comeback that left me feeling relieved and elated for her. This is definitely a story of overcoming tragedy, so if you are willing to endure the adversities, the accomplishments are worth the read!
Somethings Must Die to Rise Ingrid always loved to sing. Auditioning for a summer job after high school shattered her dreams. She fled to Detroit where she married with the hopes of starting a family. When hope crumbled, she attempts to sing again. Will singing bring the life Ingrid always desired, or will her mutilated soul lose her everything?
Author: Cary Grossman
Title: The Hermit of Blue Ridge
Genre(s): Science fiction; Fantasy; Paranormal and urban
Haunting, sensual, heart-wrenching
Taking a wide scope lens, this book will provide you with a gripping story of a middle-aged man who has been jaded by various tragedies throughout his life. His first love was unexpectedly lost and after her demise, he has been searching for the same emotional rawness from a relationship, but has been unfortunate in his search. Until, one day a young woman quite literally stumbles into his hidden cabin that is buried far up the Blue Ridge mountains. If you are sensitive to large age gaps in romantic relationships, then this novel will likely send you into a doozy because Jeremy Woods finally reaches the end of his search when Sarah provides him with the zest for life he has been searching for. As someone who does have a mild sensitivity to large age-gap relationships, there were some scenes that made me cringe, but it was mostly due to the writing of the scene. When a 40-something man is thinking of a young woman pleasing herself as "childlike," I cannot help but feel a bit queasy and repulsed. However, this happened infrequently throughout the story and Sarah's character does maintain a high level of maturity due to her own life's journey. When their sexual encounters were not compared to youth behavior, they were described as sensual, romantic, steamy, and meaningful. It was quite clear they have an inspiring connection that stems from physical arousal.
The Hermit on Blue Ridge has a very eerie feeling to it that lends itself as a genuine thriller. Sarah's ability to remember the brutal rape and murder of Priscilla as if she lived through it herself is truly haunting and will leave readers with a chill that only the most gripping stories possess. As for characters, Jeremy is first portrayed as a sullen, broken man who has channeled his heartbreak into successful story-telling via best-selling books. Cary gives us a glimpse into Jeremy's writing as he begins the journey of his latest novel. Readers also get a satisfying level of insight into his past, specifically with Priscilla and how impactful their relationship was on Jeremy's current state. After Sarah makes her entrance, Jeremy comes back to life and his fervor is established the longer Sarah stays with him. It was interesting to witness the dynamic between Sarah's youthfulness and naivety and Jeremy's experience and bitterness. Their differences make for a good balance with intermittent explosions of chaos; although the chaotic bouts are mostly due to Sarah's unwanted connection to Priscilla. My favorite part of the novel was learning more about Priscilla through Sarah's paintings and nightmares. I found her to be intriguing and the desire to discover why the connection stood between the two young women kept me interested. That being said, I definitely think there could have been major scene cuts. There were periods throughout that were difficult to push through because I felt I was reading the same situation over and over. However, the parts that were engaging definitely kept me on edge.
Author Jeremy Woods has found perfect isolation, high in the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he can write in peace--until a strange, strikingly beautiful girl crashes into his cottage, and his life. Showing up at his door during the worst blizzard in recent history, the girl is half-frozen from exposure, with dangerously frostbitten fingers and toes. The roads to town are too inundated with snow to seek medical care for her--Jeremy's cottage rests 8000 feet high, with no other shelter for miles. How could the girl have survived the journey on foot? At first, Jeremy is intrigued; the girl displays remarkable talent, able to create stunning sketches with almost photographic detail. Her work soon takes on an eerie quality, however, matching that of Jeremy's first love, Priscilla--a hauntingly original artist murdered at the tender age of eighteen--to the most minute detail. Even more troubling is Jeremy's growing attraction to the girl, whose name is Sarah. As they grow close and Sarah starts painting, Jeremy realizes something is terribly wrong--Sarah's portraits, while brilliant, include disturbing portrayals of Priscilla's abduction and homicide. A haunting, evocative love story, Cary Grossman's fourth book of speculative fiction depicts two damaged people struggling with the ghosts of their past in the hope of keeping the comfort they have found in one another.
