Chimera Book Three (Chimera #3)

Title: Chimera Book Three (Chimera #3)

Author: Phil Gomm

Genres: Adventure | Children | Fantasy

Length: 100 pages | 2235 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

In Book Three, Kyp will make it his mission to save the Panoply from the clutches of Chimera’s evil creatures and find them the way home. He will learn of prophecies, deal with new villains, make new friends, and find closure to a lot of problems. However, his adventure is not over yet!

Review:

Book Three brought back some of the magic that I had been missing from Book One.
It started really well. I was enthralled by the dual narrative in that first chapter, and wanted to know what was happening to Kyp.

I also enjoyed the story’s development. There is conflict, and we realize our main character is not perfect. There are some very scary moments (kissie-wissies!!) and I can never get enough of the author’s imagination and his way with words. I mean, who would have thought to compare hanging lightbulbs to an orchard of electric pears? Brilliant!

This third book does bring some closure and explains some things from the previous two. However, there were other things I would have liked to have read about. I wanted Kyp to tell Sprat he was sorry for making her feel the way he did. And I never got what happened to Wendell’s picture, which captured his Elsewhere Light, or maybe I just missing something. I actually thought Kyp would use it, since Wendell did not want it anymore. Instead, he and Sprat risk something which could have left them in limbo, without so much as a second thought.
I also did not get the implications of apprehending someone’s Elsewhere Light in a picture, and then someone else using it too. I thought that the Elsewhere Light was something unique, what links each child or object to the real world, because it means someone is missing them. When those people stop thinking about them, then the light goes out. So then what does having their Elsewhere Light taken mean? That those people will have forgotten about them? That didn’t seem to be the case with Kyp’s parents…
The characters also seemed to get out of very nasty situations a bit too easily, but since it’s a children’s book I won’t be too demanding about that.

So, in a nutshell, this is obviously meant as a series and not a trilogy, and despite everything I mentioned above I for one am quite eager to find out what comes next. Who knows, maybe Madam Chartreuse is Kyp’s birth mother? It would be cool if his birth parents were somehow linked to Chimera as well. And I definitely want to know who or what that Deity is. And why Kyp had a deja-vu feeling when he entered the warehouse. Had he been to Chimera before and forgot about it? And just who the heck is Saint Anthony and why was he at Open Sesames? Kyp recognized him, he said he had been there, so why didn’t he ask him then? And what bad consequences will come from getting all the children home at once? I want to know all that and more, so I am looking forward to the next three books of the series.

I recommend that you read the first three books of Chimera if you are looking to get lost in a great fantasy world, regardless of your age.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from May 28 to May 30, 2015
GR Review

Chimera Book Two (Chimera #2)

Title: Chimera Book Two (Chimera #2)

Author: Phil Gomm

Genres: Adventure | Children | Fantasy

Length: 100 pages | 2235 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3/5

Premise:

In the sequel to Chimera Book One, Kyp will keep trying to save the trapped children from Madam Chartreuse’s grasp, while dealing with betrayal and struggling to find allies he can trust.

Review:

I enjoyed this sequel a bit less than Book One, but it was still a fun read.

In Book Two, we find that the villain(s) are not just plain evil, they are actually smart and very organized, particularly the leader. She does not have only two sidekicks, there are plenty of bad guys by her side… Or are there?
Kyp finds some unexpected allies and gains new enemies, as he tries to unveil just what exactly is going on. In doing so, he will find someone he never expected to see in Chimera and things will definitely get interesting. Emotions will soar high, decisions will be made and consequences will have to be dealt with.

In the previous book, we were introduced to a wondrous, whimsical, fantastic world, inhabited by strange critters with very peculiar characteristics, wishes and agendas. Chimera justifies all sorts of things, like where things and even humans go when they are lost, and where all sorts of superstitions have perfectly reasonable explanations. But now we are in this world, the explanations of how it works are pretty much done and I found myself in the middle of a narrative focused on plot and action.

