Saturday, January 19, 2013

Fractured Light and Fractured Soul

                Another book review, two really, I’m hoping to stay strong and not only meet my reading challenge goal of 2013 but exceed it.  So funny story here is that I read the description of Fractured Soul, on NetGalley before requesting it.  Well normally I don’t request sequels and I always double check them but apparently I overlooked that.  When I went to add it to my goodreads pages the day I went to start reading it is when I saw it listed as ‘book 2’ and thought drats.  Thankfully book 1, Fractured Light, was at a great price on Amazon.  So I bought it and started it instead and no you get two book reviews for the price of one.

                So be warned spoilers will be in the 2nd half of this review for the first book, I will clearly mark them for everyone.  I’m doing them as two separate reviews and if you don’t want any spoilers for book 1 then only read part 1 of the review…making sense?  I hope so.  Now for you who don’t mind a few spoilers, yes you crazy folks out that, enjoy the whole thing.  Oh and thanks again to NetGalley, Cedar Fort Inc., and of course the wonderful Author for bringing the books to life Rachel McClellan. 

~PART 1~ Fractured Light

                Llona is a  girl in her senior year of high school.  She is practically invisible, just the way she likes it.  Her motto, just survive.  Sounds like most people in high school right?  Wrong she doesn’t care about high school so much as her life because she is different.  She’s not human, she’s an Aura.  She has a light inside of her, Light that evil creatures of darkness, Vykens, want to kill her for.  See not your typical teenage worries.

                She keeps her life isolated never making any friends accept for one, May, who is friends with everyone but not particularly close to anyone just the kind of friend she needs.  Until a new guy starts to pay attention to  her and she feels maybe she can have a normal life.  Strange things start to happen, things that startle and scare her, things that would normally have caused her to uproot and move again but with her Uncle finally starting a life and her new found friends she decides to stick it out.

                Why does all of this start happening and why is this mysterious stranger so interested in her and seem to know her.  Is he interested in her or does he just want to be her friend?  Can he be trusted?  I really liked this book.  I read it pretty quickly and was almost late for work one day because I sat to read for 15 minutes and next thing I know I had 8 minutes to get ready and be out the door some 45 minutes later.  I like the internal conflict within Llona.  She as a being of light, wants to help others but doing so goes against her desire to survive and be invisible.  Something else that maybe just speaks to the giddy girl in me is the way that boys and matters of the heart can sometimes totally seem more serious that life and death issues.  Who can you trust?  With your life and with your heart?

                Now you think being Light is difficult, more so when you are different.  Light means peace and equality, no competitions, no games, and definitely no fighting.  It goes against their long years of history.  Then why does she enjoy sports so much?  Why does she have a desire to learn to fight, to wield the Light inside of her to protect herself instead of sitting around waiting to die.  Does light need to be peaceful or does it want to fight and everyone has just forgotten how?

                This last part I really liked because it brought up other debates, is defending yourself really fighting?  The obvious answer, to me anyways, would be NO.  Then again I know some people who feel violence, even self defense classes to be continuing the cycle of violence.  Personally I feel if everyone learned to defend themselves and there were no more ‘easy victims’ maybe the bullies of the world would back off and lose power.  That though is a topic for another time.  I did like that part as a subplot though it gave me more to think about as well. 

                That is where I leave you for the first part of this review.  Now again I warn you from here on out there will be spoilers for Fractured Light, in PART 2 for Fractured Soul.

~PART 2~ Fractured Soul

                Fractured Soul is book 2 in the series by Rachel McClellan.  Now I'm writing this a few days after reading because it took some time to…calm myself down.  I'm one of those readers who gets seriously into books.  I get all up in arms on the characters behalf, or for them, or anything that I feel is bad or giddy like a school girl for good things.  People laugh at me while I read and I am okay with this.  This book got me all worked up to say the least and as much as I want to blurt out a major spoiler I won't.  So I will simply say be prepared  and I suggest have tissues available.

                We pick up with Llona and May arriving at Lucent Academy, the school for Auras.  A safe place for them to learn the history of what they are, though May isn't an Aura they also have a few people like her there to help her as well.  The school is a place for Auras to safely learn to use their abilities and how to make things beautiful and such.  Llona is more interested in learning things she is way behind on, so she can get out of there.  Plus after her attract keeping her Uncle safe seems like a good idea too.  Though she learns that Light might make you good by natures but teenage girls are still teenage girls and they can be vicious.   She fits in less in a school full of people like her than at a normal school.  Her reputation has proceeded her.  Then again with her new found darkness, she is different.  Can she battle the darkness surrounding her, inside her, or will it destroy her light?

