on Aug. 31, 2011 :
It took me a little longer than normal to read this book, it was hard for me to get into the genre. It was well written, just not something that appeased to my interests as much.
(reviewed 27 days after purchase)
Melissa at 1000 Plus
on Aug. 15, 2011 :
Lila Howell is a gifted psychic who has been raised and trained by the Government to archive memories from the elders who lived in a time much different than the present.
In her current assignment Lila meets Susanne Newton, a very famous woman in her 90's who helped shape the Government that now seeks information they believe Susanne to be withholding.
Lila is torn between her way of life and the possible way of life Susanne presents to her. As Lila learns more from Susanne she becomes a threat to the very Government who employs her.
Lets Talk About It:
This book embodies the old quote 'Don't judge a book by it's cover'. I know we all are very guilty of this. Books with cool covers tend to get noticed more so than book such a this with a simple tasteful cover. But don't let this cover fool you.
Found between the pages of this book is a well written page turner. The characters are believable, the world created is a possibility of the future, the story is a classic love story where the good guys win.
Brandy Hunt promised a good read and you can consider the Promise Kept! I look forward to more work from this author. Check the links below for where you can find this book.
Reviewer for 1000 + Books to Read
(reviewed 7 months after purchase)
on July 20, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book. I have just really started reading this genre, at first I was a little confused but as I continued it became very good. I really enjoyed her characters also.
(reviewed 53 days after purchase)
on July 2, 2011 :
It’s the year 2187, Lila Howell works for the Security Ministry as an archival historian where she records the autobiographies of those who had lived through the passing. On her next assignment she is sent to interview Susanne Newton who is living in hospice with her best friend Larissa. Rumor has it that Susanne can name the Southern Dragon who supposedly defeated the last war lord, Heavenly Wind. The powers that be at the Security Ministry would like Lila to get that name. During the course of her interviews with Susanne, Lila begins to feel an attachment to Susanne and Larissa and they convince her not all is as the New Dawn government would have the citizens to believe.
This is a complicated book and not all that easy to read and understand. The book begins with a prologue that puts the events leading up to 2187 in order, which helps but the author has built a world that has all sorts of complicated laws mixed with a touch of the paranormal. Futuristic novels can be a bear to write, after all what will the future bring. Some are able to pull it off, some not. Ms. Hunt just couldn’t quite hit the mark. Like a lot of author’s she has chosen the path that there will be some high tech gadgets in the future, citizens will have very few freedoms and, of course, there will be rebellion. I couldn’t seem to get involved with the characters, Lila is a mousy sort of thing that takes everything she has been told and doesn’t dispute it. Susanne and Larissa have some mystery surrounding them and I did like them better than Lila. There were a number of supporting characters in the book, Lila’s best friend Ervin, Susanne’s nephew Kris, bad guys Aron Kirby and Brad Colon and a few assorted others that just seem to be along for the ride.
There were a number of editing errors in the book, even to point that Lila’s last name gets confused with someone else. The concept was not bad and there were moments that I thought, ahhh we are getting somewhere now, but they were few and far between. I didn’t hate the book, I was just glad when I finished it. I think with some good editing and little re-write there is promise here; it’s just not quite there yet.
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)
on June 30, 2011 :
I went into this book with my view that psychics are frauds, even though my wife believes in them. This book did keep me reading though and even though i may not have changed my mind on this topic, it did offer some thoughts to be entertained.
(reviewed 30 days after purchase)
on May 31, 2011 :
After the Passing, or the fall of the American government, a period of warlord rule was finally broken by the death of the last warlord and the establishment of the New Dawn government. Lives are heavily controlled, from food rations to intelligence tests for job placement. To avoid repeating the series of events that led to the breakdown of the previous government, archivists like psychic Lila Howell are sent to obtain "passings", or life stories, from the elderly who lived through the chaos. Susanne Newton, a legend in her own right, is Lila's latest assignment.
One of the interesting parts about this timeline is that the blandly stated chronological list is later fleshed out through Susanne's recording sessions. The "facts" themselves are dry, but her flashbacks lend them substance and feeling, allowing us to see what it was like living under near-starvation conditions and trying to establish a life for herself when few options were available. These scenes also serve the secondary purpose of offering insight into Susanne's character, allowing us to see her as a more than a cantankerous old woman.
Even more fascinating than this woman's life is the discordance between the New Dawn government and the rural homesteads. In many dystopian fantasies, controlling regimes are opposed by militant rebels or technological gurus. In Promise Kept, the source of trouble is the farms that are self-sustaining and have no need for New Dawn's offerings. The intricacies of this interplay are revealed as Lila tries to reconcile Susanne's stories with her upbringing in the government crèche. The internal conflict and eventual transformation remain my favorite aspect of this book.
Unfortunately, all is not sunshine and roses. The novel is heavily in need of editing, from redundancies within paragraphs to awkward, confusing sentences that had me wondering what the author was trying to say. Words were split unnecessarily (e.g. "straight forward" for "straightforward") and stilted dialogue made several passages painful to work through. There was even one instance in which Lila underwent an unintentional change in her last name.
The major plot twist was rather difficult to swallow given the world that the author had created up to that point. Equally befuddling was a sudden shift in Lila's personality at around the same time. In many ways, I felt as if I were suddenly reading a different book entirely. Luckily, some footing was regained by the end of the novel.
Promise Kept is a great story for fans of Robin Hood and the idea of the masses fighting a government that has grown too big for its britches. A word of warning, however: the entire book is written in Courier font, and I was unable to change it to something more aesthetically pleasing on my Kindle.
