Sunday, 13 August 2017

Review for "Al & Rollu: Battle for The Astral" by Vaidu Klis

Al & Rollu: Part 1. Out of body (Battle for the Astral) by [Klis, Vaidu]

Al & Rollu: Battle for the Astral by Vaidu Klis

Al & Rollu: Battle for the Astral by Vaidu Klis is a young adult modern fantasy about a young woman names Rollu who can leave her body at will and travel to a parallel dimension, known as the Astral. She travels to St. Petersburg in the hopes of winning a motorcycle meet, and the heart of her intended husband. Only catch is she doesn’t know who that is, all she has to go on are specs of details from an old prophesy. Her Granny always told her St. Petersburg was a place where wonderful things would happen for her, the question now is, was she right?

Well this was an interesting one. Number one thing I have to address first is the length of the book; its short. Actually, I can’t really call it a book, more like the introduction of a short story, a very short story. The books I review, that are marketed to be as novels, as usually about 200 or 300 pages (once converted into PDF format) This one was a whopping 40; I read it in two days (during my commute to work). The reader barely gets a chance to understand the world Klis has created before the story ends, promising to pick up again in the next book. The lack of immersion into the characters left me unable to relate to them, to care about them really, which happens to be a good thing because the book is so short that not a lot happens either. Al, or Albert, is barely present, and we only get a taste for his character. Then we come to the main course; Rollu. Instead of a well-rounded, strong female character, we get one who is preoccupied with finding a relationship. Klis created an interesting world, but maybe a pretty bland main character to inhabit it. The authors focus on her looks is at best boring, and at worst predatory. I understand the intent, Rollu is meant to be a beautiful young woman, with extraordinary talents, but most ordinary people, especially men, just see her physical beauty, and she clearly has had to deal with that kind of unwanted attention for a long time. I just think Klis could have c=gone about it in a different way. The short length of this first book also makes it problematic to try and show Rollu as more than just a pretty face too.

That said it was certainly not all doom and gloom here. Klis showed real promise with the world they created here. The concept of The Astral seems great, and the rest of this saga I think has amazing potential to develop for the reader a unique and interesting world. As I mentioned earlier this first book was very short, only giving us a taste for what is to come, and I am optimistic Klis will do great things.

To learn more about the author, click here

To buy the book, click here.  

Happy Reading Folks!
~ Lilaina

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Review for "Between Octobers" by A. R. Rivera

Between Octobers (Savor The Days Series Book 1) by [Rivera, A. R.]

Between Octobers by A. R. Rivera

Between Octobers by A. R. Rivera is a modern romance thriller packed with everything you expect to see from both genres, and a little more you might not. It tells the story of an ordinary woman, Grace, who meets and falls in love with an extraordinary man, famous actor Rhys Matthews. The book details their intense love, the passion which unfolds and how it consumes them and all around them. Their relationship is not without its struggles, and they eventually take its toll. Interwoven with this tale, Grace struggles with a more real and intense danger, and as her love story unfolds, and she struggles to find a way to save herself, the bittersweet facets of love are revealed.

Rivera has done a superb job with blending a thriller with some small touches of action and mystery. The story moves along a just the right pace, giving the reader enough background on the characters, and letting them grow, without crawling along at a snail’s pace or cutting back in other areas. The novel grips you from start to finish, with a kind of mature drama, one that I think anyone who has been in a long-term relationship can understand, and those who have enjoyed passionate flings. It is so very real, portraying love in such a raw manner that at first it takes you aback with its authenticity, then just when you think this is talking about every relationship you have ever had Rivera cuts to the fantastical bits that season the story.

A romance novel is still a romance novel though, and this book does sometimes delve into the pitfalls of romance books. The language Rivera uses when Grace speaks sounds like every airport bookstore love story you might pick up. It always struck me as very nineties, the way a character would describe their outfit, or how they would narrate their actions; all so formulaic and aged. What struck me most especially was the way Grace spoke. I did the math, and based on the clues Rivera gives Grace is at most 31 years old for most of the novel, but she sounds like she is 45. It’s not that it detracted from the book, but is more so a source of distaste, as most romance novels read this way. There was a smattering of Christianity throughout, mainly on the part of the main character, but not enough that someone non-religious would be turned off, and just enough to potentially please those who aren’t.

I have to say, as far as romance goes, this book actually impressed me. I liked the pace of it, the length, and so often I found so many parallels between Grace and Rhys’ relationship to my own that I really got hooked. But the biggest bonus for me was the ending. As I try desperately not to reveal much, I do need to gush a bit about the bold choice in ending Rivera went with, definitely not your typical take on a romance novel, and quite refreshing. If you want the romance without too much longing looks, pouting lips and furtive glances, then this is for you. If you want something of a mystery, a touch of authenticity with a few embellishments, then this is the book for you.

If you want to learn more about the author and their work, click here
If you want to buy the book, click here

Happy Reading
~ Lilaina