                Now even though this book made me cry my eyes out it was a great read.  Clearly I got invested in the characters and the story.  We have some wonderful new characters to get to know as well as a new place.  Some to like, some to hate, but that's the fun.  We also get to see through Llonas eyes how things are for most Auras.  She realizes that not only did their kind stop fighting, but they stopped taking care of themselves.  Waited on by Lizens, creatures she'd never before heard of, and finds there is yet again more she did not know.

                As she is at Lucent Llona stumbles into something evil, that maybe even she isn't strong enough to defeat.  As with the other book I really liked the characters and story but also the way McClellan is able to weave in subplots that have larger and deeper meanings.

                So with that in mind, I highly recommend these book. Both I give 5 Light Balls.  Have some tissues ready and be prepared to wait for the 3rd book, which you get a sneak peek of.  So yes check them out.  Fractured Soul comes out February 12th.  Already read them?  Tell me what you thought (any discussion on major spoilers feel free to e-mail me or IM me on I am always willing to discuss a good book.

Rating:  5 Light Balls

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

                Another book thanks to the wonderful NetGalley.  This is the first in a new series by Rhiannon Paille.  Surrender is a mystical tale of Kaliel and Krishani, both different than the others of their land, both unsure of what their prophesy mean for their future, and what love can do in a world where it is nothing but a long forgotten tale.

                So first this cover is not drop everything amazing but it is quite bright and noticeable.  Kaliel, or who I assume, standing holding purple flowers with the title above.  Not new but her striking appearance, so pale and  radiant with her white/blonde hair and a foresty background that matches her eyes and the hint of pointy ears tell of another world.  It made me curious anyways and the description of a great tree laying out your future is always intriguing.  Is everything predestined or do we make our own destiny?  That to me is a great idea and depending on the store I can go on either side or fall in the middle.

                Characters are a great part in the story as well and though I admit I sometimes found things a bit melodramatic, I still enjoyed it.  Don't worry it's not too over the top, more I liked how it played within the story.  Though from seeing both points of view it can be really frustrating when you know both sides and with they only knew what you knew.  Kaliel is a elfin girl who is awkward and different, which I think no matter how many times you see it is always something the general population can relate to.  She is scared of her future and after meeting Krishani, quite by accident, she finds herself with feelings she is unaccustomed to, as no one in Avristar is meant to fall in love.  Krishani on the other hand is a noble soul who is part of a brotherhood with a great prophecy hanging over his head, yet he never exceeds at anything.

                For me they both represent something within us all.  High hopes and pressure to live up to expectations of others, not knowing what your future holds, uncertainty of everything, even the one thing that makes you feel whole.  Good themes for me anyways.  Along with characters there is this new world of Avristar which was like its own character.  A word with its own creatures, rules, history, and most important a voice.  Some things are left unanswered, okay a lot, but it was only book one and I can see where it will show more as the story continues. 

For some reason it is called Flame of
on Banrnes and Noble
So here is the other cover I just saw.
 The romance and love in this book was innocently sweet.  A world where the people don't love, you marry the land and go to the Lands of Men to fight in the war.  You only take a mate if the land provides one.  SO when a chance encounter leaves two young ones caught in a web of mixed feelings and confusion.  When they meet again it is impossible to stay apart even with the best of intentions to stay true to their duties.  I liked the pull between them.  You have to wonder if no one loved and you only knew what you felt it would be a completely new experience with no one to really ask about it .  On top of that you are both already different from the others which adds to the magnetic connection.

Now aside from the having to wait aspect I also have one other little tidbit of concern.  I did receive the ARC of this and am unsure if the published copy (It came out Dec 4th), had this or not but I had an alternate ending on mine  Don't get me wrong the idea is intriguing but when there is another book to follow I'm not sure which one it will go from thus my slight concern.  I'm just going to go with the original ending and wait for book 2.

                Surrender is out and is for me a 4 purple flower book.  I liked it and would recommend it if any of the above sounded interesting to you, and am patiently waiting for the sequel.  Now have you already read it?  Want to read it?  Tell me what you think below.