Some of the things I found lacking in the first book are repeated here, along with a couple of new ones.
Here is what I can remember put me off a bit:

– There is a lot of stuff to remember. Many characters, quite a few places, several agendas.
– There isn’t much tension, no actual build up. It’s just a sequence of action scenes interspersed by breath-taking descriptions. For instance, when Kyp loses his Elsewhere Light, I wanted to feel panic. Yes, it’s important that he tries to save the children, even though he said he had no intention of doing so and just wanted to save Joe, but doesn’t losing his Elsewhere Light mean he will be forever stuck in Chimera? So I guess I wanted a bit more drama, maybe, or rather a progression of emotion. I wanted to actually feel that all was lost and then find closure as we finish the ride, while this way it’s almost like we know the main character will find a way to fix the situation so we needn’t worry.
– There were several grammar mistakes – plenty in the last chapter alone.
– There were just too many plot twists. A lot of betrayals and re-betrayals and then traitors who were not traitors anymore and it was just too much.
– Characters supposedly dying and then coming back always puts me off, and I can tell it is going to happen again.
– I am still not sure how to feel about the development of Mistress Chartreuse’s character. In Book One, she was portrayed as being truly evil and no one (at least children) can resist her because of her green eyes power thingie. Here, she is a fallible character, seemingly easily deceived about those she trusts the most. I lost quite a lot of respect for her. I can understand that her power does not work on Chimera’s inhabitants, but I think a true villain needs to have much more discernment than she has shown. She did not suspect any of the traitors. She was reduced to a wailing frail thing in the last scene where we saw her. It just didn’t do it for me.
– I was disappointed in Sprat. For the entire first book we hear Kyp saying how much he loves his best friend and when they finally meet she isn’t even happy to see him and even though she remembers her old life now it’s like they don’t even have a history together, if she is that ready to doubt him.

So all that left me a bit lacking I just did not feel very engaged with the story. Personally, I would have preferred a sequel which would have allowed me to further engage in the world of Chimera, and for the main villain to remain almost untouchable, if you know what I mean. Unless, of course, there is even an even bigger villain behind the curtain, but I don’t think that will be the case.

In the end, this is a children’s book, and I find myself again believing a child would enjoy this a lot more than I did and that their enjoyment would not wane in the least because of what I mentioned.
I am, however, unsure of the target audience. There were brief references to torture and death that I am not sure really young children should be reading.

I did enjoy this sequel. I breezed through it and truly enjoyed some bits and pieces, particularly the sequence about the onu-weed, amongst many others.

Onto book 3!

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from May 26 to May 28, 2015
GR Review

Day 100 – Celebration, Twitter and About

Ana’s Lair is 100 days old, yay!

 


Bring out the confetti, champagne and cake!

I have to say I am surprised to have come this far and even more surprised that I definitely want to keep going! So I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of you who took the time to follow Ana’s Lair, like, comment on and/or share my posts. You give me the motivation to continue and I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

 

I also reached 500 likes a few days ago!

And now, onto the updates!

Update #1:

I started a Twitter account back in 2012 to see what all the hype was about. I did not get the appeal of it, especially due to the character limit, and I did not really want another social media site to take up my time. But I could tell that the instant aspect of it was interesting, especially for news items.
So I peeked in, followed a couple of entertainers I liked but did not stick around for long.

Recently I found a couple of giveaways using the Rofflecopter platform and amongst the conditions to submit an entry was follow someone on twitter and tweet about the giveaway.

So I sort of resurrected my Twitter account. I changed the username to Anaslair, my profile and header pictures to match the blog’s, and linked it to my WordPress account.
I am not counting on actually using the account much, but whenever I post here in the blog, a tweet linking to it should automatically be generated.

Click the picture to access my Twitter account!

Click the picture to access my Twitter account

If you would like me to follow you back, just let me know, and I will try to keep up.

Update #2:

The About page has been revamped.
Main changes include:

– A reorganization of the former text and addition of a new section, a walk-through on how to navigate the blog;
– A clickable index to the main four sections (Author, Blog, Review Policy and Contact);
– Little tweaks here and there :)

Let me know what you think and thank you for stopping by!

