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Louis Eliopoulos is an architect/engineer and artist who lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two daughters.
on Dec. 21, 2013 :
Nice read... more than a bargain for the price (i got the holiday discounted 99 cent copy). I give it 4 stars compared to "real" professional authors (ie those who write for a living). Compared to the typical Smashwords garbage, this is easily 10 stars. Refreshing to find one of the rare few authors on this site that not only can spell, but have a good command of English, employ symbolism and metaphor and develop their characters.
Now for the story:
This turns out to be a rewrite, or rather fleshing out of the Rapunzel story after she is banished from the tower by the witch. The author briefly mentions the familiar fairy tale, worked in as memories of the characters and focuses on their lives before and after those events. We first meet the young prince, a childish and spoiled teen, and are introduced to the "smallish" kingdom which seems to have a medieval Germanic vibe to it, based on names and descriptions. We then meet Zel, already pregnant, and right away the witch goes postal on the teens, casting them out to die alone and separated. Each though is rescued by faeries, who with a quick google search you find have an ancient greek vibe... they are all named after obscure nature goddesses and muses, except for the warrior types who are all named after ancient weapons. We follow each character separately as they face their own ordeals and how they cope; being inexperienced teens, they exhibit the "drama-queen" emotions that all teens act out. The blind prince becomes obsessive, convinced he is madly in love and must endure pain as some sort of penance for being a douche; Zel is the clueless girl who takes every day as it comes, unaware of what normalcy is. They reunite and things are great, but under the surface their old habits start to bubble. The prince realizes she wasn't so obsessed about him while they were apart, she is only now realizing just how dumb she is about the ways of the world. While the teen drama unfolds, the faeries are plotting to coerce them into certain choices... following the letter of their "sacred codes" but not the intent. They are basically politicians trying to convince the teens they are making their own decisions. But within the faery realm, there are two factions: one that wants the teens to be manipulated into friendship because of their unique powers, the second wants them dead cause they are afraid of those powers. There are a few chapters of magic battles and monster fighting, but in a weird way they are there to move the story along, as opposed to "typical" books/tv that are all about explosions and fighting, and the dialogue is the filler in between.
We are introduced to new major characters late in the book, and the ending is abrupt. The book is pretty much stand-alone, but obviously intended as part of a series.
It occurs to me that a good way to summarize it is to imagine if Star Wars (A New Hope) was cut into pieces, this would be like watching from the opening space battle, all of the Tatooine parts, the Cantina, everybody hopping onto the Millenium Falcon, and flying off into space.... and then stopping there. Nothing spectacular happened, a few cool scenes, but mostly character setup. Presumably, and hopefully, the author gets to the "main" story in book 2.
(reviewed the day of purchase)