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T is for Translated Fiction #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the ...

February 19, 2011

Fantastical Start to Fantasy Series: The Six

The Six
The Gateway Chronicles: The Six by K. B. Hoyle
Paperback, 386 pages
Published: November 2009 by CreateSpace
ISBN13: 9781449535797
Read: February 2011
Goodreads, Amazon

A few weeks ago author K. B. Hoyle contacted me about reading her books. She described The Gateway Chronicles as Chronicles of Narnia meets Harry Potter. Having read Book 1, I agree it has the other worldly feel of Narnia, the magic of Harry Potter, but would add there's a touch of The Last Airbender, too. 

I really enjoyed The Six. I had trouble focusing on anything else and would often tell myself "I'll just read one chapter" yeah right. I even snuck in some lunch time reading at work and would read snippets while working on publishing house stuff. Within the first few pages I was totally sucked in to the story.

I love Hoyle's descriptions at the beginning of the story. which continued throughout the book. She created rich images with her words, without weighing it down with too much detail (which is often a hard balance for an author to find). This series is for young adults and I was pleased that the reading level and subject matter fit her audience while still being interesting to the adult reader. Hoyle does a wonderful job of capture young teen angst. 

"It took her a moment to remember she was not happy to be there." 

"Darcy followed slowly behind imagining as she went that she was going to her doom."

Ah... the melodrama of being a 13 year old. However, it is this awkward teen that drew me in to the story. I desperately wanted to know what would happen to her, especially with the "energy" she felt on the beach. Is she awkward because she is a 13 year old girl or is there something truly different about Darcy Pennington?

I will admit that she almost lost me when we jumped through the gateway and were greeted by mythical creatures. It's not a secret that I shy away from the fantasy genre when reading and the mention of nymphs, dryads, naiads and oreads (the latter three of which I had no clue what they were) had me worried that I wouldn't be able to continue. But, again, Hoyle came to the rescue with aptly placed descriptions of these magical beings. And by this point I was too intrigued with where the story was headed to give up.

I really did love this story; there was never a dull moment. When I read the last sentence I was so glad to know that I had the next book in the series to move on to. I might go in to withdraws when I finish The Oracle. I'm already a third of the way through it and hope to share my thoughts later in the week, but at the same time I want to go slowly and savor each passage.

Add to your Goodreads Shelf:
The Six (The Gateway Chronicles 1) by K. B. Hoyle

7/7/2011 I'm participating in Review Appreciation Day at The Cait Files. This week's theme is MAGIC. Check out the participating blogs as they share their book reviews.

2/27/2012 The Gateway Chronicles is now under contract with Australia-based publisher The Writer's Coffee Shop. They will be re-releasing the first 3 books in the series starting with The Six on April 5. 

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February 14, 2011

What's Valentine's Day without Romance

Blind FaithBlind Faith by Michael Schneider
paperback, 181 pages
Published October 2010 by The Writer's Coffee Shop
Read December 2010

It is Valentine's Day so I feel obligated to tell you about a romance novel today. I don't often read romance novels because I find myself growing discontent with my single life when I do. You know, wondering when my Prince Charming or Charles Darney or who ever is the lead male of the current book I'm reading will arrive. I have to say after reading Blind Faith I might have felt a bit better about living the single life.

To be honest with my readers, Blind Faith is a book published by the publishing house I work for on a part-time basis as their marketing director. It was our first book published and I worked with Michael on marketing this book. She was very sweet and sent me an autographed copy. I was a fan of Michael's online writing and might have had a bit of a fan girl moment when I found out I would be working with her.

Between working my other job, the releases of several other books, and life in general, I didn't get to sit down with this book until my Christmas holidays. I was excited to read it to be honest and I wasn't disappointed. I really enjoyed.

I hated Chase, was disappointed with Karsyn's decisions, and wanted to strangle Gabriel a few times. I literally had to put the book down several times because my blood would be boiling over the idiotic things the characters would do so that I didn't do something rash like throw the book across the room. (It's a signed 1st edition - I didn't want to ruin it). Seriously, I have never seen a group of people that were worse at communicating with one another as the characters in Blind Faith. You might be thinking that all these negative emotions I had for the characters would have me giving this book a bad review, but that is not the case at all. I love stories that evoke such strong emotions in me. I can't remember the last book that had me seething as much as Michael Schneider's Blind Faith.

I did say this was a romance so there is wooing and jealously and passion throughout the novel as well. It is an easy read that kept my attention throughout (even when I had to set it down it was only a few moments later that I was picking up again because I had to see how it all worked out). If you are looking for a romance novel to read that isn't all lovely dovey and mushy, but one that has flawed characters and full of real emotion then I recommend Blind Faith.

You can also see a recent interview with Michael Schneider at The Sunday Book Review.

Note: As mentioned in my disclaimer, the opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not reflect the opinions of the organizations I am affiliated with. In addition, I am not paid (it's not in my job description) to provide reviews for any books published by The Writer's Coffee Shop.
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