Yllektra V.


I'm just a girl from Greece who enjoys reading - sometimes too much for her own good (see exhaustion and lack of free time)- and likes to let herself be carried away by her imagination, writing Fanfiction and original fiction in both Greek and English.

Where to find Yllektra V. online

Smashwords book reviews by Yllektra V.

  • Woof on May 17, 2011

    I thought it was a really enjoyable story. The description was good and it built up the suspense, which I love! :) I don't know how his family didn't wake up sooner, but overall it was a scary story anyone would enjoy.
  • Guardian Vampire on May 18, 2011

    The premise of this book is a good one. The plot is solid and there is a twist at the end that makes it interesting. The characters were likeable, the two protagonists at least (Kendall and Logan) and you really enjoyed reading about them. Overall, I would have to say that it was a fun read with lots of action and romance on the side. However, I have to admit that I was expecting a bit more in terms of description and execution in general. It is not that it was poorly written, because there were only a few grammatical or spelling mistakes, but the way the descriptions unfolded was a bit over-simplistic and well it lacked the depth that would make me connect to the characters feelings and pains throughout the story. Some things were just happening too fast and the characters were just brushing them off like it was nothing, while they were life-changing. For example, I would definitely be in shock if anything like what happened with Kendall and her father had happened to me, but Kendall just brushed it off the very next day. I get that it is a short story but if we had a little more elaborating on the situations and the thoughts/emotions, it would have made it all the more exciting and interesting for me. But that is just me and like I said, all in all it was a good story.
  • The Curse Girl on May 19, 2011

    I love loved loved this book! I was really taken aback from how much I came to care about both Will and Bee. They really were a beautiful couple. When Bee agreed to sacrifice herself for the well-being of her family, due to her father's stupid mistake, all she could feel was terror. Everyone knew about the Cursed house and the beast that lived in it. Some said the Beast even ate children. Some said it was a real beast, a terrible, appalling creature of cruelty and hideousness. But what Bee saw in that place was a haughty, bad-tempered boy,Will, who had lived in the curse and misery too long to still have feelings or care about anything. She tried to warm up to everyone else in the house, his sister Rose, the Housekeeper, the Butler...but life inside the house seemed dull and well...lifeless. She needed to go out, get back to her boyfriend, Drew, and her friends, but Will wouldn't cooperate. Her only consolation was making origami (something her grandmother had taught her) and Liam, a man trapped from the curse of the house as well. Lonely and in pain. In so much pain that she had to hold his hand throughout the night, in the dark, not even knowing what he looked like. It takes days, months to finally warm up to Will and get his help to break the curse. Months that, to her horror, could translate into years to the outside world.... She gets to know the Land of the Fey, magic, spells, the trickery of elves and so much more. Plus the romance and its development was quite plausible and sweet. There were like 6-7 spelling/gramm. mistakes throughout but it didn't deprive from the story. Totally worth your time. I can't wait for her next book "A Sky Without Stars" to come out. It has a bit of a dystopia feel to it and I think I love it already! XD
  • The Mark on May 22, 2011

    It was quite fun! I think some of the parts that were a bit unrealistic would be a lot better, had this been longer!
  • Illicit Magic (Book 1, Stella Mayweather Series) on May 22, 2011