Libertines: A Horror Story

Title: Libertines: A Horror Story

Author: Grant Palmquist

Narrator: David Winograd

Genres: Horror, Paranormal

Format: Audiobook

Length: 1 hr and 13 mins

Source: Audible | Giveaway

Rating: 2.5/5

Premise:

Samantha is bored with her sex life, so when she finds an ad in a magazine promising the key to spice things up, she proposes to her husband that they give it a try. The method consists on listening to a recording which contains subliminal messages. At first, everything seems great, until Samantha and her husbands’ desires spiral out of control.

Review:

This is the second book I listen to by this author and narrator. The premise is great: A couple in their early 40s try to spice up their sex life. Who wouldn’t want that? You love the person you’re married to, but the passion has been gone for a while now. That’s normal, right? Is it possible to have it any other way? An ad in a sex magazine says so. It guarantees so. It’s not much of a conundrum, is it? You’d give it a try, right? Samantha and her unnamed husband did.

The book is narrated by the husband and it starts off really well, with all the questions I mentioned above running through his mind. I thoroughly enjoyed that character because he was just darn average. He is settled in his routine, resigned that it is all he is ever going to get because that’s just what couples grow into after being married for a while, and when his wife suggests that they try this thing (sort of like Eve offering Adam the apple), he has serious doubts. He can’t be bothered. I thought that was very real.

The first few minutes after that, when they both start changing, were also quite enjoyable. I especially appreciated when the protagonist realizes that he is turning into something he is not very fond of but cannot seem to stop listening to that darn recording and following his urges because they are so new and exciting to him, even though he knows decent limits are being crossed.
I liked that Samantha wanted to go through those changes with her husband. When he does his own thing, he starts realizing that he doesn’t really know his wife anymore. Those bits were all very interesting.

But then the story started getting a tad too repetitive for my taste, especially whenever the main character enters a bar, and then all the blood and violence. But my interest in the story decreased most of all because it started turning eerily into something much too similar to Engel: A Novelette of Terror, the other novelette I listened to by the same author. That feeling of been there, done that persisted till the end, which didn’t give me much closure either.

The narrator was overall quite pleasant to listen to. Again, there were a few inflexions I wasn’t much of a fan of, but nowhere near as annoying as in Engel’s. I had the same problem with not being able to easily distinguish between especially the two main voices, and there were a couple of times when I wasn’t immediately sure if the story was being narrated or if I was listening to a dialogue. But some intonations were spot on, especially when one of the characters did something really bad and then acts all innocent. The repulsion felt by the other character was also very well achieved. Also, I can honestly say that I would most likely not have enjoyed the story as much if I had not listened to it; David Winograd did manage to get me engrossed in it, and turned something which could have been almost dull (to me at least) into a good paced and interesting narrative.

In conclusion: very good beginning but it starts going downhill after the middle or so. I will be rounding the 2,5 stars up because it is an intriguing concept and the narration kept me going. I sort of feel that I should have been more excited about all I listened to, but in a world where sex loses its meaning so easily, and it’s all been said and done, I really could not feel much. I should have been shocked but this sort of thing isn’t really new anymore. It’s the psychological effects of how the situation developed that kept me intrigued, and because of those I do recommend you listen to this story.

Disclaimer: I won this audiobook in a Rofflecopter giveaway hosted by Audiobookreviewer.

Listened to on May 28, 2015
GR Review

Skunk Anansie – Lately

This video caught my attention because it reminded me of another I have posted before – Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun -, so I was surprised when I read in the Wikipedia description (pasted below) that this was actually an homage to Black Hole Sun.

Not only are the effects and the whole video absolutely crazy but it’s also very amusing to see Skin performing all the different roles.

I bought this cd and when I listened to this song it quickly became one of my favourites. I would however never picture it associated with this video. I still have trouble relating the two. But I figured I would leave you with this freaky footage and great song.

Happy wednesday!

Description of the video taken from Wikipedia:

The surreal music video was directed by Howard Greenhalgh, who directed the music video for “Goodbye” by Spice Girls, a year earlier. The music video shows the band performing in a small town where all its inhabitants are smiling while a comet (played by Skin) begins to have a collision course with Earth. The video for the single was a homage to Soundgarden’s music video for “Black Hole Sun”, which was also directed by Greenhalgh in 1994.

