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on May 07, 2012 :
The Hollow of Mont Noir has a creative and intriguing premise. I loved the addition of an animal empath to the story's other supernatural element (of which I'm purposefully vague to avoid spoiling). Though a bit predictable in moments, I enjoyed how the story unfolded with mystery of Riordan's secrets and Allison's brother's disappearance. The story had a slow and steady pace and I was kept interested throughout.
The story is told in first person from Allison's point of view. I liked experiencing the story through Allison. She is mature and strong, gracefully dealing with both big problems like her missing brother and the normal high school drama of mean girls and lost friendships. While I liked Allison, I missed the dynamic element of character growth in the plot. I also felt that the book did not have a YA voice. It's very much an adult telling the story and I was disappointed in that.
Riordan, our hero, was a great character I enjoyed getting to know. I loved the creativity that went into building his world, though I had trouble buying why he was sent to Mont Noir and the lack of communication with his parents.
The other characters in the book are equally likable. I appreciated the focus on Allison's parents, their relationship and how their son's disappearance affected them. Their relationship was really well done. Even smaller characters, like the gym teacher, were given background stories. I didn't like the addition of Allison's ex-boyfriend and former best friend's "situation" at the end. It seemed to say "bad things happen to bad people" and felt spiteful. Hopefully that "situation" (sorry, trying not to spoil!!!) comes into play in book #2 and wasn't as nonsensical as it seemed.
The Hollow of Mont Noir was an enjoyable read. I did feel the author tended to tell rather than show the reader what was happening. This slowed down the pace and gave us a more passive heroine. Regardless, I had fun reading this book and will continue with the series when the next book comes out.
This cover has great beginnings, but could benefit from some tweaking. I love the individual elements, but would suggest each be enlarged. Also, a higher resolution jpg is a must.
Read more of my reviews at:http://knowntoread.blogspot.com/
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 13, 2012 :
Oh the horrors of moving from one city to another right before starting your senior year in high school. Trust me when I say it isn't fun (because I've experienced it). However, I've never experienced moving for the purpose of locating a missing brother. Regardless, I thought this quirky tale was a great read!
The beginning starts out a little slow because we're receiving a lot of background knowledge that kind of explains what Allison's family believes happened to Logan and how it's caused them to end up in Mont Noir. Allison's life is just like the average teenager's life, and I enjoyed reliving the new-girl-high-school experience (and I'm glad it wasn't me reliving it). Allison meets some interesting characters, but there's one boy that pretty much draws Allison's (and therefore the reader's) attention. I loved the mystery surrounding Riordan and the romance that sparks between the two. And then we get the added bonus of paranormalness, and I really enjoyed how it played out. The only question I was left with is what caused Riordan to be so attracted to Allison. And maybe the beauty's in the mystery or maybe there's some underlying reason that we find out about later (or maybe I'm just a little too caught up in this tiny portion of the story).
If you liked Twilight, then you'll most definitely enjoy this read. I imagine those that liked Shiver might like this as well (I wasn't a huge fan of Shiver, so I might be wrong). It's a good paranormal romance with a happy ending. And I'm glad there will be a second one coming.
Let me leave you with a quote from the book that I absolutely loved:
Hope is a vampire, relentless and evil.
It slowly sucks the life out of you while it lives on,
lurking in the shadows, waiting to feast on your soul.
-Hollow of Mont Noir, p 3
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 13, 2012 :
This is not a fast paced, edge of your seat read. But it is still interesting nonetheless. The story starts off telling us about Allison's unique ability to sense animals. She can tell you what species it is and what it's feeling. She calls it her 'Crittervision'. I thought that was a pretty cute name for it :). And then it tells us about her older brother Logan who has suddenly disappeared into thin air. The rumor is that he ran away with his girlfriend. The police and pretty much ruled it as such, and aren't really putting to much work into hunting him down. Allison's parents decide to take matters into their own hands by moving closer to where he disappeared and conducting their own search and investigations. The place the move to is called the Hollow of Mont Noir. Allison is pretty upset because, it's a tiny town with nothing in it, in the middle of nowhere. Plus it's her senior year, and she has to leave all her friends and her boyfriend behind to spend her last year of high school with a bunch of people she doesn't know. I sympathized with her, but at first I found her to be a little annoying. I thought she seemed a bit spoiled and bratty. She would talk about how it was all her brother's fault for disappearing, that she has to leave her city and shopping malls and her boyfriend/friends. But my opinion of Allison changed dramatically as the story progressed.