    This was a great start to a new series. Stella Mayweather is a 24-year-old woman who has grown up in foster care and is searching for her place in the world. Life has been even more difficult for her, because accidents keep happening around her, to people that threaten her or make her afraid, which of course caused her to change several foster families. Not that she can really control it, but her reputation as a "witch" on account of that, is more literal than she would think. Stella is reluctant to believe that she is really a witch, a person that can make bookcases drop on you if you touch her (:P), but the mere thought of that has her retreat into herself, her world. She is a loner and no one pays her any attention. She moves from temp job to temp job, maintaining a less than mediocre apartment and her life is a bore. Everything changes, however, when one afternoon as she gets off work, she realizes that she is being chased by a group of men who have murder on their mind. Even more than that, Stella understands that the long string of murders all over England isn't a coincidence. There's a reason they are burning women alive. The Brotherhood - a group of people hating Witches and everything supernatural - is set on killing every last one of them all around the world and now they are after her. Seeking refuge in her apartment, after a shocking manifestation of her Shimmering power, Stella is whisked away to USA by Etoile, a fellow witch sent by the Witch Council to save her. Stella is brought in front of the Council,introduced to a society of witches, men and women with magic, acquired or inherited, she never knew existed. After an attack at their very shelter, she is once more taken away to a secluded house by the sea, which is used as a "School", where young witches are trained. It is there that she makes her first friends, among them- apart from Etoile- Mark, Meg, Kittie, Seren, Christy, Clara, Jared, David etc and most importantly Evan. But are they enough to guide and protect her when there's a killer after her who isn't afraid to use magic? Could it be the Brotherhood - though they loathe magic?- or is there something more sinister after her? I adored the story. It was both original, in its execution, and compelling. The pace of the story was good, although, I have to admit that it felt a little slow in the beginning. The situations were believable and you could really connect with Stella and the other characters. They all took a life of their own and as soon as I read on, I was hooked on finding out what was going to happen next. The story is written as a first person narrative, with Stella being our guide and after the first couple of chapters, it really grew on me. At first, I felt a little detached because Stella felt a little stiff to me even in her fear, but later on I got a feel of her character and I appreciated her need for both independence and belonging. The romance in the book was superb. Both Marc and Evan were yummie, although I have to admit that I liked Evan from the start. Marc seemed too aloof in a "running hot and cold" kind of way, that I didn't find appealing. His character was very nice though and he had a lot of drama in his life. The ending - though unfair (I know she needed to feel connecter but snif) - really made me wish I had the second book in my hands right NOW! :P In a nutshell: Read it now!!!
  • The Dream on May 23, 2011

    This was quite fun and chilling!! Loved the descriptions!
  • Cursed Love on May 23, 2011

    Cute and lovely and very nicely written!
  • The Legend of the Morning Star on May 24, 2011

    This was intense and adorable. Well worth a read!
  • Loose Lips Sink Ships on May 26, 2011
    (no rating)
    I just have to say that the title is just brilliant! I couldn't stop laughing!! This sounds amazing! XD
  • Malakh on May 31, 2011

    Malakh by Sharon Gerlach is a compelling read. Her portrayal of Angels reminded me a little of Nalini Singh - and God knows I love her Guild Hunter Series. There was so much to love about this book. Despite its shortness, you could actually get a feel of the characters and care for them. Suzanne was a great heroine. I totally sympathized with her overwhelming sorrow over the loss of her angelic lover, because like she says in the book, who could really set eyes on such a creature of immense beauty and fall in love? The pace was quite good and the adventure part was also satisfying. Although, I have to admit I realized who was the killer halfway through the story, it still made an awesome read.
  • Deadlands on June 02, 2011

    Wow, wow, wow!! There are no words to express how much I loved this!!! I totally adored the world the author created and the wonderful descriptions and the post-apocalyptic, dystopian world reminded me so much of Lilith Saintcrow's The Dante Valentine Series(which is one of my favorites)and her writing in general. I fell in love with Vanya and Alexander and all characters were very distinct and lovable in their imperfection. It was explained from the beginning that Vanya and Alexander needed each other. They complemented each other and they were a match for each other even in terms of power. I found the description of Vanya's feelings towards him and when they finally "touched" each other compelling. I was mesmerized by the whole story of the Gene Wars and how the world/society had descended into chaos and imbalance. It was really easy to understand what was going on, how the world was separated and what kind of creatures there were now and that was a major feat for the author to do so in such a short story. The plot was easy to follow, the feelings and motivations of the characters were clearly defined and the ending was very good...Although I'd love a sequel! XD In one word: Awesome if you love Necromancer stories. Like Vanya says in the book: "Every Breath brought me Alexander's scent; sharp, slightly dusty, like the inside of a temple. Oh, how I wanted to worship" I worship! XD
  • Haven: The Beginning on June 07, 2011
    (no rating)
    Fun read. Fast and exciting, although, I have to admit I would have liked it more if it were a bit longer at times, because it would feel more complete.
  • Little Gods on June 09, 2011

