Friday, April 19, 2013

Concealed by Sang Kromah

Title: Concealed 
Author: Sang Kromah
Published: October 15, 2011
Series?: Concealed #1 
Format Read/Pages:  eBook, 382
How/When I Acquired It: NetGally / March, 2013
Date Finished: April 12, 2013

Some believe that at birth, we’re each born with some sort of guardian angel attached to us, watching from afar, but never seen by the human eye. But they’re wrong. Truth is it’s not that simple. There are certain people, special people, born of this world and of the other, who need that extra protection…that extra guidance. They go their entire lives, unaware of the other world, and unaware of the existence of their own personal watcher that watches from afar. But what happens when fate takes a turn for the worse, and The One who needs the aid of a watcher more than anyone before her can’t be found to be protected?

Bijou Fitzroy is strange. With the chaotic and unwanted gift of being an empath, she has spent her entire life as a sheltered recluse, being homeschooled by her secretive overprotective grandmother, who never stays long enough in one location for Bijou to ever settle and make friends. Not only does she lack social skills, but her physical appearance is so ethereal that it beckons onlookers to look away before she has the chance to make eye contact. Oh, and things get even weirder. Besides the occasional tendency to see strange things that no one else seems to notice, sixteen-year-old Bijou has been plagued by semi-prophetic nightmares of strange creatures her entire life; yet she yearns for sleep, because it’s the only place she gets to see him…well sort of. No matter what Bijou dreams of, the faceless boy is always there like some sort of harbinger of danger, always watching, always waiting. And even though his coming always pre-empts chaos, she’s fallen in love with this boy without a face.

When Bijou and her grandmother move to Eldersburg and she starts to attend the local high school, she meets Sebastian Sinjin, a strange boy, who forces Bijou to question the world around her, and the grandmother she thought she knew. Bijou’s world begins to crumble as the creatures from her nightmares begin to take shape in her reality, the faceless boy becomes real, and town locals begin to disappear as she finds herself at the center of a war she never knew was being fought. Bijou has to stand alone and be the savior everyone expects her to be.


I have been struggling to write this review and it will probably be a short one because of it. I really, really want to like Bijou and Sebastian, but I just cant commit myself to them. I really don't know what it is about them, but they just don't pop for me in the way they probably should. The relationship between them and Bijou and Niko just seems forced, which makes it hard to care about what is happening between them all.

One real criticism I have is the fact that all the action happens in the last fifty pages, but it makes the other 300+ pages seem like unending filler. The book was just too long, for the amount of story we actually got. The concept was great, I think that with a little more flesh it could have been a really fun read, but on more than one occasion I had to push myself to keep reading.

There does not seem to be any mention of the second book or when it will be available, but with an ending like Concealed had, there has to be something in the works, I just probably won't explore it.

2.5 Stars

Friday, April 5, 2013

Surrender by Rhiannon Paille

Title: Surrender
Author: Rhiannon Paille
Published: October 6, 2011
Also Known As: Flame of Surrender
Series?: The Ferryman & The Flame #1
Format Read/Pages:  eBook, 392
How/When I Acquired It: NetGally, March 2013
Date Finished: April 5, 2013

Kaliel and Krishani weren't meant to meet or fall in love but they did. Krishani’s dreams of death led him to a fate he’s terrified of--becoming the next Ferryman. His only refuge is Kaliel, the peculiar girl that swims with merfolk and talks to trees. Kaliel has a secret of her own--she’s the Amethyst Flame, one of nine apocalyptic weapons. The Valtanyana will destroy everything on Avristar to get to her. Kaliel has to choose: face them, hide or unleash the Flame.

How far would you go to save everything you ever loved?


I had high hopes for this book, it seemed like it could have been a pretty great read. But, I must say, I was a disappointed when I finally got to the end (and I was pushing myself to get through it). One of my major misgivings is that at times it seemed like things were being too rushed, both in the the love story and the explanation of who our main characters are supposedly becoming. This is the first book in what I assume will be a three part (or more) series, and I hate to even think what the pace of the rest of the story will be.  

The two main characters  Kaliel and Krishani, have a love like no other. Literally. They are elves and apparently these elves have no love for anything other than the land. They marry the land at some point, which I can only assume means they follow the path that has been set for them, kind of like a destiny. Of course they do not comply as all others have before them and fall in love after meeting accidentally at the forbidden waterfall. Their love, like everything else in the book, is set into hyper-drive when, after their first meeting, they are forced apart and must pine for each other for more than a year before coming back together by chance. It is all just really unbelievable and at times trite. 

Something that I really wish would have been explored in more depth, and could possibly be in the future books, is what it actually means for them to be The Flame and The Ferryman. We get very brief explanations, but nothing that really gives the reader an idea of what is to come for our two characters. It would have been great if the two stories had not intertwined from the very beginning. Perhaps each, Kaliel and Krishani, could have had their own separate stories, before it all comes full circle and their love affair begins. It just seems they were not done enough justice by forcing them together right in the beginning and not having been established as an individual being.

The best thing about this story is the writing of Avristar, the world where this story takes place. Paille did a wonderful job providing us with details which allowed for a full view of the world. I could picture the forests and the cave were their love bloomed. It was one of the few ways that I connected with the story. 

2 Stars