Chimera Book One (Chimera #1)

Title: Chimera Book One (Chimera #1)

Author: Phil Gomm

Genres: Adventure | Children | Fantasy

Length: 100 pages | 1980 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.5/5

Premise:

Kyp finds himself in a world utterly different from his own, with parents who look like his but aren’t his.
As he runs away from the Oblivion Three, he finds that he is in the world of Chimera, a place where lost things go. If he wants to escape, he needs to do so before everyone forgets about him. When that happens, his Elsewhere Light will disappear and he will be lost forever, never able to return to his home ever again. It will not be an easy task, running from those three and not knowing who to trust.
Kyp’s adventure will last longer than expected or hoped. In this first book, he finds that the main villain is keeping other lost children prisoner and will attempt to rescue them.

Review:

Chimera Book One succeeds in transporting the reader to a wondrous world reminiscent of The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, with a dash of Coraline and Narnia in the mix.
The imagery is absolutely stunning. I was mesmerized by the dismay of the landscape and creatures and their stories, the villains were so scary, and I rooted for the hero and his new-found friends, that they would succeed through their struggles and manage to bring back hope.
Obviously, since this is book 1 in a series, we do not get closure, but it was still a very rewarding tale and interesting revelations were made in the end.

I was engaged from the first page, although I could not always tell what was going on: I didn’t quite get the purpose of the magician with the scarves, how he is related to the fugue; if the beginning of the story takes place in Chimera instantly or if those really are Kyp’s parents even though he says they are not and he got lost while in the trinket shop. I am pretty sure they were and he just thought they had changed so much since the event that caused them to move, but I would like to be really sure. Guess that won’t happen till the final book.
Regardless of the doubts, I was still engaged in the story and enjoying the ride.

But then I started finding the pace a bit too rushed. There was a lot of running and the characters were constantly almost being caught; I wanted to take a breather and get to know a bit more of the world, so I wished they could have come up with some diversion or something, that would have bought them time to talk about it.

This fast pace would then be countered by massive descriptions. They were lovely – part of the strength of this book is precisely those crazy sounding critters and scenarios – but it just caused me to get distracted once I was past that initial awe.

I had a bit of a hard time keeping the end goal in mind, like where Kyp was supposed to go, and by the time some things were mentioned, like the Calvacade for instance, I had no idea what it was anymore (still don’t…); there was just too much stuff in between, I got utterly lost.

Other plot/writing issues: I thought finding Circinus when and where they did was very convenient (it sounded like they were separated a long time before that, so why would she even be there?) and I noticed that Kyp knew Atticus name before it told him. There was the odd grammatical error and missing/extra words. The writing itself was easy enough to follow, though there were times the phrasing caused me to have to reread to see if I got things right. Like Deep in thought, the first Kyp knew Atticus had stopped was when he trod on his tail. I was like. Huh? There’s more than one Kyp? When I reread the sentence it was clear, but not quite at first.

So, in a nutshell, I would say the main issue I had with the book was the pace, along with having trouble remembering the key elements. However, there was so much good stuff in this little gem that I cannot bring myself to round the 3.5 stars down.
Plus, it’s a children’s book, and I do believe kids will enjoy it even more than I did, although I believe it will appeal to both little ones and grown-ups.

In conclusion, the first book of the Chimera trilogy was highly enjoyable, and I will be diving into the next two shortly. This is a world which will suck you right in, and I wish it would be made into a movie or even a series – these critters are just begging to come to life in a screen!

Read it, you won’t be sorry.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from May 24 to May 26, 2015
GR Review

Beautiful Blogger Award

I would like to thank Sarah at Stacks of Sarah for nominating me to this award. She is a kindred bookaholic and I really enjoy her blog. You should definitely visit it!

On to the award!

The Rules
Link to the blogger who took the time to nominate you.
List seven random things about yourself.
Nominate seven creative, beautiful bloggers.
Notify the amazing people that you nominated for the award.