    This was such a fun read!! It really should have been longer or maybe we could have a sequel? Both Rhiannon and Luke are adorable and I just loved the universe/world she created with a quirky mix of fantasy and mythology. Wonderful story!!!
  • Meet me at Midnight / Moon Light Walker on Sep. 18, 2011

    I started reading this because I thought it sounded interesting and it was. The story was quite sweet, not overly cliche and generally fun. Both Kloe and Carson are likable and Molly and Ambre are cute characters as well. It moved fast and kept you intrigued, but I have to admit that there were a few things that seemed a bit off - mind you they weren't too distracting. For example, Kloe is a couple weeks shy of 19, yet at some point she says that Molly - who was 17, was ok to hang out with because she was mature for her age... They were only a year and a half apart...that's hardly a reason for Kloe to feel so much more mature that Kloe. Then, Kloe and Carson immediately felt drawn to one another and in a couple of days realized they were meant for each other. This was a bit far-fetched, but I guess Carson had been through a lot with Carlee and we still don't know exactlywhat Kloe is and what her powers are - if any (although her witch powers have been bound), so maybe that could explain it in the next book. Then again, it is "young love" and we know how instantaneous it could be, so I guess it is not that unrealistic. XD Other than that and the fact that it could really be a lot longer for us to immerse ourselves in the story and really get invested in it, it still was an intriguing, fun story anyone would enjoy.
  • Dragon's Pupils - The Sword Guest (Dragon's Pupils Series Book 1) on Oct. 01, 2011

    I think this is between 3 and 3 1/ stars for me. The story takes place mostly in Australia - although we do get to see a bit of China as well and it involves primarily three fourteen-year-old kids, twins Liz and Henry and their friend Sue and of course their families. Out of the three, Liz seems to be the most driven, especially when it comes to the environment and protecting it and of course Tai Chi. Early on in the book, we find out that all three of them are "activists" despite their young age and take part in protests seeking to prevent a mining process to an Australian Landmark, Wave Rock. What they don't know though, is that Wave Rock is not just a landmark, it's what kept the "monsters away" and now there's a "hole" through which they can escape their prison. When her father gives Liz a special calligraphy pen for her birthday, she feels there's something special about it, what exactly she can't tell, but when strange things start happening around Perth and weird people with backpacks and torches appear with more than hostile intentions and even vampire characteristics, Liz realizes that it's her destiny set in motion. The three kids are attacked by those strangers and it's their Tai Chi instructor that rescues them, manifesting amazing skills in battle and magic. She is injured, however, but before she "ascends", she manages to magically give them fighting experience and knowledge they need for the upcoming war. She also gives Henry and Sue powerful magical weapons, a sword and magical rings. Through their lessons with Li Ping, their extraordinary female Tai Chi instructor, all three have already mastered not only fighting techniques but also breathing and meditation routines that significantly enhance their strength, agility and speed beyond their fourteen years or even their human nature. Gradually, they find out that the strange men are intruders from USB (Universe of Supreme Beings) with superior technology and powers and the only thing that can help them destroy them is Tai Chi and the Qi power within them, which they can only harness and utilize because they get help along the way. Sound complicated? It is, but in a good way. The novel is packed with action. It's page after page of movement and something new and interesting. The plot flows swiftly and the characters are well defined and believable. Liz's character and Henry's is consistent throughout,with Liz being impulsive, yet heroic and strong-willed and Henry being level-minded and strong. It is Sue's character that comes full circle by the end of the book though. She starts of how you'd imagine a 14-year-old girl, somewhat shallow (she wants to be a fashion model) and easily scared, but loyal to her friends and by the end of the books, she takes her friendships to the next level, by actually putting her life on the line to save her friends, even if it could cost her her life's dream too. The novel is filled with Chinese proverbs and stories and one is more interesting than the other - if somewhat cryptic and vague - it's gradually within the book that we understand what each one means and what its usefulness is in the battle against the monsters. The description of the battles and the fight sequences is detailed and very exciting and these alone really get you into the story. I really enjoyed the scenes with the Monster King and the challenges the kids had to complete in order to be released, got a bit of a "Doomsday" vibe out of it. What I enjoyed the most is that it seems that the book seems to target more of a younger reading group, but in it there are useful and meaningful life messages having to do with the importance of friendship, patience, family, love and many other things. On the other hand, I have to admit that sometimes the ending of the fight and the resolution of some scenes seemed a bit too easy (i.e. the monsters ending a fight) and Liz, Henry and Sue had a lot more freedom than most fourteen-year-olds usually have. They are out of the house a lot and I mean a lot and we don't have scenes of their parents looking for them or questioning them about it. Also, when Liz and Henry's father ends up in the hospital, they don't pay a lot of attention to him, they are away all the time and their mother is nowhere to be found (she isn't depicted to cook for them or ask where they are). Also, at some point Liz talks to Sue's mother on first-name basis which I thought was unusual for a 14-year-old towards an adult, but maybe it's something usual in Australia. (it's not very usual in Greece, though, so maybe that's why it seemed weird to me). Overall, though, it is a very entertaining book, one will truly enjoy and have fun with, not only because of the exciting battles and Tai Chi techniques, but also for the real-life lessons and the wonderful insight into the Chinese culture. * Offered by the author for an honest review.
  • The Proposal (An April Fools Day story) on Nov. 01, 2011

