The Beholder (Paranormal Fantasy, Book 1)

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Worlds of Light and Darkness are about to clash. And Jason will be in the thick of it. More

Available formats: epub, mobi

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Published: May 22, 2013
Words: 65,520
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301151981
About Ivan Amberlake

Ivan Amberlake is an urban/paranormal fantasy writer, member of Breakwater Harbor Books. In December 2009 he began writing his first novel "The Beholder" and in November 2011 it was selected for review by HarperCollins on

Ivan Amberlake is in the process of writing Book Two of The Beholder Series called "Path of the Heretic" and a Young Adult Horror/Fantasy called "Diary of the Gone".

Also by This Author


Review by: chucklesthescot on July 14, 2013 : star star star
*I was given a free copy of this book by the author via Goodreads in exchange for an honest review*

This book was unlike anything I have read before. It has subtle elements of urban fantasy, fantasy, paranormal, science fiction and thriller. It is impossible to decide where it fits and for that reason I think it should have a wide appeal. You don't have to be a big fan of any of these genres to enjoy the ride and that is pretty unique..I think I'd go 3.5 stars on this one if I could.

Jason's violent nightmares are causing him physical and mental pain and his world is turned upside when he discovers that he is gifted in the paranormal way. Being the key to survival against the dark shadows that seek to destroy him and humanity is scary when he doesn't even know his own powers. Trying to protect his friends and learn from the girl he is falling for complicates his life even further as he tries to help his allies fight their deadly enemy.

So what was good about it? Firstly, the language use is excellent-I cannot believe that the author does not have English as his first language! That is quite a gift to have and I was seriously impressed by it. The use of words is perfect for the plot and each situation. There are flowing descriptions that aren't too complicated, world building without huge info dumps, simple storytelling that carries you along and a plot that is always moving forward. The story is totally different featuring battles between gifted individuals using light and dark energy as weapons, which was a clever concept and worked well. The characters are all interesting but there is no attempt to tell you everything about them. I'm guessing that will happen over the course of the series. The love story part never detracts from the main plot and there are no sex scenes. Nice to see a lack of swearing as well.

I found it a little difficult to follow a couple of bits where energy was being described but I don't think that was down to the author, more down to my brain going blank when I'm presented with the science stuff! I never was a science nerd and it's a reason I struggle with science fiction. I think most readers will follow it much better than I did, to be honest. For me, there could perhaps have been a bit less about his feelings for Emily (and her frequently mentioned amber eyes), though to be fair, their relationship is mentioned in the book description and it is a minor niggle.

Overall I did enjoy the book and I recommend it to fans of pretty much every genre!
(review of free book)

Review by: catghost on June 21, 2013 : (no rating)
Not quite sure what it was about this book. It is well written and the plot is well paced. Its just that the story didn't quite gel with me. Judging by the previous reviews other people liked it a lot, so I guess its just personal preference
(review of free book)

Review by: Scott Toney on June 05, 2013 : star star star star star
The Beholder by Ivan Amberlake is such an exquisitely written urban fantasy novel, with well thought out description and a plot that easily transports the novel's fan base into Amberlake's realm.

The author takes his time introducing us to concepts created for his story, concepts that at times reflect concepts in The Matrix movies, and at times are something much more and extremely enjoyable. Amberlake takes his time, and yet we are instantly thrust into action, kept rapt as we read.

In the beginning of this book I encountered the main character, Jason, and as he was consumed by his nightmares and the horrors beginning to force their essence into his life, I found that I couldn't turn away. I sat for hours on my couch as the night drew on, and when I'd finally force myself to put down The Beholder I'd see that it was in the wee hours of the morning. I actually put down Tad Williams' Shadowmarch to read The Beholder, and I haven't returned to Tad yet, though I will soon. :)

Amberlake does an excellent job of melding plot, fantastical concepts, darkness and light with a love story between Jason and his very real feeling counterpart, Emily.

I was rapt til the end, and as I came to those final pages I found the concepts and design of the final two chapters to be my favorite of the book.

My suggestion is to pick up The Beholder now and take some time tonight to sit in your library, kick back, and enjoy. I look forward to reading the continuation of this story in the future. It is a great stand alone book, but I also can't wait to read more

Have a wonderful day!

(review of free book)

Review by: Jason Crawford on June 04, 2013 : star star star star star
The Beholder is a sterling example of what happens when an author introduces real people into a world which he/she has clearly envisioned. The characters are deep, real people with authentic motivations and desires; I wanted to follow Jason Walker on his journey of discovery, and I held my breath as he fell for the otherworldly Emily Ethan.

I did not feel that there was a wasted word in this book. I read it in about 2 and a half hours (I read fast, obviously) but a good chunk of that time was me being up waaaay too late :) Any author that can make me put off sleep for reading is doing something right. If you like anything by Neil Gaiman, you will appreciate Amberlake's "The Beholder." I look forward to reading more!

Jason P. Crawford
(review of free book)

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