It turns out, Allison is actually a really wonderful person. She is someone I would want to be friends with. The number one thing I like about her, is that she does not let the opinion of others effect her own in any way! She makes her own opinions and if that goes against the majority, well that's the way it is. If all her friends thought some song was lame, but she liked it, she would rock it out without a second thought. The best example of this, is when she moves to her new school there is a boy named Riordan who the entire school has pretty much exiled. She decides she is not going to let everyone decide for her whether she will like this person. She gives him the benefit of the doubt and finds herself a new best friend, and eventually, head over heels. Another thing about Allison is how she cares for people no matter what. She encounters these people who could be the ruin of all her happiness, but yet she treats them with respect and cares for them. She also has a fierce determination to protect those she loves, and the need to take care of her friends/family. So needless to say, in the end I really loved Allison, I respected her and really enjoyed reading the story from her point of view.
Almost immediately upon arriving at their new home in Mont Noir, Allison can feel this animal presence that she can't identify, which is very strange for her. Not only can she not tell what kind of animal it is, the emotions it's giving off are something like resent, and anger. What could the mystery animal be? And why is it emitting emotions that she doesn't normally pick up from animals? You'll find out when she eventually comes head to head with said animal.
It's not really an action packed, eventful, story. But it has a nice pace and flow, enough to make you want to continue reading. We've got Allison's new animal trouble, the hunt for her missing brother, and a love interest with a boy who just doesn't seem to like people in general. But Allison does eventually break through to him, only to discover a world shattering secret about him, and the world around her. I really enjoyed the relationship between Allison and Riordan. We got to watch it grow and develop, instead of instant attraction and obsession. The connection was very intimate without being physically intimate. And they both felt so very protective of each other. Towards the end of the book the action really picks up. And at that point I really couldn't put the book down. It was a nice, gentle read, that went out with a bang!
If you like supernatural and romance, you will probably enjoy this story. I am not going to tell you what supernatural elements it packs, because I went into it without knowing and it was a fun surprise. I want it to be one for you to. I want to say a big thank you to Jennifer Krey for sending me a copy of her book and letting me read/review it!
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on April 12, 2012 :
I absolutely love being pleasantly surprised by books and authors that I'm not familiar with and I am pleased to say this was one of those times.
The Hollow of Mont Noir was so well written. Everything flowed together so nicely that I quickly found myself getting caught up in the story and immediately liking the main character, Allison. She was a strong character that took things in stride with a lot of bravery to back up her choices and decisions. I liked watching her grow throughout the book and I really can see her becoming a kick butt character in future installments.
Riordan was awesome and such a great character as well. Even though early on it was pretty obvious who and what he was and even what had happened to Logan, Allison's brother, the story line held my attention and I found myself wanting more.
This whole book had something of a Twilight feel to it but yet it has originality and wasn't a generic copy. Although I do think that Twilight lovers will really enjoy this one as well as those that want something different from Twilight (and even those that didn't enjoy Twilight) I think will like this one too.
I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Krey is a very talented writer and she has a new fan in me. I plan on reading the whole of this series and I can see it quickly becoming a favorite.
I give this one a very solid 4.5 Stars!!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on March 27, 2012 :
One of the best thing about being a book blogger is getting to read books I maybe otherwise wouldn't have known about or wouldn't have selected on my own. I love reading. I'm grateful to Jennifer Kray for sending me her book to read through. She is so generously offering up an e-copy of her book here for a giveaway too. :) Thanks, Jennifer.
So, let me first say, I liked The Hollow of Mont Noir. It was easy to read and get into. Allison is an unusual girl with an unusual ability. I really had to appreciate her kindness and desire to treat others with respect even when she didn't feel like it. Allison is an easy character to like.
As I was reading I had a few "Twilight-ish moments". Some things in this story were just very similar to Twilight. I'm not saying that is good or bad, it just is. The main make character reminded me of Edward because of his very proper way of speaking and his formal way of presenting himself. He is untouchable and unapproachable at school. Then we have the wolf aspect. Allison has a visitor in her room at night and leaving early before the parents can catch wind. Allison also gets it in her mind that she wants to be "turned" and seems determined to find out how the process happens and who can do it. See what I mean? A few Twilight-ish elements.
I found the Allison's whole family dynamic interesting. When her brother goes missing, her parents do whatever they think it takes to search for their son. It had me wondering what I would do in a similar situation. Her parents have different ways of coping and I just found it interesting. Allison sort of gets lost in their preoccupation with finding their son.
There are obviously a lot of unresolved issues in this book and I am really looking forward to reading the next book in this series to see where everything is going to go. Even for all those unresolved issues though, I still felt like I had some resolution at the end of the book. I didn't feel like I had been left hanging out off a cliff. That was nice.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on March 09, 2012 :
I don't normally read fiction especially of the young adult supernatural romance variety but I found this to be really, really good! It is perfect for fans of Twilight and True Blood. I thought the dialogue was great. The plot developed at a fast past and kept your interest throughout and I found myself wanting even more of the High School drama. I'm already hoping for a spin-off in addition to the ongoing series! All-in-all, this is a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend it!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)