 

Random Facts:

1. I absolutely adore sleep. Don’t bother telling me it is overrated. There is nothing like a good night’s rest and that feeling of waking up utterly refreshed in the morning.

2. When the weather starts getting better (sun shining, lovely warm temperature, slight breeze) my brain immediately goes… Beach!! There is nothing quite like dozing away to the sound of waves crashing while feeling the warm sun on your body.

3. I often forget to watch tv. There’s actually a couple of shows I like to watch (especially Criminal Minds) but when I have a bit of free time I am either reading or blogging, so it often slips my mind.

4. I have been progressively distancing myself from facebook, to the point I now loathe it. I never really got into other social media sites, so this blog is the closest I have to one.

5. I have never felt comfortable in groups. I prefer one on one interaction.

6. People who know me probably think I don’t have much of a sense of humour. I am quite a serious person and this translates both to my personal and professional life. I tend to focus on enjoying the little things in life, having nice conversations with the people I care about and doing the best/being the best person I can be. The things I find funny other people usually don’t, and vice versa.

7. As you can see by my blog my main interest these days is reading. I got into a bit of a slump in the last couple of months or so, and therefore I decided to try new genres, since I tended to only read fantasy/sci-fi/horror. I started with The Doll Maker, a thrilling mystery book, and should now read more mysteries, but probably more of the contemporary sort, not so much police investigations.

 

My Nominees:

1. Amie @ Amie’s Book Reviews

2. Anthony Vicino @ One Lazy Robot

3. Jennifer @ Book Junkiez

4. Kimberly @ Come Hither Books

5. Lynn @ Lynn’s Book Blog

6. Magdalena @ A Bookaholic Swede

7. Natalie @ Fill Your Bookshelf

 

This post turned out a lot different from what I had initially thought, a lot more intimate! I realized I have grown rather isolated. But as long as I have my books, all is well.

Besides, I grew up during a time when internet first didn’t exist and later it was rare; not everyone had access to it and when they did it was quite expensive. So I learned to take pleasure from other things. I guess that’s something that stayed with me throughout my life.

I went through the hype as everyone else did but, these days, I honestly do not miss facebook, for instance. Or even tv for that matter. I prefer watching a good movie, but even those are hard to find nowadays. The importance of great graphics has long since surpassed that of a good plot. It’s a shame that the two seem to have become mutually exclusive!

So yes… Books. :)

 

Looking forward to reading what my nominees have to say about themselves!

Tag, you’re it! :D

Day 95 – Books page tweaked

I have tweaked the code of the Books page a bit, by adding an alphabetical index to the Book Covers.

 

Personally, I don’t think it’s as pretty as before, with all the covers neatly aligned. However, this way, not only will it be easier for you guys to browse and access a specific book cover if you know its initial, but it will also be much easier for me to add new book covers to the page: I will only have to tweak the code for the correspondent initial instead of the entire text.

This hopefully also means that I will be updating the cover index a lot more frequently – sorry for procrastinating!

So what do you guys think? Is it easy to navigate? Do you have any suggestions? Like, should I remove the initials which have no reviews yet?

Please post your thoughts below!

Standing Kill Orderlies: Bonus Short: Infidelity

Title: Standing Kill Orderlies: Bonus Short: Infidelity

Author: Anthony Vicino

Genres: Mystery

Length: 50 pages | locations

Source: Amazon

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3/5

 

Premise:

Standing Kill Orderlies starts with a murder and, as the story progresses, we keep going back in time to find out who did it and why.

Infidelity tells the story of Marcus, who finds himself being followed and takes action, leading to gruesome results.

Review:

I don’t think I had ever read a story which starts by going back in time and then does not come back to present day in the end, wrapping up neatly. However, amazingly enough, this trip further into the past was very rewarding and enjoyable.
The only thing I didn’t get was who did the old lady hear Max killing in the hospital, if Geoffrey had not died after all? Guess I must have missed something.

I also kind of wish I had known more about the device and the director. He struck me as an overly simplistic Dr Evil kind of fellow. I understand that is not the main focus of the story, but it still rubbed me the wrong way, especially with the cheesy lines about his voice dropping with desire. It was probably intended but… meh.