    A quite short and fun read! I really enjoyed it! :)
  • Assumptions on Nov. 02, 2011

    The book follows Will Emerson Jr and Jordyn Quig, as they look for an ancient artifact, the Book of Raziel, that is a book believed to be written by the Archangel Raziel containing all the knowledge in the world and for that priceless. It holds the power to do both good and evil and should it fall into the wrong hands it would mean...well the Apocalypse. Will's parents are archaeologists, always traveling around the world, mostly Jerusalem where Will spend his summers and met several archaeology-related vips like professors etc. His mother disappeared when he was little leaving him alone with his father, who was hardly in the book...being incessantly busy. Jordyn on the other side, grew up with her father, a rich and famous video-game developer, since her mother abandoned her when she was very little. Throughout the book she seems fed up with the attention her father's name attracts to her and finds the people who approach her for this, shallow and distasteful. When she signs up to Will's school, she is immediately approached by the popular clique, a company of teens who are cocky, rude and ridicule people who are there on a scholarship criticizing their lack of money and their need to wear second-hand clothes. Both Will and Jordyn rise to the occasion, Jordyn by defending and befriending such a girl, Deirdre and Will by not succumbing to Logan's insults. I found Will's faith and courageous bravery quite refreshing and the scene in which he has just gotten beaten up and recites the part of the bible where it says to turn the other cheek, quite striking. The plot flows easily and even though in the beginning it is a bit vague and you are not sure what is going to happen, a few chapters in you understand that it is all about the Book of Raziel and how people, both good and evil look for it all for their own selfish reasons. The writing style was very good, as it was descriptive enough to pull you in and make you "picture" things, and loose enough not to burden you with unnecessary details that would clutter your mind. I have to admit though that the ending was a surprise to me. I could really see how it could end like that for Will, since he was a deeply religious person who had suffered a loss and carried feelings of loss and longing to find his mother again, but for Jordyn I'm not so sure. The scene between her and Oisin was a bit far-stretched for me. I mean the whole "Love forever" thing felt a bit arbitrary to me and I didn't feel it. They had only interacted like thrice? I could see the whole thing about the grace of God and all, but it just didn't do it for me in her case. That being said, I have to admit that I was a sucker for the relationship between Jordyn and Will and I loved the platonic/friendship aspect of it. It is one of the rare cases where I am completely fine with the two protagonists not being a couple too. All their scenes were satisfying and engrossing and you could really enjoy the warmth and intimacy of their relationship too, which speaks volumes for the author's skills. Give this book a try you wont regret it! XD
  • Forbidden on Nov. 21, 2011

