on Feb. 8, 2013 :
never would have picked this book off the shelf, not being a big fan of alternate worlds, but WOAH am I glad I did! This book was wonderful. Haley wakes on her 17th birthday to her typical day, nothing new, except she learns her adoptive mother knew her parents and knows where she is from. After the usual events of her day at school, Haley is catapulted into another world - the world she is originally from. Here she finds she holds the fate of the planet in her hands. She must unite the stones in order to bring harmony back to the world. Only one problem - she only has one stone, she needs to find the other three, there are people out to get her to keep the power to themselves, and oh yeah - she is on another planet where she knows nothing!
What an exciting read to go through it all with Haley, Tuggin, Ian, and Tanner. I can't wait to read the second book in the series to see how Haley completes her task.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
on Feb. 1, 2013 :
Haley is a typical junior in high school who finds out on her seventeenth birthday that she actually isn't so typical after all--there's more to who she is than she could have ever imagined. Falling through a portal, she ends up in another world.
I thought the idea behind the story was really creative--gods of the elements begin fighting, and this is what begins the global climate change on Earth, while the people on Earth are making it worse. This idea was what drew me to read this book in the first place, and I thought it was an original and interesting idea. The synopsis definitely made me want to find out more.
In the first half of the book, not a lot happens--mostly there's set up of the story, introduction of the characters, many mentions of events in the past before the book begins, but it was a slow buildup for me. From halfway through the book to the end, however, I was riveted. There was plenty of action and suspense to keep me hooked. If the first half of the book had been as exciting as the second half and not been so slow, I would have rated it higher.
Haley is spunky and tough, and I really liked her. She was the only character I felt I really got to know. There weren't many characters that I connected with--there isn't much background given for any of them, and I would have liked to know more about each of them, especially Tuggin, the other main character. I want to know more about him and what makes him tick. I did like how I was kept in suspense along with Haley--who should she trust? Who is lying to her? Who is telling the truth? This could be why the characters weren't more fleshed out--if they had been, it might have killed the suspense.
So much information was introduced in this book that it was difficult for me to keep up with all of the names for the different places and characters and had to keep looking back for reference. There are a few things I'm still confused about, for instance, why the gods began fighting and what happened to the stones. I'm hoping for some answers in the next book. I was happy with the way this book ends and suprised by the way it ends. It sets up perfectly for the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through an ARR group on Goodreads.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Jan. 11, 2013 :
Holy Cow!!! I can’t believe how caught up I was in this book. I admit that at the beginning I had a chapter or two wondering where this novel was headed, but then I could not put the book down. Ibitz has a writing style that immerses you into the action of the story. I wanted to run out and help the characters with their various trials. His descriptions make all of the different areas of the realm seem so real. Everything flows together to create a dynamic reading experience for his audience.
There is an entirely new mythology developed with this story. It comes complete with gods and demi-gods vying for power. Each god has their own realm within the world that is not only symbolic. The lands ruled by these gods each has distinctive features marking them. Ibitz’s very interesting explanation of global warming definitely gives you something to think about.
I absolutely loved the characters. They are all well developed and seem like real people. Oh, some of them are mysterious, not giving away too many details, but they are not flat characters. Ibitz also manages to develop characters that give off a definite creepy vibe. His characters face real world dilemmas while on their very interesting journeys. The main character is constantly fighting against a feeling of not belonging anywhere, which is something faced by so many teens. She also learns that being yourself and staying true to your beliefs is more important than being accepted by the so-called “popular” crowd. I definitely felt for her when she was rejected by one of the “hall gods”, but was still left wondering if maybe, just maybe, they might get together in a future novel. The dialogue was also very appropriate for the various characters. I absolutely loved the fact that each of the Eyidoran races have their own distinctive speech patterns.
I cannot believe how well put together this novel was. Ibitz is an amazing storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. I cannot wait to read the next installment. Strong Blood, here I come.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)