Overall, I liked the format of the story a bit more than the story itself, though it did have its moments. There were plenty of suspense and plot twists to keep me engaged.
And I really liked the little old lady.

Infidelity wasn’t nearly as good, in my opinion. Nonetheless, it had some suspenseful moments and an ending I found quite macabre. In this story I did not find myself wanting to know what happened next as much as the previous one, it was just ok.

Both are quick, entertaining reads and I do recommend them.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the author for making this book free on Amazon for a short period of time.

Read on May 23, 2015
GR Review

Delirium (Debt Collector #1)

Title: Delirium (Debt Collector #1)

Author: Susan Kaye Quinn

Genres: Dystopia | Fantasy | Paranormal | Science Fiction| Thriller

Length: 48 pages | 630 locations

Source: Netgalley/Amazon promotion

Format: Mobi

Rating: 3.25/5

Premise:

Lirium is a debt collector: he takes life force from folks who the powers that be consider will not be able to pay their debt in their lifetime and gives it to people who are deemed more worthy of it.
In this first episode of the Debt Collector series, we get a peek at what a Debt Collector’s life is like and start to get to know Lirium.

Review:

I was excited to meet a world where your life force actually counts as currency, and these debt collectors, who are basically leeches. Except they don’t just take, they have to give the life back, and if the taking process is exhilarating, the giving one is quite the opposite.

Most of the concepts were pretty well explained, and there’s plenty of tension. Some things related to the collecting procedure may induce addiction and it was very thrilling to read what the characters were feeling/observing.

It’s a short story, there cannot be much character development, but I did have trouble connecting with Lirium. Not so much because he is not very likeable in the first place, but mostly because I felt he rambled a bit too much. However, I did sort of understand why he came to become that person, or at least glimpsed it a bit, and the ending was somewhat helpful, at least I found it open enough to contemplate the possibility.

The cover was pretty neat. Again, I feel the synopsis gave away too much. When I am reading a dystopian tale, I prefer to discover most of what the world is about, as well as the character development, through reading the book, not the blurb.

Overall I felt the story is above average. I enjoyed the ideas, just wish they had been developed more.
I think I would like to keep reading the series, this sort of teaser piqued my interest.

This book is currently free on Amazon. Get it by clicking here.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book.

Read from May 21 to May 22, 2015
GR Review

Rememberers

Title: Rememberers

Author: C. Edward Baldwin

Genres: Fantasy | Paranormal | Thriller

Length: 350 pages | 3900 locations

Source: Netgalley

Format: Mobi

Rating: 1.25/5

 

Premise:

Kallie doesn’t know she is a Rememberer; she has an ability which goes against everything she and most people believe.
Kallie just wants to be a normal girl, but will find herself in a fight of good against evil, not knowing who to trust.
 

Review:

When I first saw this title on Netgalley, I thought the cover was quite immature, but I was very intrigued by the premise. I am a sucker for people who have brains that work differently from common folks’, and then the deja vus… Matrix, anyone?

So I picked this up and, as I started reading, I was intrigued. A priest who could have played basketball professionally. An agent coming to interview him because his business card was found at a murder scene. The priest’s evasive answers… Although I was a bit annoyed with the dialogue, since the priest seemed to repeat everything the agent said, I supposed that is what people do when trying to hide something.

And boy, was he ever. He has a discussion on the phone about Rememberers, people who can basically predict catastrophes, and the secret group which controls this knowledge and how to deal with it. I was engaged, but there was something about the writing that just did not allow me to be fully there; maybe it was all the backstory – I wished it could have been more weaved into the action. But I wanted to know more.

However, the more I read, the more I realized the narrative just did not have the power to reel me in. The writing felt clumsy and awkward; it was green, juvenile, repetitive.

Small example: “No,” she reiterated, “my sensations aren’t related to grief.” She paused again, this time making it the terminus point. She didn’t know what else to say. She was only certain that the sensations weren’t related to grief.

Things that had been said in previous chapters were extensively repeated in the beginning of following ones.
A lot of words were used when they could and should have been abbreviated.
At times, there were way too many adverbs and adjectives.