Stimulated Outlet Book Reviews
(Review copy provided by the author)
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on May 29, 2011 :
The year is 2187. Ever since the Passing, it's a whole new world, one that is comfortable to Lila Howell, but somewhat distasteful to Susanne Newton. Lila is a young archival historian who makes a living by using her psychic gifts to interview people at the end of their lives. This information is essentially used by forthe current government as intel. When Lila is assigned to interview Susanne Newton, Lila's confused. Susanne is not dying, and there's something suspicious about the work order. It seems that someone high up in the government is not being honest about the facts of this case. As Lila gets more involved in Susanne's story, Lila starts to make some surprising realizations that may have far-reaching implications. Suddenly, the New Dawn doesn't look so warm after all.
Almost immediately, the dystopian world described in this book reminded me a bit of Margaret Atwood's classic, "The Handmaid's Tale". Something about a new society without aggression, where everyone has a proper place and rules were made to be followed seemed familiar. I love "The Handmaid's Tale," so that was definitely a plus for me. This story is by no means a copycat, in fact, it's quite different, but the feel of the society is similar. When Lila was a child in the city, she was given by her parents to be raised in a Creche, and there she was tested to assess her talents and IQ in order to determine her rightful place in society. Those who don't live in the cities may live on farmsteads, and they are not yet under the control of the new government. Susanne comes from a farmstead, and she personally lived through the Passing. Her experience with some integral events makes her knowledge quite valuable to the current government.
I found the characters interesting; in particular, Susanne and Lila held my attention, and the development of their relationship kept me reading. Lila goes through some significant changes in her perspective of her society in his story, and those changes were worth reading. The story told by Susanne is riveting, and it's easy, yet somewhat terrifying, to imagine the world changing in the way she describes.
This is the first book by this author, and I think that showed. The book definitely needs another edit. The dialogue in the story often seemed much more stilted than expected, even with the idea that this was an entirely different, perhaps more "proper," time. There were also a number of inconsistencies in Lila's character, which made it somewhat confusing.Overall, what I liked best about this story was the concept. There really is an intriguing plot, and a thorough editing, along with some revising to maintain consistency and lend some additional maturity to the writing style, would go a long way. I especially loved the timeline provided right in the beginning, as it really sets up the story well. In fact, when I was finished with the book, I went back and read that timeline again, to make sure I caught all I needed to catch. In the course of the book, I would have liked to have seen some additional use of the psychic abilities of various characters, particularly Lila. Although it was difficult at first to engage in the book, by the end, I didn't really want to put it down until I found out what happened. The twist at the end left me scratching my head a bit, and gave me more questions than answers, but I know there's a sequel in the works, so perhaps they'll be answered there.
Read the full review at gracekrispy.com on the MotherLode book review blog
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
L. A. Wright
on March 20, 2011 :
Article first published as Book Review: Promise Kept by Brandy Hunt on Blogcritics.
In a history set in 2187, Lila Howell works as an archival historian. She works for the Security ministry, a part of the New Dawn Government also known as N. D. Her psychic abilities as well as her youth in a Crèche make her a commodity. She takes the autobiographies of those that lived through the passing. While the ministry continues to try to manipulate her, she has vowed she will never use her psychic abilities to hurt anyone. Her recent assignment leaves her concerned and confused. It is a bit unlike her previous orders, and signed by three different people, and unusual occurrence.
The woman she is to read is Susanne Newton, a woman in her nineties who worked and helped to found the New Dawn government. Someone is looking for information on the Southern Dragon. This is information suspected to be known by Susanne and is important to someone in the ministry. Lila finds herself intrigued with Susanne from the start. She is charismatic and has lived and amazing legendary life. Susanne is a farmsteader, whose best friend Larissa is with her in the home where she lives. In fact, Larissa has been involved with Susanne over the years, in both fortune and war. The stories from Susanne open her resolve and have her thinking about her own life and relation-ship with her family.
Second-guessing the quest, she finds that she herself has come under scrutiny by the very government she works for. She is being followed and her every move is being questioned. Who is the one known as the Southern Dragon and why would this very entity also aged into the nineties create such and effort at search. Lila finds herself at risk and yet as she continues her job, the more she learns the less she understands. Can she still get the information and protect Susanne, or will she have to disappear before her very life is no longer of value?
In Promise Kept by Brandy Hunt, the story is set in a world far in the future. A future that has changed and evolved over the millennium, and yet the farmer, or farmsteaders are those that maintain their freedom. Part of the change and yet able to withstand the winters and changing landscapes, even now they offer both hope and fear for the masses. Well developed, her characters are endowed with strengths as well as flaws, which draw you to them. They are likable and real, or the alternative, looking out for number one, not caring about others. This is much of what we see every day and it appears as though humanity remains much the same in this futuristic world.
Lila is a young woman with a gift that is valuable to the government. It lifts her from a life of drudgery, which is what many can only aspire too. The thing that the Ministry does not understand about her is that she has a strong sense of ethics. They can only push her so far. Susanne and her life brings out a spark in her that she did not know was missing.
Susanne herself is a wonderful and charismatic woman, a storyteller. But what interesting and amazing stories she tells. It is easy to forget her age as she brandishes her sword and battles the reevers and other dangers in the earlier times. Her friend Larissa is by her in every instance and story, both of them strong and courageous. Something we can all aspire too. The story is interesting and full of love and surprises, with an ending that will invoke envy.
I would have to recommend this book for reading and book clubs. It is both interesting and insightful, a book to grace anyone’s library, especially those that enjoy this genre.
This book was recieved as a free download from the author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.
(reviewed 39 days after purchase)