Author: John L. DeBoer
Title: The Telltale Tattoo
Genre(s): Mystery, thriller, and suspense; Crime
Paperback: 322 pages
Publisher: Solstice Publishing (January 30, 2018)
Intelligent, fast-paced, complex
From the very moment I started reading The Telltale Tattoo, I knew that John's writing would captivate me until the very end. The opening scene depicts a tragic story of a young Vietnamese boy whose entire world is ripped apart in the matter of a few minutes. John provides readers with a brief image of what war is like and what it can do to the civilian victims. He also illustrates the evil nature that some humans posses when they are put in positions of power. Through his telling of the first scene, it became clear that John is obviously well informed about the military, given his own history. I really enjoy when authors are able to provide information from their experiences through their fictional writing. His knowledge added a lot of authenticity to The Telltale Tattoo, which made the descriptions and settings jump off the page even more.
As the story unfolds, we are met with a complex web of characters who are all connected and as a reader, we get the opportunity to see the journey from most of their points of view. Providing such a wide array of characters and giving the reader a clear sense of flow through different points of view is a very difficult task. Other books I have read have definitely not succeeded in doing this as much as The Telltale Tattoo. There was never a moment when I felt confused or lost and John did an excellent job at starting each chapter with a clear distinction of the setting and which character we were reading through. Each character was uniquely different and they all added a lot of depth and realism to the story. When I started this book, I could not put it down because I felt connected to the characters, especially Nguyen and his search for justice. There is an overall electric feel to this novel that gives it a fast paced read, but it remains intelligent and thought provoking.
I highly recommend this novel if you are looking for a fast-paced read that is expertly written with dynamic characters. There were several moments that had me on the edge of my seat and turning the page as quickly as I could. This binge worthy book will provide you with deception, revenge, and engaging characters all the way to the thrilling end!
A young boy’s life is torn apart in 1973 Vietnam when U.S. soldiers assault his fishing village, mistakenly thinking it’s a Viet Cong base. The scary image of a tattoo on the arm of one of the soldiers haunts Nguyen Chinh over the years as he rises to a position of status and wealth. Now he has the means to finally put his nightmares to rest. Vincent Taggart, the soldier with that tattoo, has also become a successful businessman. But he has problems that could destroy everything he’s accumulated. His company has run afoul of the law, and he knows it will only be a matter of time before the feds come after him; his wife knows he’s been cheating on her; and an organized crime boss, with whom he’s had dealings over the years, will likely seek revenge when he discovers Taggart’s treachery. Unaware at first of Chinh’s search for him, Taggart knows one thing – he has to escape before it’s too late.
Author: Lisa Gardner
Title: Find Her
Genre(s): Thriller and suspense; Crime; Vigilante justice
Wicked, dark, crushing
From the opening scene to the very last page, I was entranced by this novel. We learn that Flora Dane is no longer the carefree college student who used to play with foxes. No. Due to her kidnapping she has become trapped (in more ways than one) in the shell of the person she used to be. Her mother still pushes her to accept she is loved and wanted, despite how different she has become. In an effort to sustain some form of humanity within herself, Flora seeks out to right the wrongs of others by saving other young women from being kidnapped or worse. As her vigilante persona unfolds, it becomes clear that Flora has experienced a multitude of traumatic situations that have changed her life. She is cold, sharp, cunning, and intelligent. Everything a vigilante needs to be to get the job done. But that does not mean her trauma has not taken its toll. How Lisa was able to get into the head of such a strong-willed, yet broken survivor I will never know. The way she writes from Flora's point of view absolutely shredded my heart. There were moments of flashbacks when Flora's time with Jacob was revealed and I found it incredibly difficult to read. Not because of anything other than the disturbing nature of the material. However, as someone who works with real-life trauma survivors, I think it is incredibly important to have the ability to acknowledge the stories of these victims...because it happens. I appreciate how candid Lisa was in her writing and the details were expertly provided at just the right moments. This is not a gruesome tale per say, but some of the elements are gruesome.