    Roseline Enescue is just a 17-year-olg girl in Romania in 1689, when her father orders her to marry the wealthy Vladimir Enescue, brother to the equally wealthy and equally sadistic Lucien Enescue. Lured in by their wealth her father can't deny giving Roseline's hand, but he comes to regret it as he, along with all guests at the wedding are killed by the two monsters of brothers. Not even her little sister, Adela, isn't spared by their homicidal rampage and Roseline, having seen everyone she loves murdered in front of her eyes, has no choice but to comply to Vladimir's wishes, but not before she is killed and turned into a vampire like them. This actually is the opening scene of the book and it is fast and exciting, really urging you to bond with the heroine in her struggle to save her loved ones and herself, alas you already know, just like she does, that there's no chance of that. Then over 300 years later, Roseline, sees a way out, a chance to escape and she seizes it, knowing that if she fails to get away, she will suffer Vladimir's wrath once again, because she has tried this before, but it has never worked. Still, she gives it her whole and eventually she finds herself in the United States, posing as a 17-year-old girl (because that's the age she looks), going to a somewhat exclusive school, trying to go undetected, never attracting attention to herself. During her time there, though, she is befriended by the eccentric Sadie and her brother William, knowing very well that with her being Immortal, her looks are by default mesmerizing to humans causing them to be attracted to her. Consequently, she doesn't go as undetected as she would like to, but she tries. She is buried in some kind of comforting routine till Gabriel, the school's star student and athlete and most sought-out boyfriend is smitten by her, and an exchange student from Romania, Nicolae, comes to stay with Sadie and William. Nicolae keeps staring at her and it's not long before he reveals to Rose that he knows who she is and what she is, and that he is there to check up on her. Rose doesn't know in what capacity, but she is afraid that Vladimir knows where she is and Gabriel chasing after her all the time doesn't help one bit. Now, it sounds a little cliche or rather like something that's been described before, but the story finds ways to be original and refreshing. I really liked that the book started the way it did, because it was fast and it immediately drew you in and made your heart beat a little faster. It was told in a smart way in the sense that in the first chapter, you already know why Roseline was running, who and what she was and why it was instrumental that she get away, making you feel like you already knew her and really ready to become invested in the actual story to start in the following chapter. Actually, the majority of the book's most important characters was really introduced in the first chapter, although Sadie, William, Gabriel and Nicolae were introduced later on. The characters were quite diverse without coming off as caricatures, which was really good. Even Sadie, with her continuously changing wardrobe and make-up going through punk, goth, bad girl and Christian phases didn't come across as fake, while all characters were not good or bad, black or white. There were shades of gray which is the way it seems to me in real life. It is important that the characters seem real and plausible without being too saccharine or "perfect". Rose isn't perfect either. She has been through a lot, but she is not a little lamb, nor is she a hyena (as a vampire). She is a person with her faults and shortcomings, never, however giving up the attempt to become a better person. Gabriel isn't a jock or a perfect guy either. The characters get mad, yell, lose their patience, laugh, fall in love and act crazy just like they would in real life and that's the best aspect of the book. The writing is not exactly factual, nor overly decorative. I think it's a nice balance between the two and it makes reading the book quite entertaining. I also liked the fact that even though there is an aspect of insta-love between Rose and Gabriel, it is not