 
Then the plot… First of all, when she gets to Dr Frost’s, Kallie wants answers, help on why she has these sensations. We are told close to nothing of what their first talk is like, if Kallie even mentioned that her teacher referred her there; the time immediately fast-forwards, and the next minute she is already their test subject! She is agreeing to all sorts of things without the slightest hint of conflict.
I think that is one of the main things that was off to me in this book. Lack of conflict. Everything was easy and bland, even when the action was faster paced.

Like her thing with Seth. What is her deal with him? One minute she gets all flushed near him and has this major crush, the next she is all nonchalant about it. The guy has obviously been into her for a while but apparently she has been in her own little bubble fantasizing about how dreamy he is.
Or has she? Maybe she only remembers she has a thing for him when he’s nearby? Even when they have a date it’s like it’s no big deal. And then they have a huge fight and when they make up they are visiting each other’s families?? I just don’t get any of it. That last bit in particular struck me as an excuse to get Kallie to talk to a so-called normal clergyman about eternal return and other developments in the plot later on. Not well achieved, in my opinion.

The story didn’t flow. I felt like I was being fed chunks of this, then chunks of that, a lot of information being dumped and never in a natural way.

Even the premise which got me so interested – the deja vu thing – did not feel well-developed. I never really got that wonderful feeling of duality between being in reality and the visions at the same time, although there were attempts to convey it.
I just could not accurately tell what Kellie was seeing and how she was reacting in the ‘real world’. I thought it was so weird that no one around her seemed to notice any changes on her. We are basically told she panics during the attacks but don’t actually see it – she looks around and everyone is minding their own business.
Since the beginning of the book, lots of telling and not enough showing put me off, big time. But I trudged on.
Grudgingly.

There wasn’t much to the story. The demons mentioned in the blurb, for instance, only come up around 70% of the book, and it all seems to appear a bit out of nowhere, the why and how never fully explained. A portal opened. That’s all.

The progress of Kallie’s ability was also very sudden. I did not get what the priming technique consisted of, and I felt everything that happened after that was utterly abrupt. One minute she can’t deal or control any of it and the next she seems to be fully able to master it.

She closed her eyes, thought fiftieth floor, and suddenly she was there (…)

Swag did explain that is what it would feel like, but it just seemed overly simplistic to me, like the author was taking the easy way out of explaining something which could be amazing. And I got that feeling so many times throughout the book.

And this is around the time where I grew from bored to angry. I was appalled when I found the author constantly acknowledging, or rather giving heads up, to what had made me completely lose any interest in the narrative, besides all the telling instead of showing.
As my example above, where Swag ‘warned’ Kellie developing her ability would be incredibly easy, there’s also this: Calling them out had seemed so ridiculously simple(…). Them, referring to the demons. I was like… Gee, really? What in this book did not sound ridiculously simple? From Kallie figuring out how to do whatever she needed to do, to then doing it (Kallie’s moves were fluid, matrix-like, and came in droves – this on the first minutes of her very first fight), to being just so darn perfect! Seriously: she looks absolutely gorgeous without any make-up whatsoever, is envied by her room mates because she can get ready in less than 15 minutes, seems to be admired by many people (including boys), dealt perfectly with losing her mother and never having met her father – anything you can think of, she is perfect and everything comes easily to her.

There were so many plot holes I don’t even know where to begin. I will try to state a few, but please don’t read them if you intend to read the book, because the following text contains major spoilers.

At first, we are told that Gerald Principe killed Phillip Beamer, maiming him and leaving the card pointing to McCarthy. Principe himself admits he let himself get driven by ego: It was ego that had him tagging bodies in Cairo and London, and recently in South Carolina. And then, he wondered if his ruse had been successful in putting the authorities on the scent of Alliance of Initiates(…), referring to the card placed on Beamer’s crime scene. Much later we are told Swag killed the guy after all. Judging from what we were told before, especially Principe’s own thoughts, I had trouble accepting that premise, but even assuming it really was Swag who killed Beamer and not Principe, what exactly was Principe’s role in all that? Did he clean up after Swag? Was he only intending to save his own ass? Had he and Swag even ever met?

