Through the Door (The Thin Veil) Jodi McIsaac
I love fantasy books especially those with an element of romance in so was excited to be able to review Through the Door. Cedar was deeply in love with Finn, then just before she could tell him she was pregnant he disappeared without trace. Now its seven years alter and her daughter Eden opens her bedroom door and … there’s a portal to the pyramids. Frightened and confused, scared for her daughter Cedar seeks some answers, but gets mired onto deeper dangers for both her and Eden and finds out the world and the people she thinks she knows are just a fragment of what really exists.
There are some great characters in this book – I felt for Cedar with her love for Finn and then her despair at being abandoned. When she does find some of his family they aren’t exactly welcoming to her but they do want Eden. Anyway she gets taken into adventures she never would have dreamt of, placed in all sorts of danger trying to do her best for Eden and finds out that magic and myths are based in reality. I loved the people Jodi created – its good to have some grumpy anti hero types, it gets old and dull when everyone is helpful and pleasant when in real life people dislike each other and are difficult. Some of Jodi people were like that too and it adds to the realism created in a fantasy world. Eden was sweet too – and the cruel and manipulative Nuala was perfect for the role she was in. Cedars mum Maeve seemed quite cold at first and then as things happened and her role expanded, secrets came out and I understood what she did and why – she loved Cedar and Eden and thought she was protecting them. Finn….ah Finn, he was lovely and had his reasons for abandoning Cedar. The romance side was quite a small part of the story, and really there’s nothing more happening that a few kisses so those worried about explicit sex in books have to problems with this one. Despite that his love for her shows through and is steadfast.
I really didn’t envisage what would happened at the end – it tied up nicely though with magics and mystery we know that all is not always as it seems. I look forward to reading more from Jodi and where she takes Finn, Cedar and Eden next in their journey.
I really enjoyed reading this story but would have liked the romance to be a bit more in the fore (that’s just me though – a sucker for romance in everything!) In a way the main plot was quite simple, and yet Jodi drew it out and made it become quite convoluted and open to letting lots of side issues in. Clearly we (well I do !) want to know what is going to happen with the mystical land that was so wonderful but had deteriorated so badly and how Cedar and the others fit into it. I loved the way Jodi took bits of ancient legends and built on the to suit her own purpose, and how knowing parts of legends already made so much feel familiar to me. I’ve always had a love for ancient myths and wondered how they share such common themes even though created by people thousands of miles away and who’ve no connection. I guess there’s a part of me that feels they could have a root in truth and that’s why my mind is so open to fantasy books and the stories they tell.
Its a well written and edited book, with plots that flow seamlessly into one another and are quite in depth and complex at times and yet easy to follow. The quality of the writing is superb, and kept me immersed in the book for a few hours (I’m a quick reader). Its a great length book at 294 pages – I love longer books, and its priced at £3.99 for the kindle version and also available in paperback. Definitely one for my keeper files and looking forward to more from Cedar and co.
Stars: I really, really want to give it five, but its missing that extra spark that does it for me – not sure what, the romance maybe? So four and a half for this first part – I’m sure that five will come with further books.
Werewolves Be Damned: A Magic and Mayhem Novel. Stacey Kennedy
Stacey seems to be quite a prolific author having several books to her name but I’ve not read any so far, so was interested to review this one. With vampires, witches, werewolves and the romance element it ticks all my favourite boxes.
I found it quite hard to get into at first, there was the action packed prologue that introduced us to Nexi and her need for vengeance – I worked out the connection later but at first reading this then going onto the section where she is in the Otherworld I just found it confusing. Once I placed who was what and how they fit in the story I enjoyed it more, but there were so many different characters for what’s quite a short novel that it was a lot of information over a small space of time.
Nexi was quite a difficult character for me to like, she clearly had strong morals which suited me but she was quite selfish at times, going her own way despite advice from and the danger to others. Kyden was a great character and the sexual spark between them was good. I do like some sexual tension – its more interesting when there’s that combined with some personal friction between the characters and Stacey does that well here. There did – as I’ve said before – seem to be a huge number of characters for a shorter length book. I found that quite difficult to manage and remember just who was who. Nexi seems to take to her training incredibly quickly – one minute she’s human and then just one month later she’s taking out werewolves…..I’d have had more belief if a longer time had passed, similarly the way the top vampire, werewolf and guardian defer to her in the final adventure – some of these characters were hundreds of years old and though fantasy means suspending belief that was a step too far for me.
The story itself was interesting and allowed for several action packed moments. It was well written and all lose ends tied up – I hate to get to the end of a book and wonder “…but what happened to/when…” For me it was difficult to accept that Nexi could become a leader when for me she hadn’t yet had the experience to merit it. If she’d had been part of the action, but organised by more senior character I’d have accepted her role so much better – clearly she was a bit of a renegade and she’d have argued and sometimes gone her own way, but I think it would have been a better fit for me.
Overall there were parts I enjoyed – the developing romance between her and Kyden was good, with some fairly heated moments and the basic premise was sound but I struggled too much with the way Nexi developed from a mundane human to a person with super strength and more and more magical powers just when they were needed. In a longer novel and over an extended time span it could have worked but covering the few weeks it did it wasn’t believable enough for me.
Its priced at £3.79 for 529kb on kindle, I’m guessing around 120-150 pages, I don’t have that info.
Stars: three stars, it had potential but didn’t cut it for me to be more than just OK.