pursued in a rushed way and Roseline doesn't trip all over herself in order to avoid or chase the charming human boy. Throughout the chapters it feels like Rose really lives her life in a normal way not changing dramatically just because of Gabriel (although why she run away towards the end I'll never understand). Gabriel is more smitten than she appears to be and faster than her, but he is a teenage boy so hormones and their "bond" can quite explain that. I have to admit that I didn't see a few twists around the end coming and it was a welcome surprise as for the most part of the book we didn't see or hear from Lucien and Vladimir again, letting us enjoy Rose's new life but also making us wonder what was going to happen. On the other hand, there were some aspects of book that left me wanting a little. For the most part we did get to see what Immortals were. They were more than humans. Stronger, faster, prettier and intellectually superior in certain ways as they lived history and did not just read about it. I quite enjoyed the twist in the lore, where what we consider Vampires are just Immortals that have been addicted to the taste of blood. They don't need the blood to survive, they can live off human food, but they need blood to heal, as blood is a life giver, and if they consume it too much, it becomes like a drug clouding their judgment and affecting them physically and psychologically, turning them blood-thirsty and eventually sadistic monsters (like it happened with Lucien and Vladimir). Blood is like cocaine for vamps, then, but they do have a choice which is a nice difference from the usual lore that Vampires always feel the thirst. However, I feel like it could have been explained a little more and in greater detail so the whole thing could have been made distinct and invested upon so that in the future books we could see how the whole addiction process happens and how easy it is for a vamp to go to "rehab". XD I'd love to have seen that in relation to Rose, as I'm sure that Vladimir must have tried to get her addicted. Another thing is that I felt that Nicolae's presence could have been explored more. In the beginning he comes across as a geeky, nerdy kid who had no sense of how life and people in America were and he recognized Roseline from Romania fearing her, but later on he is a hunter incognito and some of his actions don't sit right. At first it feels like he is afraid of Rose and he is determined not to bother her or come into contact with her, but a chapter later he stares at her intently even menacingly and warns her that he will be there if she decides to hurt anyone. So if he wanted to stay under the radar why come out to Roseline and if he was going to do that anyways, why act scared in the beginning? Maybe he wanted to draw his own conclusions about Rose and if she was evil, but it just felt awkward to me. I liked Nicolae's reactions to Sadie, though, and I think I will enjoy them if they are a couple in the next book. ;) Then the last one is a stupid thing to notice really, but I couldn't help wondering. Roseline as an Immortal (Vampire) feels happier when it is cold, because her body temperature is higher than that of a human, yet when she touches Gabriel she feels his great body warmth and heat, which doesn't make sense if he is human or even if he is half-vampire. (Unless it was psychological, though it was mentioned a couple times) Then again there is some prophecy and some things left for the next book so I might have to wait for this to make sense!!! And, god, do I want to read the next! :) To sum up, I think "Forbidden" was an entertaining read filled with excitement, mystery, (why yes) passion and enjoyable characters you felt for, causing it to be one of the books I'd read again, but it would rate even higher if some of the story's (evidently) distinct vampiric lore was explored and introduced more properly and extensively. Its lovable characters and plot make up for some inconsistencies and questions. Anyone who enjoys books with vampires and romance will definitely enjoy this one. P.S.: Thanks to the writer for letting me review the book.
  • The Raie'Chaelia on Nov. 27, 2011

