Welcome to one of the first stops on Xpresso Book Tours for Renhala by Amy Joy Lutchen~!
Kailey Rooke, timid accountant, dedicated to philanthropic work, finds herself spiraling into a deep depression after she suffers a horrifyingly odd and humiliating assault, to only discover more of these freakish assaults occurring across the globe.
A chance discovery leads Kailey to a meeting with elderly Gunthreon, actual master of persuasion. Gunthreon, who seems to know too much of Kailey’s history for her liking, opens Kailey’s eyes to a coexisting realm she never knew existed: Renhala, while entrusting her with the knowledge of her newfound power as karmelean, serving as a beacon to the Higher Ones. Kailey slowly starts revealing new talents, and Gunthreon is fascinated with what she starts achieving.
She soon discovers that Renhala is in danger, and this danger has been leaking into her own realm. As she uncovers secrets within herself, and attempts to toughen up, she fuses with an unlikely band of fellow travelers (including a dragon, woodsprite, six-hundred-pound greble, her faithful female canine companion, and a “giver”), falls into an unexpected love triangle, deals with her sexy and flirtatious best friend’s “issues,” and finds the courage to master a new deadly weapon.
On her mission to save Renhala, Kailey will find herself running from life-threatening disasters, such as greble Tartarin, who likes to remind Kailey that when he catches her, he plans on eating her brains with ice cream; she’ll run from the deadly meeples: small cute bunnies with talons and an undeniable thirst for imposing self-destruction on others. Kailey will also run into the possibility that a centuries-old Renhalan rumor is true, that advanced technology existing in Kailey’s realm shortens all life spans.
As blood is shed and puzzles near completion, Kailey pulls from deep within herself, conjuring up mystical qualities that enable her to astonish as once predicted at her birth, but despite the newfound strength, Kailey will discover that monsters not only come in ugly packages, but can be easily disguised as those she has come to love and trust.
Hey all, it’s been a while, eh? Not since I last posted, maybe, but definitely since I last wrote an actual review (note, my last one was queued). I actually forgot how I format these things… Anyways, I have a treat for you today, but first, my review:
I really enjoyed this novel, overall, it was exciting, it had action, and Amy Joy Lutchen’s world-building is fantastic. However, I didn’t quite enjoy some of the writing, or the main character. Throughout the novel, I felt a disconnect between myself, the main character, and her actions, especially at the beginning ’cause I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. I must say though that as the book went on, I grew to like Kailey, though in all honestly, I liked the supporting characters a lot better.
Ladimer, oh sweet Ladimer. I am in love with him. I felt his character’s pain and joy more than I did Kailey’s. Reading about Ladimer, Gunthreon, Conner, Russell, and all the other supporting characters really brought various personalities to the table and excitement to the novel, as did the dragon and the six-hundred-pound greble mentioned in the synopsis. In my opinion, the supporting characters made the book. Through Kailey’s eyes we see a lot more of their history than we do of hers. I wish that Lutchen had showed more of Kailey’s training, or gave a straight description of her attack. As it is though, you get an overall sense of her fear and anxiety, of her attack and the scars it left on her, both mentally and physically. Lutchen went through the motions, but I wish there had been something more gripping about all of it.
Back to all the secondary/main-ish characters, I loved Lutchen’s ability to create such intricate histories, weaving all of their past and present together well. Authors who manage to do this always leave me in a state of awe, and I can’t help but admire them for their talent. In addition to this, Lutchen created characters that were all different. Not one character shared the same story, not the same personality as another. Kailey’s friends were all diverse in species, power, and personality. I find that many authors have trouble with this and tend to recreate their characters over again, sometimes within the same novel, other times within others. I liked that each character brought something new to the table, whether it was their own history, or a tale about the land, these characters are what really captivated me and pulled me into the book.
Something that drew me in completely (before all the wonderful characters jumped in to save the day) was the idea of Renhala, with Neda and Velopa, as well as Lutchen’s ideas behind the creation of our society. On top of the stories told about the creation of Renhala and our world, there is the world of Renhala itself. I loved the descriptions and how this mythical world popped out of the pages. Everything, from the scenery to the odd species and creatures to the magical lakes and the magical skills, captured me and pulled me into the pages of the book.
Overall, I really enjoyed Renhala, though the cliffhanging end is now taunting me. Lutchen has the ability to weave together her characters’ histories, past lives, and present actions, creating captivating characters, and new, unexplored worlds. I just can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, Golden Dunes of Renhala, which is to be released sometime this year.
World Building: 5/5
GoodReads Rating: 4.14/5
About the Author:
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