Swag hangs up on McCarthy with a cryptic final line, proceeds to turn off his phone, rendering any chance of communication impossible, and McCarthy doesn’t call Bishop Boland, his ‘boss’ in AI? He knows something is wrong – heck, he has been suspicious of Swag for ages now -, and instead of taking immediate action he goes to bed??

When Swag kills professor Sampson, a servant is mentioned in a very mysterious way, hinting that he or she played a reasonable part in the story. I thought that it was someone Kallie trusted, but we are never told his or hers identity. Major opportunity to spice things up wasted here.

I don’t even get why the professor had to be killed. Not like there weren’t people all over the city being possessed like he was.

The whole thing with Kallie tasting her blood after being struck first on both occasions seems cheesy to me. I don’t even know what it was supposed to make me feel. That she’s a badass? It didn’t. Again, she felt bland to me throughout the book.

How on earth can a video exert mind control? I guess it could be done through subliminal messages but, again, nothing is explained. The guy is just that awesome. He can control someone who has an absolute faith in God through a video, utterly destroying said faith.

And Josh. Well before he knew much of everything, we are reading that There was something unique about her, something even beyond her remembering ability. He could sense it. How?? Why?? What clued him in?!
He remembered how Kallie looked whenever she talked about Seth. Her face lit up. She’d been really into him. Really? Was I supposed to get that impression? Cause I didn’t! Ever! As I said above, she seemed to hover between gushing about him in a very platonic way and then being upset at him, in almost equal amounts. It is said they had a couple of interesting conversations, then the trip to their families’ (which came completely out of the blue) but, really, she was so into him? I was actually constantly expecting her to tell Seth she just wanted to be friends with him and would finally realize Josh was the guy for her *sigh* Go figure.
I believe Swag was originally a Rememberer who’s now demon-possessed. Again, how? How does he know? Where did he even get a clue? Was it the Book of Origins? If so, why aren’t we told??
“Are you even sure they’re at the church?” “No,” Josh said and looked out the passenger side window. “I have no idea where they are. I’m going on gut now. So just get there.”

As you can imagine, by this point I was pretty upset. Constantly being told something is happening because someone says so, with not even a hint to why, let alone a full explanation, I actually felt offended. As a reader, I did not feel respected. I felt like I was being fed completely undeveloped concepts and premises and expected to just take it. I honestly felt I absolutely wasted my time reading this book.

And then there were all the ludicrous theories.

The one where Lucifer wants to first inherit and then later share God’s throne, which obviously wasn’t possible, so God, wanting to reward Lucifer, creates a son, who would take Lucifer’s much yearned for place. Seriously? How could that appease Lucifer? How can we be told God believed creating an heir after telling Lucifer he would never be his heir possibly soothe him and even reward him? I felt like God is constantly made either dumb or non-existent throughout the book.

The theory about Kallie never having met or experienced her father’s company throughout her entire life because her mother decided not to marry the guy so he would have a brilliant political career is equally ridiculous. They utterly loved each other, the fruit of their love was on the way, and they just say to hell with all this, screw this kid’s future and ours? In what world??

Yet another utterly absurd theory is Kali self deleting her memories of what Lucifer had done to her. Way to learn from your mistakes and not let it happen again, huh? Right, ignorance is totally going to save you. *eyeroll and yet another sigh*

And the ending… Oh the ending. Perfect to such a bland book, I suppose.

So in a nutshell, I do not recommend this book. There are good things in it, of course, or at least hints to interesting things, like the idea of a secret religious organization, eternal return, remembering, deja-vus and whatnot, but the concepts are never fully developed.

Also, there are plenty of paranormal books out there with characters you can actually relate to, they are well-developed as well as the world where action takes place. Sadly, this is not one of those books.

Note: It seems I am the first reviewer who has actually finished the book to give it 1 star, at least on GR. But I feel I have to be true to the experience it gave me and unfortunately it just was not a positive one. I hope I have justified my rating well enough.

Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Read from May 17 to May 21, 2015
GR Review