    The Raie'Chaelia is a really fun fantasy book that keeps you interested till the end. It follows the adventure of 17-on-the-verge-of-18 Chalice who has grown up with her grandparents in the city of Cantor. She doesn't know a lot about her parents and her grandparents have always avoided the subject. This has caused Chalice to think that she might have been abandoned, but despite that she has led a fruitful and satisfying life. Her grandfather has insisted that she learns to fight and defend herself and she is also educated, but most importantly she has friends she cares about and care about her too, namely Kirna and Tycho. Despite the life she has going, respecting her grandfather's wishes she embarks on a journey to Branbury. She is a trained warrior and quite the survivor though, so she isn't afraid, but when she reaches Branbury she finds a ghost city. It seems that all people have disappeared mysteriously and she doesn't know what to do, ending up at the house of some family friends. It's there that Jeremiah finds her, coming home after being absent for the day. Since they used to spend time together as children, the cooperate nicely and decide that something must have happened. It's not long till they understand that the villagers have been taken by the men of the Evil King, {the false king as he is the one who robbed Duquaine (the former king)of his throne}, in the hopes of finding the child of the prophecy that said that one child with a specific birthmark was to reinstate the true king to his rightful throne. When the king's men return, Jeremiah and Chalice flee through a secret pathway created by Jeremiah's father and together they try to come up with the plan to save their friends and family. I don't want to spoil the story, but I have to say that it involves several subplots and it's quite complex. The characters from Chalice, who was a really reliable and brave heroine, to the noble and charming Jeremiah, to the cute and resourceful Chinuk, to the graceful and efficient Ben are all strong and memorable. No character is like the other and the uniqueness of them is a nice change. I loved how their personalities were very distinct and the author made sure that we grew to know them and care about them through their words, actions and mannerisms... I liked how brave Chalice was and how polite and gentle Jeremiah was, but even the chinuk was quirky and stubborn and Tycho provided the much needed comic relief at some points, whereas Kirna was the confidante and the good friend. Throughout the book ,though since there were a lot of subplots we were introduced to other characters as well like the Farahs (which were all amazing - loved their heritage, the way they though, their traditions and how helpful and loyal they were)or even the Quaie'Miren the race living almost exclusively aboard their ships and had created their own personal tradition and ideology. For me the QuaieMiren were among the most imaginative in the book. I fell in love with their life aboard the Morning Dawn, their notion of sea partners, Ardenne and her family... I think what contributed to that was the colorful and elaborate descriptions of the ship, their way of life of trading and generally, I have to admit that the descriptions not only of this but also of the landscapes through which Chalice and her company traveled, the cities and everything were a very powerful aspect of the book. For the most part I think they were just spot on and exactly the amount of "elaborate" you'd need to imagine what was written and paint your own picture vividly and vibrantly. The plot was very good and I loved how much thought the author seemed to have put into this, more so since this will be a three-book series and already there were so many (plausible) subplots that initially make your head spin, but gradually really click and make sense in the story. I like how gradually and mostly through Chalice's contact with the people she met and aided her on her journey she kept discovering more and more truth regarding her past, her heritage and the world she's found in. I liked the notion of Ice Age and how its repercussions has divided humanity into races that followed a different path of evolution thus selecting different traditions, different weapons and skills and ideologies. The whole race segregation was quite original and how it was taboo to mix... It made sense quite later in the book when we understood most of what happened. I can't say that there was anything about the book that I really absolutely didn't like, but there were some things that felt awkward a bit. Yes, the book was a bit slow to start and some of the descriptions were somewhat unnecessarily lengthy - like descriptions of everyday activities - but for the most part they were believable and were handled well because most of that "dragging" had to do with injuries which had to be healed before continuing on the journey. Some of the dialogues however, felt a bit stiff and with too formal phrasing when there didn't seem a reason to be like that. It didn't detract from the enjoyment of the book, though, it was just a bit awkward to follow.I also felt that it was directed mostly towards younger readers, which is not meant as a bad thing, it was lovely, I just wanted to put it out there. Also, even though the pace of the relationship between Chalice and Jeremiah was quite nice and gradual, I felt like after their first kiss, they both ignored it in a way in the sense that they kept on like nothing had happened and only towards the very end, did Chalice acknowledge that something more than friendship was between them, even though Jeremiah (even more than Chalice) seemed preoccupied with their future together and blushing a lot. I know the emphasis was on the adventure, of course, but other than that they mostly acted like brother and sister, no touching of hands, no overt tenderness... It would seem to me that through this ordeal which they both knew could cost them their lives, they would really need to seek comfort and support in each other and strive to be close to each other on a regular basis and not just when they were sick. (Of course they tried to save each other's lives so that's the most important stuff, so maybe I'm overly cheesy and romantic today :P) So, all in all it was a pretty original and exciting read, with a masterfully crafted world which I found greatly intriguing and fascinating and of course, I'm looking forward to the next book! XD ** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! :)
  • Moa on Nov. 28, 2011

