Tag: fantasy

“Nothing done is ever wasted” – Review of “Gone” by Julie Elizabeth Powell

GoneGone” by Julie Elizabeth Powell

I gave it a: 4 of 5 stars

I was given a free copy of “Gone” through an author review group in exchange for an honest review. “Nothing done is ever wasted” – an absolutely brilliant quote from “Gone” by Julie Elizabeth Powell helped make my reading experience a surprising one since I’m not typically a fan of fantasy. I normally read contemporary romance, suspense and historicals.

The main character, Charley Woods is an executive and mother of a girl who suffered brain damaged as an infant and had to be put in a permanent care facility for which Charley feel miserably guilty. Charley wishes her daughter had died, or that she could end the daughter’s life herself, and because of these horrible thoughts, Charley is ridden with a life-time of remorse. Which makes one wonder what she has left to offer her husband and other children?

But Powell doesn’t explore those feelings as much as I would have liked, even at the end. Heart sick with her sorrow, Charley sits down in a chair in her office and basically dies. Her spirit leaps into the throes of a NDE-Near Death Experience. This subject is something my own husband explores extensively, so I’m totally versed with the experiences of other people who have died and been revived. In this case, the parallels ended at Powell’s fantasy version of what happens to real people who experience NDE’s.

Powell’s character Charley is transported in her NDE to an Alice-in-Wonderland/Wizard-of-Oz/Shrek-esk fantasy world where she find the spirit of her brain-dead daughter. Powell does spend a lot of time painting vivid imagery of her afterlife world, and most are enjoyable. Charley is not alone in her experience. She has guides much like the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar and Toto. Through her experiences in the Avalon-titled fantasy world, Charley is unbelieving, filled with self-doubt, guilt and denial, and must face trials of her faith before she can leave.

But the book has problems. It was very long and challenging to read. I was confused a lot of the time. There are unnecessarily drawn-out passages of description of Powell’s fantasy world and uninspiring, everyday dialogue, and lengthy narrative explanations of what was going on from the fantasy characters. And some of Powell’s structural issues with her writing were difficult to ignore. If you are a fan of fantasy/sci-fi/NDE’s, you might find this book interesting.

Because Powell’s book contains a wonderful message of hope, enduring life with faith, learning to love and forgive others and yourself, and overcoming self-persecution, it was saved from getting the 3-Star review I might have given.  

Review of Teresa D’Amario’s “Visions of Fire and Ice.”

VisionsOfFireAndIceTeresa D’Amario’s “Visions of Fire and Ice.”

I gave it 4 out of 5 Stars.

Though not a fan of fantasy, I do love history and mythology, and Teresa’s book deliveries all three. I was immediately drawn into the story of Ramose, a protector of an ancient society that crash landed on earth from the far away planet, Petiri. With skills far beyond those of simple mortals, this alien race fights hard to keep their special abilities, and the fact that they don’t age, a secret from the human race. For many millennia it worked. The opening battle between Horus, Isis’s son, and Set, the God of Chaos, was so reminiscent of Egyptian mythology and a delightful retelling of those tales. They set up the novel perfectly. Teresa’s well written account made me run to the computer for my own research of the myths.

The heroic character of Ramose is so brilliantly depicted that it was easy to see him in my mind. A caring warrior who’d do anything to keep the Petiri’s secret safe is shaken to the core when he meets a mere mortal, Tamara from America, with a relic of his people imprinted on her arm that has bonded to her. When he watches her burn a drunken lothario with her gift of fire, he’s more than a little intrigued. He is stunned to learn Tamara, a human female, is his Kha Ib, or soul-mate, and now he must now fight to protect her from the demon who’s been tormenting him in his evilness for centuries.

Teresa has crafted a richly-textured, well-written, and masterfully told story merging the world of ancient and modern Egypt, modern times, and alien civilizations. It kept me reading until the wee hours of the morning, which is the mark of a great story teller. She knows how to incorporate the rate of reveal in her story; knowing just when to give the reader clues into what’s going to be happening next between Ramose and Tamara and their enemy, without giving away to much. Ramose is ice to Tamara’s fire and together they ride the storm of passion, including steamy love scenes that might offend some readers, right into the hands of the evil God Set, now taking up residence in one of Ramose’s relatives.

I did enjoy the slow climb of tension and the strengthening of Ramose and Tamara’s relationship moving them toward their inevitable physical sparks, and their confrontation with Set. However, I felt Teresa might have moved to the height of the conflict just a little quicker. Though the tension built, it didn’t move fast enough for me. Then when the evil antagonist finally kidnaps Tamara, I was all ready for something spectacular, but I was slightly disappointed it didn’t deliver as much pop as I would have liked. It made me wonder why now, why after all these thousands of years, Set waited to bring himself back from the dead. There were a number of errors, making it not perfect, but all in all, Visions of Fire and Ice was enjoyable to read, mesmerizing in its scope, spectacular in its descriptions, and the characters love and attraction to one another memorable. I would probably read any and all sequels.

A copy of Teresa D’Amario’s “Visions of Fire and Ice” was given to me as a part of the ReviewsRUs Group for an honest evaluation. I was not compensated for my review.

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