I received an ARC in exchange for honest review.
I was contacted by the author and asked to review this book. As usual I looked and read the Amazon sample and decided it was something I’d like to read. Its a very good début book from Mr Ramos and I’d love to read next in the series – hope you don’t keep us waiting too long!
It begins with Elizabeth (Liz, Izzy) talking to her therapist about her background. Liz saw her mum taken by something – right in front of her in their kitchen but the action was so fast its a blur. Of course no-one believes her and she gained the reputation of being “odd” and she’s become a slightly prickly, defensive character. I found her difficult to like at first, she seemed almost aggressive to people. When she first meets Michael (and Vincent later) in the café where she works she’s fairly rude to him and if I’d been him I’d have walked out. Still he knows more about her than we do, or than she does herself. The story reveals slowly that there is a supernatural element alive and kicking in the human world and Liz becomes part of it along with Michael and Vincent. There are plots and battles and its a book with a lot of action in. Its not a book to be bored with 🙂 though I felt a little less action and a little more description would have been better. There was a lot of working up to each action scene, but it was over too quickly and I feel it could have been drawn out longer to make it the bigger part of the book it deserved. Still, better than those with pages and pages of dull action, as some books do just to fill pages.
The story line was believable, although of course fantasy means suspending belief to a degree there needs to be some form of realism, and I’m always sceptical when the main character such as Liz developers special powers right in the middle of a crisis. Thankfully Liz doesn’t and in fact often says how she feels the weak link having nothing special to fight with. I felt it easier to relate to her for that and it made a great change from the novels where the characters are in a battle and the newbie heroine gains powers to save the day ahead of those supernatural who are hundreds, even thousands of years old. I really struggle with that concept.
There’s a scene at the beginning where she is chatting with Michael about the supernatural world and the possibility of it being real, and Michael says how in history even though there was no contact between people in different countries they’ve come up with very similar otherworldly creatures – its something that’s crossed my mind many times too 😉
I liked both Michael and Vincent – more so as time went on and we learned more about them. I like the way they are very different characters with Michael being the planner and Mr responsibility, and Vincent being the fly by the seat of your pants person….Liz was attracted to them both and I can see why – she has a hard decision ahead of her though I think I can see which one its going to be 🙂 but I need next book to tell if I’m right.
On the subject of next book – I have a dire horror of cliffhangers – I love series but the recent trend for trilogies with cliffhanger endings leaves me cold and puts me off buying the book as its often months, even a year before we readers learn more by which time the impact has lessened. Mr Ramos doesn’t fall into that trap thankfully! The next book is clearly a continuation of this one but though there are lead ins as to what will happen this book of course, the ending to this one is tied up neatly as I’d expect and much in line with conventional series novels – a big Hurrah for that! Hopefully more authors will take note – I know from emails and comments that I’m not alone in HATING cliffhangers, so an end to them will be well supported by many of us.
Overall a really excellent first novel and I’d love to read next part. Its excellent value for money at just £2.01 for 282 pages, I have a kind of arbitrary 1.5p per page guideline on the VFM front, and this falls well into that especially as its one to join the keeper files for re reading.
Stars: brilliant start -there is room for improvement as with many first novels but I’m giving it a solid four stars.