    I'd give this book 3 1/2 stars. :) Hillary is an 18-year-old-girl on her way to Hawaii to visit her recently widowed sister, Molly and her daughter, Heidi. Life has been nothing but easy for her, since she has been picked on and bullied at school, mostly by an obnoxious trio of girls, whose leader was initially her friend. Misunderstood and set aside due to the rumor that she is a witch and puts a hex on whoever she wants, Hillary has mostly kept to her self and resents the unwanted animosity from her peers. All she wanted to use wicca incantations for were protection, but through a mistake (not her own) she is somehow thought to actively seek revenge or harm others. Not even her parents fully believe her. When she arrives at Hawaii and meets her sister, it is only family that greets her but she is unknowingly followed by Moa, a 7-year-old native who has accepted her role as an Ancient Gatekeeper aiding the souls of the deceased to the Light. It seems that the troubled spirit of George Paulet a former aspiring usurper of the throne in Hawaii, who was prevented from achieving his goal, still thinks he can make it even from beyond the grade, somehow blocking the passage of souls to the Light, thus upsetting the balance that could result in earthquakes etc, even world destruction and Hillary is the only one who can help. Despite the danger of world destruction that permeates this book, I have to say that it is one of the most light-hearted and feel-good books I have read lately. Not only is it written in a simple, readily-absorbed way, but it also is fun and filled with wiccan spell instructions in every chapter relevant to the issue at hand. I thought it was a nice change and very interesting to read that in relation to the story. As I have no idea regarding Wicca, witchcraft or anything like that, it made for a very engrossing read and at times I felt like it was easy. like I could see myself doing that and really feeling in balance with the universe, at peace, optimistic and unburdened. If only it were that easy! lol But it did make for a relaxing and lovely read. Hillary was a very likable heroine, especially having been through all that she has been through and never giving up or loosing her courage. It felt like life gave her lemons and she made lemonade. She made the best of whatever she had and it defined her in a positive light. She was strong, loyal, protective of her family and quite noble and moral. Molly was a typical older sister, but more importantly she was a mother and I liked how the author paid attention to detail and she had very mother-like reactions towards her daughter and her safety. Heidi was adorable and very funny as a little girl. She wasa cutie, whereas Moa came across as focused, noble, brave and very affectionate. I loved the parts that were written through her eyes and the little bits and pieces of how life was in her time. Generally, I found the description clear and imaginative and it really gave me a feel of life in Hawaai or rather the scenery there and maybe a little of the way of life (that and Hawaii 5-0 lol j/k) I liked the revelations towards the end, I didn't see the twist with Steve's heritage, or Paulet but it was refreshing and clever. I also thought the bits about the healing power of positive thought and how we can heal emotionally and psychologically by revisiting traumatic experiences in another light were quite ingenious and profound. If I had to say something negative for the book, I would have to say that it was mostly minor editing issues (which may have already been addressed in a more recent version), i.e. the use of present tense instead of past tense like :"The group walked home in silence until they reach the coolness of the front foyer". This happens for a few times throughout the book, but I didn't find it distracting. Another thing is that in the beginning Moa kept saying (2-3 times) that Hillary was in for the adventure of her lifetime and that she alone could save Hawaii and probably the world, but nothing of that happened for several chapters and it was a bit awkward...Then again Moa is supposed to be a 7-year-old child, but she has lived for hundreds of years..so maybe that was it. And finally, on only one occasion (which I wouldn't normally notice, but it was a short book so I remembered :P)after Heidi is taken to "another dimension", somehow Hillary isn't asleep, but Molly sleeps? After her child is taken? I mean even if Hillary told her she was going to be ok, it didn't feel like something she would do... I mean come on, her child had been taken. :P But after that she is again heart-breakingly motherly so she redeems herself. :) Overall, this was a very entertaining and feel-good novel with likable heroines and a good, solid plot, mixed with a lot of the things you'd want to know about wicca, our balance with the universe and how we can better our lives and ourselves. Don't miss it if you want something cute to read. * Given by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. Thank you :)