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Archive for June, 2012

Description From Goodreads:

Ciela de Leon never wanted attention. It’s a pity no-one asked her.

Forced to begin her pilgrimage by the Temple of Life, she must become a water-seer or die trying. But when something precious is stolen from her, Ciela must fight alongside a group of terrifying mercenaries to get it back. Now everything she thought she knew about the world is thrown into doubt, and the questions just keep piling on. Who is Ezra Hawkins? What are the Children of Lightning plotting? How do waffles fit in to any of this? And if that wasn’t bad enough, she may just be falling in love with a mysterious warrior who knows far too much about life and death. There’s also the off chance that she’s destined to save the world.

In this exciting sequel to Wind-Scarred, Ciela must fight to discover the secrets hidden just beneath the surface, or be washed away by the tides of fate. Time is running out…

WATER-SEER, by Sky Luke Corbelli

Available on Amazon

Review: ***** 5 Stars
In this sequel to WIND-SCARRED, Sky Luke Corbelli delivers a thrilling tale of adventure, camaraderie, and even a little love. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, but the few complaints I had were fixed in WATER-SEER, making the sequel an even better novel. The plot was tight, the characters realistic, and the action intense as the story continues.

Characters: ***** 5 Stars
I loved Ciela de Leon! She’s a young healer out on her pilgrimage, taking sacred books to the Great Temple of Life in Silverfall. Ciela is confident in her healing skills and compassionate with the people around her, always willing to stop and lend a hand if someone is sick or injured. But when it comes to traveling on the road by herself, Ciela is less than thrilled, even intimidated by the path laid out before her. Even so, when the books are stolen from her, she throws herself into the chase, determined to reclaim them. Her moral strength and firm resolve, juxtaposed with her insecurity, made for a very interesting character.

I was also thrilled that we got to see more of Ezra, Sarah and Mat. The team continued to grow and evolve in this second installment, highlighting new and exciting facets of their personalities and expanded skill-sets.

Plot: **** 4 Stars
WATER-SEER was a much tighter novel than its predecessor. The plot stayed right on course, with some wonderful action sequences that kept me glued to my seat. Occurring entirely outside of Sanctuary, Ezra and his team are running from the Chancellor’s goons while seeking allies in the elemental groups. Meanwhile, Ciela joins their traveling party when their paths cross and they find themselves traveling in the same direction. There was more action, better integration of the science-fiction with the fantasy, and an overall better story arc with a fantastic twist near the end.

My only complaint was that the Epilogue closed on too much of a cliffhanger, literally stopping in the middle of a conversation, and it was unnecessary. Without the epilogue, the ending still would have been open-ended with many unanswered questions, but perhaps with a little less “what-the-…?” feeling.

Setting: ***** 5 Stars
The world outside of sanctuary is extremely well-developed and diverse. Each city that the group passes through is unique and vivid. I was easily able to imagine Silverfall with its flowing waters, and Theron with its impoverished people and tiered layout. I also loved the skystream, with its flying boats and pirates. Overall, really creative and fun!

Romance: **** 4 Stars
The relationship is slow to develop between Ciela and Matt, but it felt more realistic for its tempered pace. They seem to make a good couple, complementing each other’s skill sets and learning from one another. I particularly enjoyed it when Ciela was the hero, coming to Matt’s rescue, instead of the other way around.

Genre – Futuristic Fantasy: ***** 5 Stars
WATER-SEER does a great job picking up where Wind-Scarred left off, and it remains a unique cross-genre novel that does a great job bringing together both science-fiction and fantasy themes. WATER-SEER is a bit more on the fantasy side than WIND-SCARRED was, but it works since the story is set entirely outside of Sanctuary. Ezra and his team still have many of the advanced technologies at their disposal, even though they are slowly being forced to function entirely within the confines of the outside world.

Note: This review was requested by the author. The only compensation received was a free copy of the book.

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Description From Goodreads:
Hidden within Human society is an entrancing race of beings who look just like us. They are the Akataromai. Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves, blending within the Human population. Though they appear to be Human, mature Akataromai live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions. Angelina Quorra is an Akataromai, a Human-looking girl who might never die. But Angelina is unique among her people, absorbing pain as well as emotion and giving anyone who feeds her overwhelming pleasure. This is her story, told by the men who adore her. Her talent is called The Lustre, bringing her great fame, and great trouble.

THE LUSTRE, by Kate Policani
Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Review: ** 2 Stars
Kate Policani delivers an interesting twist on the “vampire”, but fails to deliver an interesting story. Told entirely from an external point of view, in passive voice, the characters and plot never resonated with me. I wanted to hear from Angelina, the actual protagonist, not just the secondary characters. The method of delivery detracted from the story itself, to the point that there almost wasn’t a story. It was like being in a conversation where the subject is sitting right next to you, and everyone is talking about her, around her, and over her, but no one is talking to her. Awkward.

Characters: ** 2 Stars
Angelina has the Lustre, an ability to not only take away negative human emotions, but to take away physical pain and replace it with orgasmic pleasure. Interesting to say the least. Yet somehow Angelina is vacant, almost empty of emotion herself. She just sails along, not really taking an active part in her own life. Instead, the men in her life are the active participants, likely due to the fact that they’re the ones telling her story, and they make her out to be a perfect angel, innocent and pure…boring.

Her husband, Luciano, seems nice enough, adopting her as his ward when she’s a preteen, and making sure that she doesn’t feel obligated to marry him when she comes of age (though that was the intention all along). However he’s as naive as a teenager despite being more than a hundred years old.

The villain, Jacque Trace, is greedy and selfish, but hardly evil. His actions are despicable, but he also tries to make Angelina happy, in his selfish way. I didn’t like the man, but neither did I hate him, and he wasn’t scary, malicious, or dangerous enough to engage me emotionally. Overall, he was…meh.

Plot: ** 2 Stars
The plot is unfortunately as vacant as Angelina herself. It was just one event after another, without a story arc that slowly builds to an exciting climax and then resolves to satisfying conclusion. There were a few exciting events, such as a killing and a kidnapping, but they fell flat because they were told in a passive voice.

Setting: ** 2 Stars
Like everything else, I wanted more from the setting. I needed a year or an era, a full five-sense description, just something more.

Romance: * 1 Stars
A twelve year old girl is taken from her parents to be a ward of a much older man, with the expectation that when she’s of age, she will marry him. While the author tried to make the match seem like love, it never felt right to me. There were verbal declarations of love, and Luciano was good to Angelina, but I never felt the fire, and with the initial set-up of their relationship, it always felt too easy, and a little bit wrong.

Genre – Contemporary Fantasy or Paranormal Romance: * 1 Stars
I’m actually not really sure how to classify The Lustre. It’s not traditional paranormal romance by any means, but there is romance, and it’s in a contemporary setting. The concept of the Akataromai was interesting and unique, but the story was bland, like saltine crackers. I want more action, more romance, more passion, and more pain in my fantasy.

Note: This review was requested by the author. The only compensation received was a free copy of the book.

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