The Forest House by Tamara Rokicki
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Warning: Minor Spoilers
The Forest House, Book One of The Ashar Prophecies, is a promising young adult paranormal fantasy from debut author Tamara Rokicki. The book adds a new twist to vampire lore while still keeping favorite mores alive.
The greatest strength of this novel is its pacing. It’s one of those books where you sit down intending to read one chapter and end up reading six instead. It pulls you brilliantly along with lead character Hera in her journey from anxiety-ridden outcast to high priestess of a sect of vampires she didn’t even know existed. (She didn’t know there were vampires, let alone castes of them!)
The characters, most notably Hera herself, are believable and relatable with strong and unique voices. I was a little worried when I got to the kidnapping part. Kidnapping stories can quickly cross the line to feeling contrived, but with a strong hold on her character and her motivations, Rokicki plays it perfectly.
I feel like we’re still getting to know Aethen, Hera’s love interest, but that’s natural since The Forest House is all from Hera’s point of view. In fact, it makes me want to go grab Rokicki’s short story, “Aethen’s Awakening” to get to know him even better.
I am a fiction editor, so I’m kind of nitpicky about these things. I felt the book could have used one more pass for things like the occasional dropped word, wrong word (expect vs. except), and dangling participle. However, these issues were minor and in no way impeded my enjoyment of this story.
It’s a definite page turner. Don’t be surprised when you finish it and are asking for the next one. Write quickly, Rokicki, all right?
Get the prologue to Raven Thrall plus 69 other fantasy stories FREE through Instafreebie, now through January 11!
Raven Thrall (formerly Flight of the Ceo San) is now available for preorder! Yay! I can hardly believe it.
It’s very surreal seeing the cover of my debut novel on Amazon. I’ve had nonfiction published before. I’ve had short stories published, but nothing quite beats this. I’ve been waiting for it for a long, long time.
The story has been written, revised, and reviewed by beta readers, and it is now with the copyeditor (I’ll tell you a secret. My husband is an editor by trade, and he’s the copyeditor, so it’s just upstairs.)
Raven Thrall already has its first review on Goodreads, and I’m working hard to get some more before it’s published.
It’s been a long road getting to this point, especially as an indie author, but I’ve learned so much, and I have a feeling I’m about to learn a lot more from you, my readers! (Again, surreal!)
If you want a little teaser, I’m giving away the prologue of Raven Thrall in the form of a stand-alone short story called “Fly.” You can get it here.
Be sure to let me know how you like it!
Tether in hand and eyes forward, Jonathan angled his heels into the horse’s flanks, and she began to move.
It’s what she wants.
Hot tears dripped down his cheeks, fell from his chin. He was glad the three of them were alone. Just him, the seal mare, and Joceyln, all quieter than churchmice.
The salty waves splashed up the meet his ankles, their aroma stinging his nostrils, and the horse—her favorite—slowed, questioning.
“We have to, girl. It’s what she wants.” He didn’t want it. How could he possibly go through with it?
Continue reading “What She Wanted (Flash Fiction)*”
Cry Wolf by Bridget Essex
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This lesbian paranormal romance pulled me in first with its quirky and snark main character, Hayley, and second with its excellent pacing. The book kept me turning page after page, even when I should have been doing something else.
Essex does an excellent job creating believable, crackling chemistry between Hayley and her love interest, Kay, even even though there is not even a kiss until the last quarter of the book.
Continue reading “Book Review: Cry Wolf by Bridget Essex”