I also appreciated the variable point of views, as we also get to understand the working mind of D.D. Warren. Having not read the other novels in the D.D. Warren series, I was still able to fully understand her character and the history she came from and how it influenced her thoughts and behaviors associated with Flora. Although compassionate, I could tell she had been a detective for a long while because she has a no-nonsense attitude, which helps her to get things done. It is clear she is not a fan of Flora's vigilante acts, but she still works herself into the ground to uncover the details of the tragic case the permeates the novel's plot. Lisa gives readers an inside look into police work, as well as Victim Specialists. I found it really interesting to learn about the role of a Victim Specialist as this was my first time coming across the term in a novel.
Throughout the entire novel I found myself having "WHAT JUST HAPPENED" moments. That is exactly the kind of reaction I love to have when reading thriller suspense novels. There is a multitude of twists that I never saw coming, but still made perfect sense. There is an overall eerie feeling to this book, which for me, just added more to the plot and the characters. Although it is fast-paced, I took quite a while to finish this book because the material was gut-wrenching and took time to process. Find Her will keep you on the edge and make your mind's gears move. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if you are a fan of thrillers with intertwined police work, I think you will thoroughly enjoy Find Her.
Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora Dane was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure. Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who's never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she's become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who've never made it home. When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime--a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him--she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who's determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.
Author: Laurie Forest
Title: The Black Witch
Genre(s): Fantasy; Dark fantasy; Science fiction
Series: The Black Witch Chronicles (Book 1)
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 2, 2017)
I cannot even begin to express how much I enjoyed this novel. From the very beginning it was quite evident that Elloren is a very unique and strong-willed young woman. After the tragic death of her parents, she was raised by her loving uncle who, despite the archaic rules that govern their society, taught her how to made instruments from wood. Although she was raised to appreciate a very simple lifestyle, her entire world changes when she is taken away by her high ranking aunt. Laurie provides readers with a clear understanding that Elloren is an important character that will evoke change and growth within her world. As she feels extreme pressure from her aunt to engage in a wand-fasting ritual with a high society male mage, Elloren must stay true to herself and the wishes of her uncle, even if it means enduring the punishments her aunt has in store for disobeying her. As she makes her way to University, she is faced with social issues that parallel what our own world is enduring. She must make a decision to join the hateful vengeance of those who want their race to rule the land or to stand for what she comes to believe is right. I really appreciated how Laurie brought social issues into an epic fantasy novel, however, I think she could have created some unique scenarios that conveyed what she was wanting to get across. Nevertheless, Elloren and her friends are not only faced with social issues that have a big impact on who they are, but they are faced with a much graver danger as a new high mage is moving towards getting exactly what he wants...to rule the mage society. There is a reason why this fits into the epic fantasy genre because it is a grand adventure that will compel your imagination to place you in Elloren's world. The scene and character descriptions throughout The Black Witch are expertly detailed, as well as the plot development. The second installment, The Iron Flower comes out in September and I honestly cannot wait!
A Great Winged One will soon arise and cast his fearsome shadow upon the land. And just as Night slays Day, and Day slays Night, so also shall another Black Witch rise to meet him, her powers vast beyond imagining. So foretells the greatest prophecy of the Gardnerian mages. Carnissa Gardner, the last prophesied Black Witch, drove back the enemy forces and saved her people during the Realm War. Now a new evil is on the horizon, and her granddaughter, Elloren, is believed to be Carnissa's heir - but while she is the absolute image of her famous grandmother, Elloren is utterly devoid of power in a society that prizes magical ability above nearly all else. When she is granted the opportunity to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an apothecary, Elloren is eager to join her brothers at the prestigious Verpax University and finally embrace a destiny of her own, free from the shadow of her grandmother's legacy. But she soon realizes that the university, which admits all manner of people - including the fire-wielding, winged Icarals, the sworn enemies of all Gardnerians - is an even more treacherous place for the granddaughter of the Black Witch.
I am a lover of the written word. This is my space to pursue my love of reading through book reviews and literary discussions with my fellow readers.